Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Chicken Curry Stuffed Peppers

On Valentines Day - I was a bit of a deadbeat. I had planned this decadent several course meal but decided not to shop for it until, 6PM on actual Valentines Day. I know, I know.

In any case though the store understandably was well picked over, I was able to get everything I needed for my menu, more or less. The cinnamon-orange creme brulee recipe I used called out for "Evaporated skim milk". Something I had never used and as I found the correct aisle, I was chagrined to find the only size left was the jumbo box, which contained like 100 servings and was a shame since I only needed like a quarter of 1 serving for my creme brulee. But I was determined to make my dessert so I bought the ginourmous box of evaporated skim milk and figured, I'll find use for it some how.

Well the brulee came out AWESOME so I was glad I stuck to my guns, and it turns out I am finding some use for the evaproated skim milk. It turns out that it's a fantastic way to make any sauce you have creamy, without adding any fat and only minimal calories. Just spoon a few tablespoons in, stir, and whatever sauce you are creating takes on this delicate creamy texture as though you added a few tablespoons of heavy cream. Needless to say, it rules.

And it came in handy the other night when 1) I was indisposed to go food shopping and 3) Pretty much all we had in the house was frozen chicken breasts, brown rice, and an assortment of pretty peppers that had caught my eye at Russo's last week.

Rather than destroy the peppers by cutting them up for a stirfry - I thought it would be fun to do a stuffed pepper - using shredded chicken like you would use in an enchilada. I think this would be a great recipe to use "leftover" chicken in. So next time you are cooking chicken, you could throw an extra two breasts on the grill or in the oven, and that would save you some time making this dish. Or you could do what I do and simmer frozen breasts in a little chicken broth until done and then shred.

The excellent trick I learned last week, from my good friend Meg, is to parboil the peppers before you stuff them. It makes a WORLD of difference. The peppers come out so firm enough to stand up when stuffed but so easy to cut into and eat. Thanks for the tip Meg!

Curry Chicken Stuffed Peppers

(serves 4)

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded with two forks or cut into tiny pieces
4 med-large peppers, various colors

3 cups cooked brown rice
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup evaporated skim milk
Curry powder
1 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper
1/4 cup Raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Cut the tops off your peppers and clean out all the seeds. When the water is boiling, gently lower each pepper in, submerge and boil for five minutes. Remove and drain.

In a large pan over medium heat saute the onions in a little olive oil for about five minutes, until soft. Add garlic and saute another minute or so. Turn off heat.

Add rice and chicken to the pan, stir thoroughly.

In a small bowl combine chicken broth, the evaporated milk and as much curry powder as you like. I love curry so I put in about four tablespoons but if you don't like as strong a curry flavor just use two. Mix until well combined and pour over chicken and rice mixture, mix thouroughly. Stir in raisins if using (I LOVE the flavor of raisins or any dried fruit really with curry). Salt and pepper to taste.

Stand each pepper upright in am 8X8 baking pan. Stuff with equal amounts of the chicken mixture and cover pan in foil. Bake for 20 minutes.

Curry Chicken Stuffed Peppers


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