Friday, March 14, 2014

Curried Cauliflower Chicken Pilaf

Curry powder, cardamom and cinnamon, with a kick of cayenne, make this fragrant rice dish a delicious and easy one-bowl meal for busy days when you are short on time.

Adapted from Patricia Well’s Vegetable Harvest.



My husband travels a lot on business so friends often ask me if I cook when he’s gone. Absolutely! Since I love to be in the kitchen creating, and I deserved to eat well, even alone, I do cook. I tend to make simple meals, like pan-fried salmon with salad or pasta and broccoli with crispy prawn chilli paste stirred through, which I adore. I buy the paste in Kuala Lumpur when I am there and have it stockpiled; enough to last me till the next visit. This is my favorite brand, but I am sure there must be others, perhaps even where you live.


The dish I'm sharing today fulfills so many of my needs. It’s full of flavor but easy. Served in just one bowl and nothing to cut so I can eat it with a spoon and read my book at the same time. And when it’s just me eating, it is great, dare I say even better, the next day as leftovers.

Ingredients
3 boneless chicken breasts (Approximate weight 4-6 oz or 115-170g each.)
Sea salt
Black pepper
Olive oil
8 ounces or about 225g cauliflower
12 whole cardamom seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 stick cinnamon
1 1/2 cups or 300g long grain rice
2 cups or 480ml chicken stock
Fresh cilantro or coriander leaves or parsley for garnish

Method
Slice your chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces and sprinkle lightly with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.


Cut your cauliflower up into florets.



Measure out your spices and have them ready in a small bowl. Seriously. Just do it.



Drizzle a little olive oil in a skillet and pan fry the chicken until it is browned and caramelized. Remove it from the pan and set aside.




In a large pot with a tight fitting lid, mix the rice with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Cook over a medium heat for just a few minutes and stir so that the rice is well coated with the oil.



Add in the chicken stock and bring to a boil. If your stock is homemade and unsalted, add in a teaspoon of salt. I had made mine from stock cubes, which are notoriously high in sodium already, so I didn’t add any extra salt.



Add in your measured spices and the cinnamon stick and give it a quick stir.



Add the cauliflower to the pot, along with the chicken. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to simmer.




Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes and then turn the fire off. Leave the pot covered for at least 10 more minutes or until you are ready to serve.

Discard the cinnamon and fluff the rice with a fork, mixing in the cauliflower and chicken.

Warn your family or guests to avoid chewing on a cardamom seed. (Or you can pick these out too, but I didn’t bother.)

Garnish with cilantro or parsley, if desired.



Enjoy!


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3 comments :

  1. The love you have for your family shines through, Stacy. Your grandparents (and your mom!) do seem to be truly remarkable spirits. I see where you might have inherited your own business and culinary acumen...Love, love, love that your grandparents enjoyed the soap operas...So much more interesting than the 6 o'clock news (my grand-dad's favorite.) Anyway, thank you for sharing this inspired dish - which is perfect for St. Patrick's Day and all the ladies juggling and multi-tasking =)

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  2. This is such an incredible dish! I love all the flavours in it and it is so hearty! Perfect for a cold day!!!

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  3. I love this dish and it's so perfect for St. Patty's day! It's just beautiful!

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