I met my babysitter Wendy almost 3 years ago. I was pregnant with my third child and after a bit of bad luck in the caregiver department, I was a little nervous about finding someone who would be confident, competent, responsible and kind with my brood. It's impossible for anyone to really *know* if a relationship is a good match ahead of time, so, like many parenting-related things, I took a chance and followed my gut.
Here's the bottom line: Wendy makes my family incredibly happy. She's phenomenal and generous with all three of my kids, pays attention to and respects who they are as people. I'm grateful that she's part of our life.
So what's this have to do with curry? Well, Wendy makes a Curried Duck that's out of this world. She brought some for me to try and I was immediately hooked. I shared some with my husband who wondered which restaurant it came from. Wendy can make Curried Duck with her eyes closed at this point, so when I finally asked for a recipe, she gave me a list of ingredients (without quantities) and let me in on her two secrets: remove the garlic from oil and burn the curry in advance to release the full flavor and avoid a sour stomach. I've been diligently testing recipes for my own version and am finally satisfied. Woo hoo! This is a one-pot meal that's hearty and full of flavor - Wendy loves it too!
Three cheers to Wendy: superstar caregiver and dinner muse!
Curried Chicken with Bulgur and Spinach
Curry mixture (recipe below)
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large clove of garlic, sliced
4 chicken thighs
1 cup bulgur wheat
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 1/2 cups water
3 oz spinach
1/4 cup coconut milk (optional)
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon dried coriander
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds (crush with hands)
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons dried shallot
1 teaspoon olive oil
Mix all curry ingredients into a paste and set aside in a small bowl. Heat the olive oil in a pot and add the garlic slivers. When they turn brown after a few minutes, remove the garlic.
Add the curry paste and leave in the pot until the paste gets dark and the fragrance fills your kitchen (about 4-5 minutes).
Add the chicken parts, skin side down and sauté in the curry mixture for 3-4 minutes, turning frequently until evenly coated.
Add the bulgur wheat, lemon juice and water and stir. Bring to a boil and simmer with cover until the bulgur is cooked, approximately 25 minutes. (The bulgur cooks more quickly than this, but the chicken needs the extra few minutes.)
Add the spinach and cook on low for an additional 7-10 minutes and combine into the chicken and bulgur.