Apparently I am now the go-to girl for new recipes. I have found my purpose in life!
No, really. My good friend Elle binged me on Sunday, wondering what the heck she was going to do with the garam masala she picked up at World Market. Of course, that sent me into a mini-depression; the nearest World Market is in Maryland! I love that place. You can get all sorts of interesting and unique things, and their international food section is pretty comprehensive in comparison to your local grocery store.
Of course, I had the answer to Elle’s question — why, make Spiced Chicken Thighs! For those of you too lazy to click on the link, here is the recipe:
- 3/4 teaspoon olive oil
- Cooking spray
- 1 cup vertically sliced onion
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
- 8 chicken thighs (about 2 1/4 pounds), skinned
- 1/4 cup dry red wine
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Heat oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 3 minutes. Remove from pan.
Combine garam masala, salt, and curry powder; sprinkle evenly over chicken. Add chicken to pan; cook over medium-high heat 4 minutes on each side or until browned. Add wine and vinegar; cook 30 seconds, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add onion and broth; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until chicken is done; stir in parsley.
I make a few changes to the recipe. For one thing, I don’t use cooking spray. I use about a teaspooon of olive oil instead with a tiny bit of salt to saute the onions. I tend to leave out the fresh parsley, mainly because they don’t sell flat-leaf parsley at the commissary. Also, I thicken the sauce with a mixture of 1 Tablespoon cornstarch to 2 Tablespoons cold water added to the sauce and boiled for a minute. Usually I serve it with couscous, and I may even get jiggy with it and add peas to the couscous as it’s steaming. The sauce is especially good when you have something to sop it up with, but tonight I was a wee bit pressed for time, so no couscous.
Tonight instead I served it with a side of sliced peaches, since this recipe reminds me of Moroccan flavors which taste especially good with fruits like apricots. And it was easier to crack open a can of sliced peaches at the very last second versus steaming up some couscous.
You know, I am realizing that I have a very international palate. I never really thought about it; it’s just what we were raised with. My mom isn’t the greatest of cooks, though she really tries hard, but she thought nothing of making a Chinese stir-fry one night and some tabbouli as a side for lunch the next day. There was no question of us eating whatever she made. We either ate the dinner she prepared, or we would sit in front of it till we did eat it. We weren’t even allowed to pick the veggies off the rare pizzas my dad would have delivered; we had to eat the entire pizza slice. To this day, a good supreme pizza is my favorite kind.
I guess my international palate is most evident in my collection of spices. And let me tell you, this isn’t even half of it. I’d guess it’s more like a fifth of everything I own, spice-wise. I have another spice shelf that hangs on the wall next to these shelves, a spice carousel out on my counter, plus my corner cupboard with the lazy Susan is stuffed full of even more spices.
I’m not quite sure why I bought the filé, though I am sure Elle will be very proud. The dry Colman’s mustard was a necessary purchase when I wanted to make my chicken & sausage recipe for my friend who has a wheat allergy. Can you believe that prepared Colman’s mustard has wheat flour? Of course, the garam masala is used in recipes like the Spiced Chicken Thighs. Next to the garam masala and hidden behind the Colman’s is my enormous jar of cumin. We seem to make a lot of Mexican food, where cumin is used quite commonly. To the left of the filé is my giant jar of chile powder. It’s necessary for Karyl’s Famous Chili, which calls for a full quarter-cup of chile powder. It makes it very spicy, but oh so yummy.
Above these spices are some of the more international ones. The jar with all the Japanese all over it is rice seasoning. That particular jar is mostly chopped seaweed with a few other flavors thrown in, whereas the jar that’s tottering on top of the wine corks is rice seasoning that is kimchi-flavored. Throw a wee bit of tamari (stronger version of soy sauce) onto your sticky rice and shake some kimchi-flavored rice seasoning on top, and you have a very delicious side dish. To the left of the jar of wine corks is my Korean red pepper powder. I haven’t used it in a recipe quite yet, but Kurt will occasionally add some to his dishes. I plan on using it for Salty Spicy Chicken that is Kurt’s favorite dish at the Korean restaurant, if I can even find a recipe for it. The little wee bottle at the far right is the sansho powder my friend Craige sent me from New York City (NEW YORK CITY?!?!), where Asian markets seem to abound. She bought it so I could make my own mabo tofu, but for some reason I haven’t gotten off my tushie to make it.
Note to self: MAKE MABO TOFU.
If any of this sounds good to you, I’ll be glad to make you dinner! It may not be the fanciest of cuisines, but it sure is delicious.