As I set out for the grocery store Monday night, the original plan was to make mango chicken curry. I’d been looking forward to it all weekend, and had purchased everything necessary at Trader Joe’s except for one star ingredient they don’t carry: mangoes. I slung my purse over my shoulder and made the five minute walk to our nearest grocery store only to find that they, too, didn’t seem to have mangoes anywhere.
Well, OK fine. They did have some mangoes, but they were the pre-sliced kind in a large plastic container and being sold for the bargain price of $12.99. I’m not kidding.
As a side note, this is what happens when you live a block and a half away from the beach. On the one hand, there’s not a lot to complain about because you live a block and a half from the beach! On the other hand, the parking situation always starts to get troublesome right around the time you want to start making dinner, which means you don’t want to move your car to go to the store and are then forced to walk to the nearest grocery store, which is often overpriced and carries a limited selection of items you need, while hosting an abundant display of all non-necessities, like designer cheeses and high-end wine.
Experience had taught me this might happen with the mangoes, so I came prepared to enact a backup plan. Rather than getting frustrated, as I certainly have before at this store, I used it as an opportunity to get creative and switch up the fruit. I peered around the produce aisle searching for anything sweet that might play well with curry. Green apples seemed an obvious choice, as my mom had made a previous dish with chicken, apples, rice and curry. It had been excellent.
Right as I was about to settle on apples, serendipity stepped in and highlighted the pineapple display. They were on sale for $1.99 a piece, and the thought of pineapple chicken curry sounded nothing short of magical. Which it was. So I’m sharing it with you here.
Feel free to use whatever fruit you fancy.
As yet another side note, my book project is coming along slowly but surely and you can read all about it and check out the fun we’ve been having at ShotTheBook.com.
Lastly, do I have any House of Cards fans out there? Anybody else binge watching Season 4 like crazy since it released last week on Netflix?! After a rather ho-hum season 3, the writers are really bringing their A’ game and I can’t wait to see what happens. My humble prediction? The journalists will save the day :).
Pineapple Chicken Curry
(adapted from Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist)
1/4 cup flour
2 Tbsp. Yellow curry powder
1/4 tsp. Cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 lbs. Chicken tenders, or boneless/skinless chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces
2-4 Tbsp. Olive oil
4 garlic cloves
1 red onion, chopped
1 tbsp. Fresh grated ginger
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup raisins
3 Roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 pineapple, cored and sliced into small pieces
Juice of 1 lime
3 Tbsp. Fresh chopped cilantro
3 Tbsp. Fresh chopped basil
Mix the flour, curry powder, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper in a large bowl until combined. Add the chicken pieces and toss until evenly coated. You may end up with a bit of the flour mixture leftover, and that’s OK. Just hang on to it because you can add it to the sauce later.
Heat 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil in a large frying pan and cook chicken on medium-high heat until browned, about 5 minutes on each side. Set the chicken aside on a plate.
Add an additional 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil to the same pan (don’t wash it) and cook the garlic, onion, ginger, and red pepper until the onion is golden in color, about 4 minutes.
Add chicken back to the pan and then add the chicken broth, bringing to a high simmer. Let it continue to simmer until the chicken is fully cooked and the broth has reduced by at least 1/4 and thickened a bit. (If you had a little of the flour/curry mixture left over after coating the chicken, as I did, now would be a good time to stir it in to help thicken the sauce.)
Once the sauce has reduced, add the raisins, tomatoes, and pineapple and heat for 2 more minutes.
Take the pan off the heat and add the lime juice, cilantro, and basil. Stir it all together and serve over brown rice.