Easy Chicken Curry {Operation: #EAT it or CLEAN it}

chicken curry 2

Operation:  Eat it or Clean it

I am on a mission.

To USE UP everything I have in my pantry, freezer and fridge in the next 19 days before Passover.

It can be done. I am determined. For the next 19 days, my kitchen will be the studio in which I compete in my own little version of Tv’s Chopped.  The judge will be one very critical 4 year old. Between you and me, she is way  more opinionated, a mixture of Alton Brown & Simon Cowell without the bad hair and English accent.

This year for some reason I am in denial about Pesach. It might be because it is the first time in 4 years that I will be home, and I am just not looking forward to the cleaning that is ahead of me. Much easier to just do a quick run through, sell everything and close up shop, like I have been privileged to do in the past.

So this Sunday, when I decided there is only 21 days left and I better get my cleaning ducks in a row, an interesting idea came to me (as they usually do when I am looking to procrastinate the inevitable).

Would it be possible for me to use up everything in my stocked up pantry, freezer and fridge in the next 21 days before Passover?

The idea of throwing out all the half eaten chametz or giving away the unopened boxes and bags was literally making my heart ache over the money that was spent and the pure waste that was going to be. What can I do to change that, was the catalyst for what I am calling OPERATION: EAT it or CLEAN it.

What is OPERATION: EAT it or CLEAN it?

IT is a personal cooking challenge that I gave myself – If it is in my Pantry, Freezer or Fridge – I will either EAT it in the next 21 days or  CLEAN it out for Passover.

Could I possibly create meals that we would enjoy from what I have stocked, without grocery shopping for the next 3 weeks other than some milk and a little produce?

IT is a lesson in not wasting and making the best with what you have.

IT is a way to save money  (something this single mom struggles to do daily)

IT is another way for me to be creative with my cooking.  I find that is usually when I come up with some of my most favorite recipes that I end up using  over and over again.

Day #2 Recipe: Easy Chicken Curry

Pantry Find: Lite Coconut Milk, Rice, Flour

Freezer Find: Chicken Legs, Peas

Fridge Find: ChickPeas (from Shabbat)

chicken curry

This recipe is a version of one that I have in my At-Home Gourmet Cookbook. I truthfully, since my divorce, have not made it for dinner, brought up too many memories. I recently curbed my obsession with curry, I am cooking more and more for my new cookbooks where the curry is at a minimal . But it was more than time to take back this recipe and reintroduce it into my dinner picks. So glad that I did, with every bite I savored the accomplishment of making the best with what I have. It was truly delicious.

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Easy Chicken Curry

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

2 lbs. chicken drumsticks (or sliced chicken thighs)

¼ cup of flour

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 onions, diced

1.5  tbsp. curry

1 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. Kosher salt

1 tsp. black pepper

1 tsp. dried cilantro

1 tsp. dried oregano

2 cups frozen peas

1 cup canned chickpeas

1.5 cups  lite coconut milk 

2 cups of Cooked Basmati or Jasmine Rice

Directions:

Pre-heat your cooking pot on med-high flame. Lightly coat your drumsticks in flour and gently place onto bottom of hot pot. Sear off your drumsticks on all sides for about 3-4 minutes total. Remove drumsticks from pot and set aside.

Use the same pot (without washing it) and sauté the diced onions in olive oil. Gently deglaze the bottom of pot using the flat end of a wooden spoon. Add the spices and mix them well with the onions and let cook for about 3-4 minutes. Add the peas; cook for 3 minutes and then add the chickpeas. Add the coconut milk, combine all ingredients well, cover pot and let cook for about 4 minutes more. Add the drumsticks you set aside, lower flame to medium and cook on stove top for an additional 30-40 minutes. At the end of this time, your Chicken curry liquid should be reduced by more than half; if not, uncover pot and let cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Serve hot over basmati rice.

FYI: FUN FOOD KNOWLEDGE:

Some studies have shown that ingredients in curry may help to prevent certain diseases, including colon cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. A number of studies have claimed that the reaction of pain receptors to the hotter ingredients in curries leads to the body’s release of endorphins, curry is claimed to be one of the most powerful aphrodisiacs.With the complex sensory reaction to the variety of spices and flavors, a natural high is achieved that causes subsequent cravings, often followed by a desire to move on to hotter curries. Some refer to this as addiction! – Well at least there is a scientific reason for my obsession with curry!!

For those of you who are looking for Passover recipes – Did you check out my new Passover Cookbook – 4 Bloggers Dish? It is a #1 Best Seller on Amazon for the last 2 weeks!! Only $3.99  - and you get over 50+ recipes from me and 3 of my favorite Kosher food blogger friends.