Tuesday, January 09, 2007

If You Don't Mention Curry Powder

My children will eat it. The kids were in an oppositional mood last night, but ate well and heartily. This is because I prudently didn't say words like "curry" and "saffron" within their earshot. They accepted the yellow color of the rice as having been produced by dye, I imagine, and didn't pick up on the curry powder and paprika in the chicken coating, just asking for more "fried chicken." Ha! The sweet thrill of victory!

I served chicken with artichoke cream sauce, asparagus (purchased on a whim at the market by my asparagus-loving wife), saffron rice and green melon (known to the world at large as honeydew) for dinner last night. Here's what I did:

Chicken with Artichoke Cream Sauce
1 lb. thinly pounded chicken breasts (the skinless, boneless variety)
4 tbsp. flour
2 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. butter
Small jar marinated artichoke hearts (6.5 oz.)
1/4 c. dry white wine
1/2 c. heavy cream

Mix flour and spices together. Rinse chicken & pat dry. Dredge in flour. Melt butter in skillet. Cook chicken, in batches, thoroughly (3-5 minutes per side). Remove to 200 degree oven to keep warm. Wipe out skillet. Add artichokes, wine and cream. Cook until thickened. Serve over chicken. I would double the sauce recipe if I thought the children might also eat it. In fact, I might double the sauce recipe next time anyway.

I also served the chicken over saffron rice. You could use a pre-packaged kind or make your own, which is infinitely better and worked out nicely for me because I had plenty of saffron on hand from making sweet buns for St. Lucia's Day.

Saffron Rice
1 c. jasmine rice (or whichever variety you prefer, but I really do recommend long-grain rice)
1/2 tsp. saffron threads
3 tbsp. + 2 c. boiling water
3 tbsp. butter
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 tsp. salt

Let the saffron sit in 3 tbsp. boiling water 10 minutes. Heat butter in large pan. Add the onions & sauté about 5 minutes. Add rice and stir for about 5 minutes. Add 2 c. boiling water and salt. Bring to a boil. Add saffron & water it soaked in. Stir gently, cover and simmer about 20 minutes. Fluff before serving. (if serving with Indian food, it's nice to toss in some cinnamon stick pieces & some whole cloves, maybe 5 of them, before you add the onions to the butter. A smidge of cardamom as the rice cooks imparts a wonderful flavor, as well)

I just steamed the asparagus in my steamer & melted some butter with some key lime juice for dipping.

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