Ladies and Gentlemen,
For my next act, and in the dead of winter, I bring you…mango chicken curry.
But first, can I just take a minute and tell you how much I love you? I was so nervous to post my last essay Raising Teenagers because it was so personal. It was particularly vulnerable, because what I was writing, I hadn’t read anywhere else, so you always run the risk of finding out that you are awful and crazy and no one else in the history of the world was having the same experience, so you must be doing it wrong. But the comments and feedback I got was nothing like that. (It’s my most read post so far, actually!)
So, personal last time, but food this time. And you guys, can we just talk for minute about the picture quality? All my pictures lately have been crap. I know it. Just bear with me. I am moving into my new house in April, and there I will find my good camera and I will be able to post higher quality stuff like I used to. But, for now, when I show you a picture of this dish just know it’s so much prettier in person. It’s just not highly photogenic in dim light, taken with an iPhone, you know? Oh but mark my words, this is a winner. A true crowd-pleaser. A dream.
Don’t stop reading if you hate curry.
Or you think you hate curry.
This seems to be a thing. There are throngs of people out there who think they hate curry but upon tasting an outrageous coconut milk one or this exceptional mango version, they say things like “oh, well, I like THIS curry, just not other curries.”
I find myself here, on a Tuesday night, whipping the family up a batch of this deliciousness for dinner.
This morning I chopped up all my ingredients and made the dish. I browned the chicken coated in flour (GF flour for us) curry and salt and pepper, and then sautéed the red bell peppers and red onion before adding the garlic and fresh ginger. Then I added chicken stock and fresh tomatoes and mango and let it bubble away until it reduced. At that point, I cooled it on the stove for about 30 m minutes before putting the whole pot in the refrigerator (on a hot pad) until tonight, when I pulled it out, heated it up, cooked some rice, and chopped up some basil and cilantro for topping. Add a little lime juice and call it a night.
This dish is special. I first read about this recipe in Shawna Niequists book, Bread and Wine. This dinner is an absolute go-to when she entertains as it’s essentially a braise. This means you can make it and let it happily bubble away on the stove until you need it and nothing bad will happen. You don’t have to set timers or make your guests sit at a certain time, leaving you to relax and actually enjoy yourself . Plus, it’s different. When is the last time you got served mango curry at a diner party, you know? It’s memorable.
This dinner falls under the “easy” category. My sister in law and I have this thing where we categorize dishes as to whether they are simple (minimal steps and ingredients) or easy (more laborious as far as chopping or steps go, but brainless, as in, you can’t mess it up.) Or hard (multiple steps, many ingredients, and you must pay attention to exact cooking times).
I implore you, even if you think you don’t care for curry, try this. It’s mild.
One note, I made this with regular rice this time, but it goes great with cauliflower rice as well.
Mango Chicken Curry
• ¼ cup all-purpose flour (we used Cup 4 Cup GF flour)
• 1 tbsp yellow curry powder (if you love curry, use 2 TBSP)
• 1 tsp kosher salt
• ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
• 2 TBSP olive oil
• 1.5 lbs chicken breasts, diced (about three large breasts)
• 4 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 red onion, chopped
• 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
• 1 red bell pepper, chopped
• 4 cups chicken broth
• 1 pint grape tomatoes, chopped in half lengthwise
• 1 mango, pitted and diced (or frozen mango, chopped smaller)
• 1 tbsp fresh lime juice (approx ½ a lime)
• fresh cilantro, chopped
• fresh basil, chopped
• 2 cups dry rice (white or brown) prepared according to package directions
Mix together flour, curry powder, salt and pepper. Cut chicken into small pieces, and toss with mixture until each piece is well coated. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a skillet. When pan is hot, add chicken pieces just until brown and crispy—only a few minutes, it’s ok if the chicken is not fully cooked. Set aside.
Next, add more oil to the skillet if needed and add the onion and red pepper and cook until onion is translucent. Add ginger and garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.
Add chicken back to the pan and lower heat. Add 4 cups chicken broth. Simmer until the broth reduces by about ¼ and dish appears to be less watery overall, about 20-30 minutes. Add the tomatoes, and mango until they are heated through.
Remove from heat (if making this dish in advance, let cool on the stove for 30 minutes, then cover and put in the fridge until dinner time and then proceed to the next step once it’s heated through again. If eating immediately, stir in lime juice, cilantro and basil.
Serve over rice.