Today was my sanity day; I’m doing all of the things that have been bothering me, like putting away clothes and tidying my workspace. When I’m all done with that I will feel more positive and productive. The thing I miss most about my apartment (now that I live at home with Mom) is having my own kitchen. Mom went to New Jersey today to visit family so I pulled out all the stops tonight and cooked. I adore cooking and baking, but it’s usually the first thing I sacrifice if I’m busy with other things. Mom’s kitchen is also absurdly tiny, which makes it more stressful if two people are in it.
I recently got a Crock-Pot cookbook that revolves around soup. I’m too impatient and usually unprepared to let something cook for ten hours, so I used one of their recipes as a general guide. I did a little Christmas shopping and went to Wegmans afterward. I could spend all day (and all my wallet) in the grocery store; I have a real weakness for fresh produce, especially. Their tea section is pretty awesome too. I started buying the loose tea that you measure out yourself, which is the most awesome idea ever. [I have had five cups of tea today!]
And then I came home and made myself Curried Chicken & Coconut Soup!
I altered the original recipe a bit, since I’d never cooked with coconut milk before and wasn’t sure if it would be overwhelming. I think it came out perfect:
- 1 can coconut milk (unsweetened)
- 48 oz / 6 cups chicken stock
- 4 tablespoons curry powder
- 1-2 teaspoons wonton soup base powder
- 1½ lemongrass stalks, chopped
- 1 chunk ginger, finely grated (I love ginger, so my piece was pretty huge)
- 5 scallions, chopped
- 6-8 boneless chicken thighs, cut into little pieces (½ to ¾ inch)
- 1 lime, juiced
- fresh cilantro, chopped (can one ever have too much cilantro?)
Throw everything in a big pot! Get the liquids+curry up to a boil while you chop your lemongrass, scallions, and chicken. Do the plants first so that when you add the chicken it can start absorbing the flavors right away. Add the grated ginger and lime juice towards the end. When is the end? Boil, and keep checking your chicken. I suppose you could use chicken breast, and at least then you’d be able to tell when it’s done because it would be white meat. I kept worrying that mine was too pink and then finally remembered that it’s dark meat. It was probably at a boil for half an hour?
Add the chopped cilantro right before serving; if you add it too soon you’ll lose the flavor. They are fine leaves, treat them gently.
Lemongrass is pretty tough, but after all that boiling it will have a nice, slightly crunchy texture. If you don’t like that, try finding a lemongrass paste at the grocery store; it’s pureed, so it shouldn’t crunch. I found my wonton base at an Asian grocery, but you could add some chicken bouillon instead. Gives it just a little extra kick.
Also, resist the temptation to serve using your favorite white plastic ladle…. Curry stains.
When it was cooking I worried that it wouldn’t be hearty enough, but it was very satisfying. The lemongrass and scallions bulked it up just enough, and it really is a lot of chicken. And ohh the broth. The way the flavors blend is incredible! It defies words.
About an hour to make, and I’m not too sure how many servings there are. I’d guess 5 or 6 at least. Enough to keep you in heaven for a few days if you live alone!
-Reheat on the stovetop, or in the microwave. Add some fresh chopped cilantro to each bowl.