Heartbreak with curry

I was soooooo looking forward to a new episode of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution tonight, only to find out that  ABC pulled the episodes during May sweeps. I’ll admit I unleashed a few expletives upon learning this, which I won’t repeat here.
I somehow think this might speak volumes about this country’s priorities, but I can’t prove a correlation, so I’ll shut up before I really get wound up. As it turns out, Mark Bittman made my evening with an opinion pieces posted to the New York Times website on how the Federal Trade Commission’s new guidelines on marketing junk food to children are a big load of nothing helpful. The guidelines state that food manufacturers have five years to refrain from marketing junk to children, if they want to…because the guidelines are voluntary!
“Five more years of allowing children to think that a diet of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, PopTarts, Doritos, 7UP and Chicken McNuggets is normal? By then, your five-year-old is 10; your newborn is five, and his or her eating patterns are set. Five more years — at least — of America bulking up? Who will pay for all that diabetes?”
Thank you, Mr. Bittman. You are my hero. Anyhoo, I had already planned to make one of my fave recipes from Mr. Oliver’s Food Revolution cookbook, and I saw no reason to pull that from the schedule. So I’ll be nice and share. I added some sliced zucchini to this batch, since I had some to use up, and, you know, extra veg is good. I’m sure Jamie would approve.

Chicken Tikka Masala
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (preferably free-range)
2 medium onions
1 fresh red chile [I don’t always have one on hand, and it is fine without]
a thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger root
a small bunch of fresh cilantro
peanut or vegetable oil [I used coconut oil]
a pat of butter
1/2 cup tikka masala or mild curry paste, such as Patak’s [be sure to use paste and not sauce!]
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 x 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 x 14-ounce can coconut milk
1 cup plain yogurt
a small handful sliced almonds
1 lemon

  1. Slice chicken breasts lengthways into 3/4-inch thick strips. Peel, halve and finely slice the onions. Finely slice the chile. Peel and finely slice the ginger. Pick the cilantro leaves and put to one side, then finely chop the stalks.
  2. Put a large casserole-type pan on medium-high heat and a couple of glugs of oil and the pat of butter. Add the onions, chile, ginger and cilantro stalks and cook for 10 minutes, until softened and golden.
  3. Add the curry paste and strips of chicken. Stir well to coat everything with the paste, then season with salt and pepper.
  4. Add the tomatoes and coconut milk. Fill one of the empty cans with water, pour into the pan, and stir again. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for 20 minutes with the lid on.
  5. Check regularly to make sure it’s not drying out (add extra water if necessary). When the chicken is tender and cooked, taste and add a bit more salt and pepper if needed.
  6. Serve over rice and top with a few spoonfuls of yogurt, some sliced almonds and cilantro leaves. Squeeze a lemon wedge over the top.
We had kale chips too. Gotta love a husband who begs for kale chips. We ate an entire bunch between the two of us!