Monday, January 16, 2017

Cape Malay Chicken Curry

Although A Cooking Safari with Mickey is one of my least favorite Disney cookbooks, due to its minimal size and lack of depth, it does contain some recipes of dishes I love from the Animal Kingdom and Animal Kingdom Lodge. I can't recommend the book because even at its cheaper-than-Amazon price in the parks, it's still way overpriced for what you actually get--a total of 26 recipes, which is the least robust of any of my Disney cookbooks.

You may recall that one of my favorite dishes from the buffet at Walt Disney World's Tusker House Restaurant was the Cape Malay Chicken Curry, a South African dish of stewed chicken with spices and tomatoes. Fortunately for me, this recipe is one of the 26 in that cookbook.

You will find many recipes for Cape Malay Chicken Curry on the internet, and I'm sure they are all wonderful, but I feel extra special making the version provided by Disney since it brings back a wonderful food memory from my recent trip.

Mine was less tomato-y than the version at Tusker House. I would imagine using canned crushed tomatoes would yield a far more tomato-heavy sauce that replicates the Tusker House version better, but I used seeded chopped fresh tomatoes and although it wasn't as red, the general flavor of the curry was fantastic.

I also simmered it uncovered rather than covered for the most part because the sauce became very thin once the tomatoes broke down, but once it reduced uncovered it was the perfect consistency.

I served my Cape Malay Chicken Curry with jeera rice, an Indian cumin-scented basmati rice. It's simple to make: just toast some cumin seeds in oil or ghee prior to adding your dry basmati rice and boiling water or broth. It adds a bit of fragrance and flavor and just elevates the rice to something worthy of pairing with this curry.

Cape Malay Chicken Curry
Serves 4 to 6
(From A Cooking Safari with Mickey)

2 pounds chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
Coarse salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large onions, diced
2 green chilies, seeded and finely sliced (I minced 1 1/2 seeded jalapenos)
1 teaspoon crushed garlic (I used about 1 tablespoon)
1 teaspoon crushed fresh ginger (I used about 1 tablespoon)
1 to 4 tablespoons Madras curry powder (all curry powders range in flavor and spiciness because they are spice blends--I used 2 tablespoons in my version)
1 tablespoon flour
3 to 4 large vine-ripened tomatoes, chopped (I seeded mine before chopping)
3 tablespoons cream of coconut
1 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon fresh chopped cilantro, for ganish
Rice pilaf or couscous, for serving

Season chicken with salt and pepper.

Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken (in batches if necessary) and sear until browned, stirring often. Remove from pan and add onions, cooking until lightly brown and tender. Add chilies, garlic, and ginger; cook 2 minutes. Add curry powder and cook 1 minute.

Whisk in flour and stir over medium heat until mixture slightly thickens. Stir in tomatoes, cream of coconut, and chicken stock; return chicken to pan. If sauce is too thick, stir in more chicken stock.

Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Stir occasionally to avoid burning. (I would recommend simmering for about 5 to 10 minutes covered and then remove the lid and simmer uncovered for the remaining time, or longer, if sauce becomes too thin and needs to reduce to thicken).

Taste and adjust seasonings. To serve, garnish with cilantro and serve with rice pilaf or couscous.


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