Friday, November 28, 2014

Chicken, Chickpea & Kale Curry

I like curries of all stripes, and this one is of the unusual type. I combine canned chickpeas (or garbonzo beans) with sauteed kale and browned chicken, in a broth of India spices. It's a heady mix, but cooked together it makes nutritious and satisfying entree.

My curry broth is just flavored with ground cumin, chopped garlic and ginger. I used water with a chicken bouillon cube, but for a richer broth use a small can of coconut milk.

Unlike spinach, kale holds up well to slow cooking, so you can add it right away and allow it to obsorb flavors. My local Latin market is stocking kale for cheap prices, so I'm learning how to use it, both raw and cooked. And chickpeas, or garbanzo beans, are found cheaply almost anywhere.

Like the kale I get cheap chicken now at the same Latin grocery store. This recipe is perfect for cheaper cuts of poultry. Just lightly brown one side and start adding the other ingredients to dislodge the flavorful charred chicken bits.

My Chicken, Chickpea & Kale Curry is a one-pot meal that is better reheated the next day. Make sure to cook some rice, pasta or favorite grain to sop up the pungent flavorful curry broth.

4 pieces of chicken - I used thigh and leg meat. You can use any favorite combination.
1 bunch of Kale
15 ounce can of chickpeas - or garbanzo beans, drained.
1 whole onion - yellow or white, chopped.
1 teaspoon garlic - chopped fresh or from jar.
1 teaspoon ginger - optional. Chopped fresh or from jar. Okay to use powdered ginger.
1 tablespoon of ground cumin or curry powder - curry powder is more intense, but ground cumin is close enough and easier to find.
1 1/2 cup water or favorite broth
1 teaspoon cooking oil
Salt and pepper to taste
*For extra richness add a small can of coconut milk or cream. No water is needed.

Add oil to a medium hot pan. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Brown chicken on one side, about 5 - 10 minutes. You don't need to cook the chicken all the way through - you will finish cooking it later. Remove chicken and set aside.

While meat is browning you can chop the onion, garlic and ginger. Wash kale and remove the largest stems - roughly chop kale.

Add chopped onion and saute until it's soft and starting to turn light brown, about 5 minutes.

Sprinkle on cumin or curry powder. Saute it with the onions for a minute. Add ginger and garlic. Saute for another minute.

Add a handful of chopped kale at a time to the onions and spices. The kale will cook down quickly. It only takes a couple of minutes. Keep adding handfuls of kale until all of it fits in the pan. Should take about 5-10 minutes total.

Finally add a favorite broth or just plain water (or a can of coconut milk/cream.) Simplest broth is to add a chicken bullion cube to water. It will dissolve in the water as you break it apart. Bring broth with chicken, chickpeas and kale to a boil, reduce heat and low simmer.

Cook uncovered about 30 minutes, until the chicken is cooked all the way. Turn the chicken over, half way through the simmering process. To check for doneness, just slice into the thickest part of chicken and make sure there is no red color or pink juices.

Serve it with rice, a favorite cooked grain, or pasta. You want something that will soak up the flavorful sauce.

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