chicken stew with potatoes, carrots, onions, and Chinese herbs

IMG_0733I love the taste of Chinese celery (Thai: kunchai) and cilantro (Thai: pakchee), all mixed up with scallion and garlic. The sharp clean taste of the Chinese celery and cilantro mixed with the sharpness of the scallion and garlic are irresistible combinations in this stew.

I like boneless chicken breast without skin, but Andy prefers the meatier parts of the chicken with the skin on and the bone in. So I combined the two and adjusted the cooking times accordingly since chicken meat with the bone in takes longer to cook. The chicken tenderloins must never be overcooked, so they must be browned separately and added to the stew almost at the last minute!

Chicken Stew with Potatoes, Carrots, Onions, and Chinese Herbs

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
Servings: 4

8 chicken wingsticks
8 chicken tenderloins
Soy sauce to taste
Nam pla (fish sauce) to taste
Dried chopped garlic or shallots
1/4 cup chopped Chinese celery (stalks only, reserve the leaves for use as garnish, if desired)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup chopped scallion
4 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced
4 small to medium potatoes, peeled, halved, quartered
1 medium carrot, sliced into medallions then halved
5 baby onions, peeled and quartered
1/3 cup red wine
1/3 cup water
1 chicken boullion cube
salt and pepper to taste
2 teaspoons coconut cooking oil

Marinate the chicken overnight or longer in the refrigerator, using soy sauce, nampla, black pepper, and dried garlic or shallots.

Heat two teaspoons oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Fry the wing sticks until brown. Remove from the pan and set aside. To the oil remaining in the pan, brown the chicken tenderloins. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the potatoes, carrots, and onions and toss to coat. Add the chopped herbs: Chinese celery, cilantro, scallion, and garlic. Toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper.

Into a medium pot, scrape the vegetables. Add the chicken wingsticks. Salt and pepper to taste. Add wine, water, and boullion cube. Bring to a simmer. Continue to simmer 45 minutes. Add the reserved chicken tenderloins to the pot and allow to heat through, about 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve over a bed of hot brown-and-red rice.

curry-flavor shrimp with sesame rice

Curried Shrimp wth Sesame Rice

It’s been so cold that I decided to cook something hearty but quick and easy. I found this recipe for Sesame Rice Salad in the South Beach Diet cookbook, the blue cover. Since then, I’ve adapted it in some form or another depending on the vegetables I have on hand. One thing I won’t swap is the asparagus. It must have asparagus! Bright green, cooked asparagus is such a pretty contrast in this dish. Though the rice and shrimp are spicy, the crisp-tender asparagus cools the mouth.

Curry-Flavor Shrimp with Sesame Rice

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes

20 medium shrimp, shelled and deveined, washed and patted dry with paper towels
2 teaspoons curry powder (I recommend Montego, the Jamaican curry powder)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
3 cups cooked brown rice, room temperature
8 stalks asparagus, cut in thirds
1/2 cup frozen edamame
1/2 cup frozen sweet peas
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
cooking spray
2 scallions sliced thin on the diagonal
2 tablespoons cilantro, minced fine
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
Red pepper flakes, to taste, optional
salt and pepper

Season the shrimp with curry powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Set aside.

Boil a saucepan of water, lightly salted. Add the asparagus and cook until bright green. Remove from the heat at once, drain, and rinse in cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain and set aside.

Spray cooking spray in a large skillet. Heat the skillet until a drop of water sizzles on the surface. Add the shrimp and cook on one side until no longer pink, 1 minute. Turn and cook on the other side, 1 minute.

Add the frozen edamame and peas to the hot skillet and cook until they are heated through, scraping up the browned bits or fond on the bottom. Add the rice and the cooked asparagus. Toss to combine. In a small bowl, mix the canola oil, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Whisk until the mixture emulsifies. Pour over the rice and toss lightly. Add the scallions, cilantro and sesame seeds. Toss lightly. Add red pepper flakes, if desired. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve warm or at room temperature.