Coconut Chicken Curry + Homemade Garlic Naan

This post should really be titled "Collegiate Coconut Curry". When my best friend Lindsey and I lived together in college, this curry made an appearance at least once a week. I was the cook and Linds was on kitchen duty. And if we didn't do the dishes? Who cared, because we were "grown-ups" and we could do what we wanted ;). I remember the first day we moved into our apartment sophomore year I felt like we were so grown-up. We popped open Barefoot's finest moscato and kicked our heels up on our hand-me-down couch and were livin' the dream. 

I first started cooking when Linds and I lived together. We had a rotating menu of chicken caesar bowtie pasta, taco soup, my nana's chicken & rice recipe, and this curry. Our meals might not have been fancy, but we weren't your average college kids eating ramen every night that's for sure! Don't get me wrong, we devoured our fair share of $2 pizza slices and drunken Taco Bell, but other than the occasional blunder I feel like we fed ourselves pretty well! 

Sitting on the couch having girl talk, watching Law & Order marathons, drinking wine and eating curry with Linds were some of my favorite nights. We were real party animals as you can tell ;) No, we definitely had our fun, but what I reminiscence most about from college is hanging out in our very first apartment and figuring life out together. Now Lindsey is moving to Hawaii with her husband and starting her career as a PA there and I couldn't be more happy for her. If she whips up this curry and homemade naan for her new Hawaiian neighbors they are going to love her.

I love making curry now with Thomas. Sorry Linds, you've been replaced ;) It's the perfect meal if you want a fun and cozy dinner at home. This was my first time making naan and it was fairly simple and the perfect vehicle to sop up all of the delicious sauce! This curry is a little on the sweeter side, has a spicy kick, and is the quintessential comfort food. 

Coconut Curry and Garlic Naan (3 of 1).jpg

Coconut Chicken Curry 

Ingredients
-2 tablespoons oil
- 2 1/2 tablespoons of curry powder
- 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne powder
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 chicken breasts, cut into bite size cubes
- 1 can of tomato sauce (14 oz)
- 1 can diced tomatoes (14 oz) - I use fire roasted with green chilies!
-
1 can coconut milk or coconut cream (I use the coconut cream from Trader Joe's!)
- 1/2 tablespoon of sugar
- salt & pepper to taste
- chopped fresh cilantro
- basmati rice for serving

What to do
1) Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add your curry powder and cayenne pepper and stir until fragrant. 
2) Saute sliced onions in the curry mixture until they start to soften, then add in the minced garlic cloves and cook another minute. 
3) Add the cubed chicken pieces to the onion mixture and season with salt & pepper. If the pan needs a little more oil add it now. If you feel like the chicken needs to be coated a little more, don't be shy! Add a few more dashes of curry powder or garam masala to your liking. Cook chicken until the pieces start to brown and the juices are running clear.
4) Add in your tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, coconut cream, and sugar. Season the sauce with about a teaspoon of salt and a few cranks of black pepper. 
5) Let the sauce simmer for at least 30 minutes. Make any adjustments you need with seasonings and then serve with basmati rice, fresh cilantro, and naan bread on the side. 

 

Garlic Naan Bread 

Recipe from what to cook today

Ingredients
- 2 tsp instant yeast
- 1 cup lukewarm water
- 1/2 Tbsp sugar
- 3 1/3 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp of baking powder
- 2 1/2 Tbsp of cooking oil I used avocado oil- it's neutral tasting
- 4 cloves garlic grated
- 1/2 cup of plain Greek yogurt

Serve with:
- 2 cloves of garlic minced + melted butter
-Fresh cilantro leaves

What to do
1) Place the instant yeast, lukewarm water and sugar in a bowl. Let it sits until foamy, around 10 minutes.
2) In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder. Add in the yeast, cooking oil, garlic, and yogurt

If using stand mixer:
1)Attach the dough hook and let it knead on speed 2 (on kitchen aid) for about 5 minutes or so. Until the dough is no longer sticky to the bowl and come together into a nice silky mass. It may be just a tiny bit sticky to the touch, but I know when this is the case, my bread always comes out soft

If kneading by hand:
1)Work through the sticky stage and knead until the dough is no longer sticky about 10-15 minutes. It will come together as smooth

After kneading:
1) Place the dough in a lightly oiled dough. Cover with a plastic wrap and place in a warm place (not hot or you might kill the yeast) and let it rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour or less

Shaping:
1) Lightly dust your working surface and your hands with flour. Place the dough on it and punch it down and roll it into a long log and divide into 8 to 10 equal pieces of dough. Keep them covered and work with one dough at a time. Roll the dough out into about 6-inch circle, it may not be perfect circle (as you can see in the photo). Don't roll the dough too thin though. We still want a soft thick naan, not a crispy naan. I would say about 1/4-inch in thickness

Cooking on stove-top:
1) Preheat your large skillet (iron-cast is best if you have one). Brush the skillet with some melted butter. Place the naan on the skillet and let it cook until the naan start to puff up and you see some char spots (my favorite parts) about 1-2 minutes. Brush with some butter and flip to the other sides and cook for another 1 minute or less. Remove from the heat and brush with more butter and garlic if you want. Continue with the rest of the dough and stack them up as you cook them. Serve warm with some fresh cilantro leaves or other dishes

Storing and reheating:
1) I wrap them up well individually with plastic wrap and freeze them if I'm not going to eat them the next day or so. When I want them, I just thaw them in the refrigerator and then sprinkle with some water and cover with aluminum foil and reheat in the oven at 425 F for 10 to 15 minutes until warm OR you can just throw them on the grill. They heat up nicely too. We get rid of our microwave a while ago, but I believe you can reheat it in microwave too after thawing. Just be sure not to use aluminum foil in there though