I rarely go to the movie theatre but last month when we saw Julie & Julia, amongst the story and laughs in the movie, it did inspire me be a bit to be a little more adventurous in my cooking. I love to cook, hate to bake, but love to cook. But in the last while, I find I've been cooking the same old. All good stuff, but nothing new. So I determined that I would get looking through all my cookbooks and see if I could be adventurous enough to try something new once a week, once every two weeks at the very least. While nothing on the scale as to what Julie took on with cooking through the Julia Child cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, in a year, I thought maybe I could add a few new favorites from my books to my list of meal options. Having a family who is not afraid to try new things enabled me to give it a go.
In particular I was thinking of targeting a couple of really nice cookbooks I've had sitting on my shelf for years and that I've looked through on a regular basis, have drooled on it's glossy color photos but have never actually cooked from: The Encyclopedia of Creative Cooking and Creative International Cooking.
My first attempt at new was met with a huge all thumbs up from all of the Living To Tell household with someone, I can't remember who but I think it might have been Hubby, saying I have to put it on the ole blog. So being the submissive, obediant wifey that I am, ahem, I'm complying.
For my first attempt at this trying new recipes adventure I chose Chicken Curry. The reason I chose this particular recipe was it seemed easy enough, I happened to have all the ingrediants on hand and it used barley. Now that was a twist to me. I'd never heard of Chicken Curry that included barley. And I love barley! I'm so glad I picked this one. It was yummy. Flavorful with being over the top. I did use more of a couple ingrediants as I found it just wasn't enough for us as it was written. I pointed out those things in the recipe. Also the recipe called for just 2 cups of cooked barley so I gave you the recipe that I used to make that cooked barley. I also found that I could have upped that a bit, my family loved the barley part, so next time I will be making more of that in the recipe. And I've got no pictures because everyone dove into it before I could get the camera out. What was that all about. They ought to know better by now. Sheesh.
CHICKEN CURRY with BARLEY
-2 cups cooked barley -ingrediants:
-1 cup pot barley
-3 cups chicken broth or water
-1 Tbsp. butter
-1 frying chicken, cut into serving pieces (I used just over 1 kg [2lbs.] of chicken thighs)
-2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
-2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
- 1 medium onion, minced
-2 cups chicken broth
-salt and pepper to taste (I started with with 1/2 tsp. and ended up using just over 1 tsp. salt)
-2 teaspoons curry powder
-1 tsp. marjoram (I upped it to 1 1/2 tsp.)
-1 cup plain yogurt
-**1 tomato, peeled, seeded & cut into bite size pieces (I used 2 tomatoes)
Preheat oven to 375*. Put uncooked pot barley into 1 1/2 quart casserole dish. Heat broth or water to almost boiling and pour over barley. Add butter and stir to melt. Place foil tightly over dish and place lid on top of that if you have a lid. Bake for 1 hour. Note: If using pearl barley reduce cooking time.
Brown chicken pieces in oil and butter in a large skillet. Place cooked barley in the bottome of a dutch oven. Put browned chicken pieces over the top.
Cook onion until transparent in the same skillet in remaining oil and butter. Remove; place on top of the chicken. Pour 1 1/2 cups broth over the chicken and barley. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, curry powder and marjoram. Cover; cook over low heat 30 minutes. Remove cover. Add yogurt, tomato, and 1/2 cup more broth if needed. (I found I didn't need the extra broth). Cook, uncovered, 20 - 30 minutes until chicken is tender.
I served it with peas.
**To peel fresh tomatoes, place tomato into hot water for a couple of minutes and then rinse with cold. You should just be able to rub the skin right off.