Rockin’ Ronnie D’s Maple-Curry Chicken

I took a big step last week, guys.  This is forward momentum!  This is advancement and opportunity!  This is….debilitatingly stressful.  I announced our website on my Facebook status. 

OOoooh…!  Ahhhhhhh….!

I KNOW.

You know what I’m not good with?  Public judgement and denouncement.  I wouldn’t go as far as to say that I have a fragile ego but, well, I sorta have a fragile ego.  Opening myself up to curious strangers is one thing, but allowing my pet project to be seen by friends, peers and associates is completely another.  What if Choosy-Beggars is still my “It’s Complicated” but all of a sudden there’s a HEART up on my wall, there are NEWS FEEDS, and people start sending me messages because they want UPDATES on what the hell this is!!  I shudder at the thought.  However, the damage is done.  The chicken has flown it’s coop, and the eagle has landed. 

Because paralyzing hysteria fashions the greater part of Tina’s Melodramatic Day to Day Life, I’m going to force myself to move beyond my apprehensions and look at the brighter side of my declaration:

  • Now my friends can join the (couple of) strangers who peruse the site.  They can see what I’ve been up to and share their ideas.
  • Rationally, I know that it’s better for people to look at the site than to NOT look at the site.  Oh, if Oscar Wilde lived in the interweb era…..
  • My friend Ron checked out our blog and almost immediately sent me a delicious looking personal recipe for maple-curry chicken, an intriguing flavour combination.  I love new recipes.  I mean, I really, really love new recipes.

So, here goes.  This recipe entry is a tribute to opening ourselves up, mind, kitchen and soul, to a world which hopefully won’t pelt rotten tomatoes at us while we’re wearing white pants.  But….if your tomato-throwing arm starts to trigger, that’s okay too.  I have some dungarees in the car…..

And Ron, thank you for the support and the recipe.  It was delicious.

Rockin’ Ronnie D’s Maple-Curry Chicken

Preparation time:  35 minutes

Serves:  4 happy people

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large white onion
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 3 large mushrooms
  • 2 finely chopped carrots
  • 2 chicken breasts *
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons hot curry paste (crank in 4 teaspoons if you like heat!)

*  Rockin’ Ronnie D’s recipe called for 2 cups of cubed cooked chicken breast meat, but sadly I didn’t have that.  Okay, I lied.  I’m too much of a control freak to use cooked chicken and I wanted to do it myself.

Chop up your onion, mushroom, and carrots.

Heat the butter and oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  The words ‘large skillet’ should be taken to heart, as you will certainly be filling it. 

Into the sizzling fats go your onion, carrot and mushroom.  Keep this cooking until your onion is translucent.

At this point I added the chicken.  If you were using cooked chicken breast, you can add it later, whenever you feel a yen.

Sprinkle the mixture with your spoonful of sugar.  I’m feeling very virtuous for not making a Mary Poppins crack here, and I’m sure that you appreciate my constraint.  Cook this down for about 8 minutes, then stir in the maple syrup and continue cooking for about 5 more minutes until it looks caramelized.  While you’re waiting, seed and chop your peppers and mince the garlic.

And into the pan it goes!

Stir in the curry paste and try to incorporate it in with the rest.  If there are a few chunks that’s okay, it will all mix as the sauce reduces.  Pour in your can o’ coconut milk, and reduce the heat to low.  

Simmer this uncovered for about 15 minutes, or until the sauce reaches your desired thickness. If you have a slow burner, like me,  this might take a bit more time.  You should also know that at this point the mouth-watering aromas of curry and coconut milk are wafting out of your kitchen, so be prepared for people to come sniffing and shuffling in to see what’s going on.

You know how the old expression goes, right?  A watched skillet never reduces.  Ergo, I’ll speed up the process.  This is how it looks at the start…..

….after 10 minutes…..

….after 15 minutes……..

…and mine was still pretty loose so this is after 20 minutes…..

Is it saucy?  Check.  Does it smell delightful?  Check.  Okay, so you’re ready to serve this over rice or pasta.  I chose some fragrant basmati rice.

Mmmmmmmmm……The maple flavor really comes through but is not over powering.  The curry adds a bit of heat and a thump of flavour that you don’t want to miss out on, and the coconut milk makes it so deliciously silky and rich.   Oh, and don’t be fooled into thinking that I was conservative in my portion size here.  The rice was actually just a ring around my ‘well’ (okay, VAT) of maple-curry chicken as I tried to carefully disguise my gluttony.

One quick note:  the sauce combines well and all of the vegetables will be quite soft and pliant from spending their time on the heat as the sauce reduces.  If you’re a Crisper and the thought of soft peppers is a challenge that you don’t want to take, keep these out until the sauce (containing chicken, onion, garlic, mushrooms and carrots as well as the liquids et al) has reduced by about half, and toss them in for the final 5 – 7 minutes of cooking.

But really, doesn’t this look good?  Maple and curry – Canadian fusion cooking at it’s best.

THANKS AGAIN RON!!

Music to make watching sauce reduce just a bit more fun would be the old-school charm of Santeria by Sublime.

  • louise

    Hi,

    There is a teaspon of sugar to add after the chicken – I find the dish turns out too sweet – it might be because I have cut sugar from my diet………the maple sugar and coconut milk should make it sweet enough – …….I might even cut the quantity of maple syrup. Also I could not find the hot curry sauce and had ordinary curry sauce – maybe that’s why it was too sweet???

    Also – you are right about the veggies – next time, I will add them only at the very end to have them crisp…

    Thank you for your site – you are very articulate and your recipes look very enticing…….

  • http://www.choosy-beggars.com Tina

    Hi Louise,

    I’m so glad that you like our site, thank you!!! I am a huge believer that a recipe will only go so far, and you should cook according to what tastes good to *you*. The curry does end up sweet, and if that’s not your preference then by all means cut out the sugar. You’re right, the maple syrup is generally quite saccharine anyway.

    Did you use curry sauce or curry paste? Curry sauce is usually a heat and serve pre-made sauce that you add vegetables and/or meat to, whereas curry paste is like the flavour base for a curry sauce, before you add the other liquids and ingredients. If you don’t have curry sauce you can make your own by grinding/pureeing peppers and spices. I use a Thai flavoured one and you can make it with: 1/2 onion, 3-4 cloves garlic, 1″ lemongrass (or 1 tbsp lime zest if you can’t find lemongrass), 1/2 tsp cloves, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1 tsp black peppercorns, 1tbsp coriander seeds, 3 red chile peppers with seeds removed (get the super spicy ones like a Thai birds eye) 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp vinegar. It will be a thick paste but you can thin it down with some oil, and it keeps well in the fridge for a few weeks.

    (by the way, I’m just SO TOTALLY TICKLED that you made this recipe and commented on the site – thank you!!!)

  • louise

    Thank you for the Thai flavoured sauce…..
    I go on your site every day to see a new recipe – I’ve copied most of them – next in line is the Tomato, Bocconcini and Chickpea Salad – I have all the ingredients ready to go …
    Actually – I was curious about this site because I used to read http://www.miscellaneousetc.com/ – Mike is a very funny guy – which was linked wth the DHAK – (or still is?)
    I was happy to read a Canadian site – I am Quebecois – and now I am reading another Canadian site – which is this one-
    I will be commenting more often to be sure – I love to cook.
    And you are right – the first time one does a recipe it’s to try it – the second time it’s to tweak it to suit one’s needs.
    Chat soon, lou

  • sharon

    i am definitely trying this receipe… i will let you know how i liked it! i love the way you displayed the pics! this makes it easier for me! thanks …sharon

  • http://www.choosy-beggars.com Tina

    Sharon, thank you for stopping by our blog!! Please do let us know if you like the recipe, it’s always great to get feedback and hear the different things that people do to make it their own and tweak it to their tastes. I’ll pass on the news (good or bad) to Rockin’ Ron as well. I love recipe sharing!