Monday, February 19, 2007

Chicken Curry and Naan

Monday, February 19, 2007
It's President's Day today--a holiday for government workers. Usually I end up working on these kinds of holidays, but I decided that I would actually take the day off. I also decided that I'd quit feeling sorry for myself for not having a kitchen, and I would just cook using a few of the electric appliances that I have. It suddenly occurred to me that I could make naan on my electric griddle, and then I could make a curry in my crock pot. I checked the index in Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook (thanks to nlberry for the cookbook recommendation), and, sure enough, a recipe for crock-pot curried chicken. And what could be more appropriate for President's Day than an Indian feast? Huh? I guess I got a little carried away there.
It was an especially difficult day to cook in the basement because our cabinets were delivered from the cabinet makers today, so the kitchen is filled with cabinets, and there is just a narrow path going through the room. In fact, there are so many cabinets that I don't know if we'll ever see the floor again. But that will be a different posting.
The naan would be pretty easy to make under normal circumstances. The circumstances I'm in are: I couldn't find the measuring spoons, I couldn't find the mixing bowls, there was no counter space available for kneading, I didn't remember what I'd done with the yeast, I couldn't find the baking powder. And while I was looking for the baking powder, the yeast, which was supposed to be bubbling gently in the warm milk, went insane and foamed all over the table. Still, it all turned out fine.
After I found the rolling pin, I rolled out the naan dough into 12 circles, and put them on the griddle, two at a time. After a few minutes, they start bubbling.

When the naan has bubbled for a few minutes, you flip it over. It should have nice brown speckles.

Somehow I didn't think that twelve naan would be so many, but it made a huge stack of naan--more than two people could possibly eat. More than four people could eat. It would be about enough for twelve people.

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts and thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 T. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 jalapeno chile, seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 T. ground coriander
1 t. turmeric
1 T. fresh ginger, grated
1 t. paprika
1 t. red pepper flakes
1/2 t. mustard seeds
One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 head cauliflower, broken into small pieces
2 cups fresh baby spinach
6 ounces plain yogurt, whole or low-fat
Salt to taste

1. Turn cooker on high, and cook onions for about five minutes. Add garlic and jalapeno; cook a few minutes more. Add the next seven ingredients, and stir for a few more minutes.
2. Add the tomatoes and lemon juice. Mix all.
3. Add the chicken pieces and the cauliflower. Cover and cook on high for one hour.
4. Turn the heat to low and cook for another four to four and 1/2 hours.
5. Add the spinach and yogurt. Stir, and cook for another half hour.
---Adapted from Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook, Beth Hensperger and Julie Kaufmann


1 cup whole milk
2 t. sugar
2 packages active dry yeast
4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 t. salt
1 tl. baking powder
2 T. olive oil
6 ounces plain yogurt, low-fat or whole milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Melted butter for brushing

1. Scald milk and bring to room temperature. Stir in sugar and yeast. Let milk stand until milk is a little frothy.
2. Mix flour, salt, baking powder, oil, yogurt, and egg in large mixing bowl until blended. Gradually add milk mixture. Knead for about seven or eight minutes, until dough in smooth. Put dough in oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap until doubled in size. This takes only about an hour.
3. Punch down the dough and divide into twelve equal pieces. Keep the dough covered with plastic wrap while you're working with the other pieces. On a lightly floured counter, roll the dough into circles about 7 to 8 inches in diameter. Don't worry if the circles aren't perfect.
4. Preheat electric griddle to 350 degrees. Depending on the size of the griddle, cook two or three naan at one time. After a few minutes, the naan should start bubbling and the other side should be brown in spots. Turn it over and cook for another two to three minutes.
5. Remove from heat and brush with melted butter. Keep the naan warm by covering with a cotton towel or aluminum foil until they're all done. Serve warm.


Chubbypanda said...

Wow, your naan looks awesome. I can't seem to get mine to come out properly. I'm not sure if it's because I'm using my oven with a baking stone instead of a griddle.

Anonymous said...

Yum, I have not tried naan but I did try pita bread for the first time last week and it was so easy!! I was shocked!

Also, I think I saw you today at a local cafe...I realize part of the fun of blogging is a bit of anonymity, so I don't mean to sound weird, but it seemed more weird not to mention is funny actually, I was sitting with a friend and I started to look around doing a little people-watching...I saw you and thought, hmm...she looks familiar, oh well, back to conversation...then when you all got up to leave, I saw the other woman with you, she has also been in pics and after you left it dawned on me, hey that is the breadbasketcase!! How funny!

Anyway, enjoy the rest of the naan!


jini said...

i read the taste article and then checked out your blog over the weekend. i read it from stem to stern and chuckled to myself. i began blogging a year ago as we began a kitchen remodel on february 21st, and we survived it all - cooking at the basement bar, doing dishes in the laundry sink. the completed kitchen is a wonder, and now i contemplate buying tbb and beginning the year's baking project. there may be parallels here!
i was sorry to hear of your early kitchen appliance delivery. we visited w-s and then decided to use another source which delivered appliances as we needed them even tho there were project delays.
you write so well, and obviously bake equally well, your blog is a treat!

Melinda said...

Food! That looks good. You'll have to nickname the Nan recipe, 'Apostle Nan'... serves twelve.
I'll let you call me Mrs. Prickworth because I probably deserve it for teasing you!

breadbasketcase said...

Chubby Panda,
That's funny--I would have used my oven with the baking stone if I'd had it, but the griddle worked perfectly. It must be true about necessity and invention (although I guess I didn't invent the griddle).

Now that's really funny! That was me--and Jim and our daughter Sarah. Jim was aggrieved that you didn't recognize him.
Isn't the homemade pita delicious? The naan is similar, but the textures are different, and naan doesn't make a pocket.

How great to hear that you survived the dreaded kitchen remodel and love your new kitchen. That's the story I need to hear right now. I encourage you to get TBB--you'll be very impressed with yourself if you make all the breads.

You encouraged me to start cooking again--it felt great to turn out some food, even if it was from the dingy basement kitchen. You knew when you told me the Mrs. Prickworth story you hadn't heard the end of it!

Anonymous said...

Sorry Jim, even after all of that coffee I was still rather slow. It is probably a blessing in disguise though, if I would have recognized you all, instead of minding my manners and saying, "hello Marie and Jim", it would have gone something like this, "ohmygosh, it's breadbasketcase and her husband...iloveyourblog!!!" My friend would have been hiding under the table :)
Enjoy your weekend, you are a few more days closer to opening those new appliance packages!


pinknest said...

naan is by far one of my favorite breads. all indian breads! roti, poori, chapati, onion kulcha. aaaaaag. want some now.