Last week, I happened to catch an episode of Jacques Pepin’s Fast Food My Way. He was cooking with his daughter, Claudine, and I was immediately drawn in. I have loved watching his cooking shows with Claudine for many years, and now that she is a grown woman with children of her own, it seems some things never change. Jacques still leads her through his recipes, “No, a little more”, “Not so much”, “Well, OK, if you must garnish”. She’s still his little girl in his eyes, and it’s so nice to see how she still adores him. I do to. Have your ever seen the man wield a paring knife?
Anyway, as I was watching, I grabbed a notepad and began scribbling down the recipe for Jacques’ Lamb Curry. It was a “dump” recipe, as he called it, and looked easy and delicious. The problem is this–he used a pressure cooker and well, those things scare the bejezus out of me. And I own one. It’s in pristine condition because I’ve never used it since I got it over a year ago.
The thing is, I’m afraid of it. Pressure. Heat. Disaster awaits. I see lids blowing off, loss of an eye and possible decapitation. Heaven forbid any of my dogs go near the pressure-filled vessel. It could explode at any minute. Oh, I gave the instruction manual a good read. I fiddled with the buttons once I identified them. I practiced locking the lid. Unlocking the lid. My confidence was building, but I just couldn’t pull that trigger.
I pulled out my trusty Lodge dutch oven, and simmered this curry until the chicken was fork tender. The house smelled fantastic, and no bodily injury was incurred. Save a nicked knuckle from my knife, but that’s another story.
Again, this is Jaques’ recipe for Lamb Curry, but he mentioned that it can be made with chicken as well. And like Claudine, I listen to the man! Especially when I see bananas and tomatoes going into the same pot.
(I find that this serves more than 4 as noted in the recipe. I think it could serve 6, with rice)
- 1 banana, sliced
- 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, diced
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed and chopped
- 1 1/2 cups diced tomatoes
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3-4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 1/2 tablespoons curry
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2-3 bay leaves
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 apple, sliced but not peeled
- 1 can coconut milk (Jacques calls for 1 cup, but why waste the leftovers?)
- 2 tablespoons Wondra
Dump everything but Wondra in a heavy-bottomed pot. Yup, that’s it! Sprinkle Wondra on top and stir to incorporate. Bring to a simmer and cover. Allow to simmer for about an hour, maybe two. Adjust salt level to taste as it cooks, and let the house fill with the smell of curry.
Accompaniments for serving include: chutney, peanuts, cilantro, coconut.
Folks, this one is a winner, and so easy! File it away to make for company, or simply simmer this dish the next snow day we have!