Nonna Te’s Chicken Curry
“Mum, however, had a fondness for curry, and my grandmother, Ella, Baroness van Heemstra, even more so. It was something that was all theirs, something that came from elsewhere, ‘foreign,’ even if I didn’t fully understand why.” – Luca Dotti, Audrey at Home
Curry is something foreign. to me. While I have had ‘foreign” foods I have tried, curry is one that up until now I hadn’t try. For me I want to taste “foreign” food as it is suppose to taste before I try to make it at home. It is a weird thing that I have gotten over as you can tell from this post. Reading Audrey At Home, by Luca Dotti has inspired me in many ways including making a curry.
This is a simple dish, but it takes time. In the end I loved it. In fact, I have now made it twice. The only change I made this time was switching rice to mash potatoes. A day before I made this curry I had intended to make mas potatoes for a dish, but things didn’t pan out and I had boiled, un-mashed potatoes waiting to be used. So, using 1 3/4 cup of the stock the recipes calls for the rice I add put the potatoes and stock together and turned the heat on medium so I could heat it up. Then I mashed them. I put it all together and topped with diced sweet peppers and toasted coconut flakes. It turned out great!
Nonna Te’s Curry
1 whole chicken
2 onions, peeled
2 carrots, peeled
1 celery stalk
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 fresh ginger root
1/2 green apple, diced
2 tablespoons strong curry
2 tablespoons mild curry
1 (14 ounces) can unsweetened coconut milk
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons ghee or clarified butter
2 cups basmati rice
Suggested condiments bananas diced, candied lemons, cashews, chutney (mango, lime, etc.), cucumbers cut into thin strips, pineapple diced, raisins, zucchini blanched.
To prepare the chicken broth, place the chicken, 1 onion, the carrots, celery, garlic, ginger, apple, and strong and mild curries in a large pot, cover with water, and stir. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low and cook for at least 45 minutes. Remove the chicken and set it aside to cool. Reserve 1 3/4 cups of the broth for cooking the rice; set aside. Continue cooking the chicken broth and vegetables for 30 minutes more to reduce the liquid. Add coconut milk and cook for another 30 minutes, until the liquid has reduced and thicken to form a sauce. Take the pot off the stove and use and immersion blander to puree the vegetables. Use your hands to remove the skin from the chicken, and separate the meat from the bones; discard the bones. Add the chicken meat back to the pot and stir gently until heated through; keep warm.
To make the rice, add the oil and ghee to a saucepan and briefly toast the rice; cover with the reserved broth. Pierce the remaining onion with a clove, and place in the center of the pan. Cover the saucepan and cook over low heat until the rice is al dente, about 30 minutes.
At the table, serve the chicken and rice on separate platters. Arrange small bowls or cups with the condiments around the serving plate so people can choose their own.