Curried Chicken Penne with Peach Chutney

Maybe it’s because I live in “Curry Hill” but I’ve really taken a liking to curry and just Indian food in general. I’ve made a few curries in my day and this is my favorite recipe so far. Usually I head over to Kalustyan’s, which is a great specialty food shop in the neighborhood. I get all my exotic spices there, as it’s very convenient and reasonably priced!

I initially saw the recipe for Curried Chicken Penne with Fresh Mango Chutney on Cooking Light.com and never got around to making it. I slightly altered the recipe, as the original was a bit too sweet for my taste. But I must admit that the addition of pasta is a great substitute for rice given its texture and tastes even better when served the next day! This dish was teriffic and very easy to make, though it does require using multiple pans. If you have mango chutney on hand or can make it a day ahead I would recommend using it so there is less of a cleanup. Using something on hand also cuts back on cooking time.

I also substituted peach for the mango in the chutney and only used 1 tbsp brown sugar total to reduce the sweetness. I tend to like my curry a little spicy so I added 1/2 tsp of tumeric and used chili paste instead of red curry paste.

Before you go ahead an make this delicious dish, I would like to pass on a few pointers:

  • If you cook curries or thai food on somewhat of a regular basis, I suggest purchasing a bottle of fish sauce as the flavor is much more suited to this dish (though soy sauce would suffice)
  • You should probably cook the three main components of this dish simultaneously (pasta, chutney, & chicken) so be mindful of the cooking time each part is called for
  • I also suggest simmering the chutney on low heat after it boils to synchronize the timing with the chicken and pasta. The great thing about the chutney is that you can continue to add small amounts of water as it simmers, without lessening the flavor, if it begins to dry out

Ingredients

Chutney:

  • 2 cups diced peeled ripe mangos or peaches (about 2)
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 – 1 cup water (use accordingly)
  • 1 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped peeled fresh ginger (or ground ginger)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Chicken:

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup light coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons red curry paste (or red chilli paste)
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons Thai fish sauce (or soy sauce)
  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • 4 cups hot cooked penne rigate (about 2 cups uncooked tube-shaped pasta)
Cookware:
  • 2 medium – large saucepans
  • 1 medium pot (pasta)

Preparation

1. Combine first 9 ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until most of liquid evaporates and mixture is thick, stirring occasionally.

2. While the chutney is simmering, heat oil in a separate large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and chicken; sauté 5 minutes. Combine coconut milk and next 4 ingredients (coconut milk through fish sauce), stirring with a whisk. Add coconut mixture to pan; bring to a simmer. Add broccoli and cauliflower; cover and cook 7 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally.

3. Stir in chutney and pasta; toss well to combine.

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Healthy Quick Breads – Zucchini

Quick bread is a type of bread which is leavened with chemical leaveners such as baking powder, sodium bicarbonate, or cream of tartar. Unlike yeast breads which often take hours to rise and can vary greatly based on external factors such as temperature, breads made with chemical leaveners are relatively uniform, reliable, and quick. Many common foods are quick breads including banana bread, biscuits, muffins, pancakes, and scones.

Chemically leavened breads, such as quick breads were not developed until the end of the 18th century when pearlash was discovered. Pearlash is a refined form of potash, and it produces carbon dioxide gas in dough. Baking powder was not developed commercially until 1857.

Zucchini bread is a popular quick bread made with freshly grated zucchini, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, eggs, flour and spices. It is sometimes made with chocolate. It is known as a more nutritious alternative to sweeter quick breads. Zucchini is filled with vitamin C, manganese, and potassium and is actually considered to be a fruit.

Yesterday was my first time making zucchini bread and it was pretty easy. I based my recipe for healthy zucchini bread off a whole wheat zucchini bread recipe from allrecipes. I halved the recipe in size and also cut some calories. One of the commentators of this recipe had mentioned that the recipe, as prepared, was too sweet so I replaced half of the honey with applesauce. I must admit that my recipe did come out a tad dry but the balance of spices really complimented the rest of the ingredients. The next time I make this recipe I am going to try to moisten it up with milk, yogurt, mandarin oranges, or crushed pineapple. So stay tuned! Below you can check out some of the pictures from yesterday’s healthy zucchini bread.