Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Sweet Indian Chicken with Rice and Spinach Salad

The last meal of Week 1 turned into being the first meal of our second week.  This recipe again uses 'real' foods and required lots of chopping instead of simply opening a bag and dumping contents into a skillet.  By now I've gotten pretty good at chopping since the kids and knives... well, I'm not so comfortable with just yet.

Ryan has gotten to know where a lot of the ingredients are and what they look like.  I asked him to grab the rice and he said, "Which one?  There's 4 kinds!"  This dish calls for basmati rice, a kind I'm sure I've had before but I don't remember it.  When shopping I thought: "Eh, basmati looks similar to the regular stuff.  How much different could it be? I'll just get the regular stuff."  I'm so glad I didn't substitute.

My favorite part of cooking this meal was when we put in the curry paste.  Ryan had been tasting each ingredient but after several meals, he'd already tasted most of them.  He hadn't tasted curry paste though.  He was willing until he saw it.  "That looks like poo!  Baby poo!"  My response: "So you'd try it if it looked like regular poo?"  Sorry, had to be included. ;)  He asked if we really had to include it and we did.  Again, when testing the meal though, it tasted kind of bland.  We'd already put in the garlic, ginger and now curry paste and I was worried.  Not "OH NO!" worried, just "bummer dude" worried.

The rest of the prep Ryan was more involved since it involved setting up the toppings.  These included mango chutney, mandarin oranges, crushed peanuts, and cilantro.  After tasting the chutney, I just wanted a bowl of that!  No longer bummed.  I thought, "These will provided the flavor."

Overall, it wasn't what you would think of when you'd say Indian Chicken.  I think 'somewhat spicy/tangy to REALLY spicy'.  That wasn't the case here.  The base, chicken and rice, were okay but the toppings were definitely where the flavor really was.  Everyone put on all the toppings, even me!!  It was yummy although Scott and I agreed it could use something to bring up the heat a little to counter-balance the sweetness of the toppings.  Overall score:  5.66.

This concluded Week 1: Cooking with Ryan.  Next up is Week 2: Cooking with Ally.

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