Let’s face it — we’re in full-on holiday mode. That probably means you’re nibbling on sugar cookies, attending parties with big buffet tables, and making edible presents for teachers (plus sampling some of that toffee or penuche after you’ve finished wrapping most of it).
These days, more than any other time, I want some substantive for dinner that doesn’t involve sugar, a lot of starches or heavy sauces. This chicken curry with carrots and parsnips is only mildly spiced, so if you’re looking for a deeply spiced Indian dish, this isn’t it. Instead, it mingles curry powder, coconut milk, ginger, and galangal to create something wonderfully there and yet light at the same time.
Tomorrow you’ll be munching more cookies. Might as well make something good for dinner tonight.
CHICKEN CURRY WITH CARROTS AND PARSNIPS
1 can coconut milk
1 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon green curry paste
1 kaffir lime leaf (optional)
1 smal nub ginger, peeled
1 small nub galangal (optional)
4 chicken thighs, skin on
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
1 medium parsnip, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon curry powder
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
10 green beans, topped and tailed
1 cup green cabbage, chopped fine
1/2 large lemon, juiced
Preparing to cook. Heat the oven to 375°.
Making the sauce. Set a large pot over medium-high heat. Pour in the coconut milk and chicken stock and stir. Add the green curry paste, lime leaf, ginger, and galangal to the pot and stir. Bring the liquids to a boil then turn down the heat to low and let the sauce simmer, stirring occasionally.
Preparing the chicken and vegetables. Put the chicken thighs into a casserole pan. Lay down the chopped carrots and parsnips as well. Sprinkle them all with the curry powder.
Cooking the curry. Pour the coconut milk sauce over the chicken and vegetables. Cover the casserole pan with tin foil and put it in the oven. Cook until the chicken thighs reach an internal temperature of 180°, about 60 to 90 minutes.
Finishing the sauce. Remove the chicken and vegetables from the casserole pan. Pour the remaining sauce into the original large pot. Turn the heat on medium. Simmer the sauce until the volume is reduced by 1/2, about 15 minutes. Add the cilantro, green beans, and cabbage to the sauce. Squeeze in the lemon juice and stir. Turn off the heat.
Serve. Give everyone a chicken thigh, some of the carrots and parsnips, and pour sauce over the top.
Make ahead. You can easily make the sauce ahead of time, keep it in the refrigerator, and pour it over the chicken when you are ready to bake.
How do you get the kids involved? Our daughter loves to top and tail green beans. Older children can chop all the vegetables and stir the sauce.
Does this freeze? It does! You can make the dish, eat some, and freeze the leftovers. It should be good for 6 months.
You can find more of Shauna and Danny’s recipes, essays, photographs and words of comfort about living gluten-free at Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef. Shauna shares food ideas and answers questions on Twitter. She also pins photographs and recipes on Pinterest and Foodily. There’s a great community at the Facebook fan page for Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef.