If I ever write a cookbook it will be called Why the Heck Not? Culinary Adventures Without Leaving Home.
I am an improviser, both in cooking and baking. Sometimes the results are forgettable, but sometimes everything works. This curry worked. It was a matter of getting “rid” of odds and ends in the freezer and using up odds and ends in the fridge. Curry, like soup, is a good destination for those odds and ends. I will endeavor to contribute recipes to Traced Elements that call for ingredients that come from Pemberton – or can be grown in Pemberton. This curry is a winner: Pemberton Russet potatoes, Pemberton asparagus, parsley, and tomatoes, Pemberton-raised chicken and chicken broth.
The three ways part is this: the curry can be served over a bed of rice or quinoa. However, if it is simmered down, it can be a samosa filling (samosa dough recipe and samosa-assembling and baking method is courtesy of Shelley Adams’ awesome first cookbook Whitewater Cooks).
Then finally, because I love soup, this curry can become a warm and satisfying one. I do not own a microwave, so leftovers are much easier to heat, eat, and enjoy if you just add a cup or two (or more) of chicken broth to them.
Versatile Pemberton Chicken Curry with Asparagus and Tomato:
3 cups Pemberton-raised cooked and diced chicken breast or thigh meat*
2 cups sliced Pemberton-grown green gage plums (pits removed)*
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 tbs olive oil
2 cloves Pemberton-grown garlic
2 large Pemberton-grown russet potatoes, baked, cooled, peeled, and diced*
1 large Pemberton or Lillooet-grown beefsteak tomato, diced*
2-3 cups Pemberton-grown asparagus, cooked and diced*
1 cup minced parsley
2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
2 tsp curry powder
2 tsp cumin
1 can full-fat coconut milk
3 tbs gluten-free soy sauce
2 cups low/no sodium chicken broth*
*Indicates this ingredient came directly out of my freezer.
Use a large heavy-bottomed stainless steel soup pot or a cast iron stew pot. Add 2 tbs olive oil and warm up on medium-low heat. Add diced onion and minced garlic. Let it cook slowly on low-medium heat so the onion caramelises. Do not rush this part. When the onion and garlic mixture is golden brown, turn the heat to medium, and add your diced chicken, sliced green-gage plums, diced tomato, parsley, asparagus, and potato. Let it sauté around so the flavours mingle and cook. Then add your cumin, curry powder, salt, pepper, and soy sauce. Sauté a few minutes more. Finally, add your coconut milk and 2 cups chicken broth. Let it simmer 10 minutes.
**If you are making samosas, let the mixture simmer until there is not too much liquid as that will make the samosas too watery and will not stay formed. At the same time, you don’t want your curry mixture too dry either. Just remember your curry mixture will be encased in raw dough and baked so you don’t want the curry mixture to soak through.
If you are making curry you are almost done. Cook a pot of basmati rice or quinoa and pour your curry over it. You may want to garnish with a chutney and papadum! I would like to make my own chutney but for now it is Major Grey’s from the supermarket.
And if you are making soup, you will want to add 2 to 6 cups more chicken broth, depending on how thick you like your soup.
Samosas (Yields 12):
Samosa dough ingredients (adapted from Shelley Adams’ Whitewater Cooks – her first cookbook)
3 cups spelt flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp turmeric
¼ tsp paprika
2/3 cup cold butter cubed (for those of you who like to measure ingredients on a kitchen scale, that works out to be 152 grams)
2/3 cup cold water
1 egg, beaten
To make dough:
Place all dry ingredients in food processor and pulse to combine. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles sand granules. Then slowly add enough water until the dough comes together (you may not need all the water). Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour.
To assemble samosas:
Roll out dough on a piece of parchment paper until quite thin. You will need extra spelt flour to sprinkle so your dough doesn’t stick to your rolling pin. You don’t want thick dough or else your samosas will be too heavy and stodgy. Cut out portions of dough using the lid of a sour cream container (about 4 inches in diameter). Remove your circle and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Place a scant ¼ cup of your curry mixture in the centre of your dough circle and fold the circle in half, making a half-moon. Crimp your edges. Do this with the remainder of the dough and curry. Makes about a dozen. Then brush all your samosas with an egg wash using a pastry brush. You will likely have curry mixture left over, and you can freeze that for future meals, as long as your chicken was not previously frozen.
Bake your samosas in a 350F oven for 30 minutes. Serve with chutney.