A steaming bowl of comforting soup is always a nice way to make the frigid cold and wind that howls outside of my house seem just a little bit less daunting. It doesn’t have to be fancy – a simple chicken and rice or tomato soup would suffice just fine. Heck, a piping bowl of plain old chicken broth is even comforting to me when I can’t stop my whole body from compulsively shivering. And although these simple soups and broths may warm me up momentarily and provide a brief 30 minute feeling of consolation, if you give me a hot bowl of curried chicken stew, I might feel warm and fuzzy inside all night long and think that maybe I could almost become friends with wintertime. Almost.
Most people think that curry itself is a spice, but in actuality it’s a plethora of spices that are blended together to create layers of complex flavor. Every cook has their own recipe, making the taste vary slightly from person to person; and while the variety of spices are endless, the most commonly used in yellow curry are coriander, cumin, mustard, chili powder, ginger, garlic, cardamom, cinnamon, and tumeric –giving the curry it’s yellow color. The final product can be used in many different ways, but one of my favorite preparations is a kind of spin on a classic chicken curry with rice, but in a stew form.
I start out by sautéing a little bit of onion and garlic in butter and olive oil, and then add a combination of starchy russet potatoes and sweet potatoes to the mixture. A blend of chicken stock and slightly sweet coconut milk are added to the pot to create a savory broth before the aromatic and pungent yellow curry powder is swirled into the mixture. It’s then hit with a pinch of turmeric and minced Serrano chili peppers for a slight kick and depth of flavor. The whole thing comes together with the addition of some Asian lo mein noodles, tender chicken and vibrant green peas. Ahh, comfort in a bowl.
- ½ onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ½ tablespoon butter
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large russet potato, cubed
- 1 large sweet potato, cubed
- ¼ cup flour
- 32 ounces low-sodium chicken stock
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 2 teaspoons yellow curry powder
- Pinch turmeric
- 1 Serrano chili, minced
- ¼ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- 4 ounces lo mein noodles, broken into pieces
- 2 small chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
- ½ cup frozen peas
- Sauté onion and garlic in butter and olive oil over a medium heat in a large Dutch oven or stock pot until translucent, about five minutes.
- Add potatoes and flour, stir until combined.
- Add remaining ingredients, through noodles. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook until potatoes and noodles are cooked through, about 15 minutes. Season with salt to taste.
- Add chicken and peas, cook another five minutes.