Friday, June 20, 2014

One Pot Chicken Curry Rice Pilaf

A clogged kitchen sink was waiting for us when we got back to the Netherlands exactly a month ago. I had to painfully endure two long weeks of doing the dishes in the smaller bathroom sink. The hubby had put off calling the plumber for as long as possible until it became clear to him that he was never going to get that drain fixed by himself. Who knew house calls to a plumber would cost so much?! After one hour of clearing and vacuuming the most vile thing ever from the drain lines, I was more than grateful to have our kitchen sink back. But I will never be able to erase the memory of that funky smelling black goop fermenting inside the drain pipes. I also learned that plumbers don't clean up the mess they leave behind. I've had the best day scrubbing the goop-stained kitchen cabinets under the sink and the floor with bleach. We've been using a double drain-net strainer in the kitchen sink after that incident.

Put me in a kitchen and I'd gladly cook up something for you. Cooking is what I love to do. Cleaning up afterwards, not so much.  Let's face it. NO ONE likes to clean up unless you're a clean freak OCD.  Doing the dishes might be slightly tolerable on days when I'm not feeling lazy. But there's nothing I hate more than cleaning a dirty kitchen sink and a drain-net strainer with all the food scraps stuck to it. It's enough to make your skin crawl after washing a towering pile of dirty plates, bowls and pans. 

That's what I love about ONE POT MEALS.  

ONE pot. ONE pan. 

It's all you need. Toss everything together into one pan and 20 minutes later, you've got a NO-FUSS, LESS-MESS, delicious meal waiting for you. And LESS dishes to wash. It can't get any better than that.

serves 2-3

1 large chicken breast fillet, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 cups rice, uncooked
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 yellow bell pepper, chopped 
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup raisins 
3 cups vegetable broth (or 1.5 bouillon cube dissolved in 3 cups water)
2 handfuls spinach

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan over medium heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Cook and brown the chicken for 5-6 minutes. Remove and set aside.

Saute the garlic and onions. Cook until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the curry powder, garam masala and turmeric. Stir for one minute

Add the bell peppers and tomatoes. Cook for another minute. Add the rice, chicken and raisins. Pour in the chicken broth. Stir everything together. Bring it to a boil and then lower the heat. Cover the rice and cook on very low heat until the liquid has evaporated and the top of the rice mixture looks dry. 

Then turn off the heat and set aside covered for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, ruffle the rice gently with a fork and fold in the spinach. Put it back on low heat for 5 minutes until the spinach has wilted and serve.

NOTE: Best to use a non-stick or ceramic coated pan for this dish.