January invites slow-cooking and one-pot meals. After the fancy food and hoopla of the holidays, the first month of the new year welcomes comforting meals without any bling or pretension. This curry is a perfect example. Brimming with vegetables and infused with coconut, this rich and aromatic stew is healthy and bright. Its spice and heat is guaranteed to warm a crowd, while jump-starting any dormant taste buds suffering the winter doldrums.
This easy curry is also a one-pot wonder, simply prepared in 30 minutes, and tastes great with basmati rice. It’s perfect for a weeknight meal or no-fuss weekend dinner. Feel free to switch up the vegetables to your taste. Chicken thighs may also be used in place of the breast meat – just adjust the cooking time accordingly.
Coconut Chicken Vegetable Curry
Active time: 30 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Yield: makes 4 servings
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 lb. chicken breast, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 tsp. salt, plus more to taste
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 large carrots, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 poblano pepper, seeded and chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp. grated peeled ginger
2 tbsp. curry powder
1 (28-oz.) can Italian plum tomatoes with juice
1 (15-oz.) can coconut milk
6 to 8 leaves lacinato or curly green kale, tough stems removed, coarsely chopped
1 red jalapeno pepper, sliced
Chopped fresh cilantro
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a wide pot or deep skillet. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add to the pot in one layer without overcrowding. Cook until the chicken colors on all sides, turning as needed, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside on a plate.
Add 1 tablespoon oil to the same pot and then add the carrots and onion; saute until the carrots brightens in color and the vegetables begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the poblano and saute until crisp-tender, about 2 more minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the curry powder and cook, stirring, to coat the vegetables and lightly toast the spice. Pour in the tomatoes and coconut milk and season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Partially cover the pot and simmer over medium-low heat until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.
Return the chicken to the pot and stir in the kale. Continue to simmer until the chicken is thoroughly cooked through and the leaves are wilted, about 5 minutes.
Serve the curry in bowls with basmati rice. Garnish with the jalapeno slices and fresh cilantro.