It’s started to be hot in Boston. Now, I normally would consider mid-80* weather very pleasant and I wouldn’t complain; however, that would be California weather. This humid, thick, hot, sticky air is something else. I went for a walk the other day during lunch and I swear I was walking through water.
I remember the day I landed in Boston from San Francisco was a lot like it has been recently. Coming from the cold 60* foggy weather and getting off the plane in the humid 80* weather I thought the wind had been knocked out of me. Luckily that was August 23, 2009 and I was staying with my friend who had air conditioning. Now, I dont have that luxury.
Unfortunately, this has curbed my desire to cook. I depend only on my small little fan in the kitchen to create air circulation; it doesnt quite do the trick when you want to turn the oven up to 400*. But, my love for cooking is starting to take over and I’m just gonna take my dinner up to my room with the big fan if I have to. I wont let the weather stop me any more!
This recipe is actually from my archives. My friend came to visit me one weekend and I told her to pick a recipe out of the ones I marked in the Saveur magazine I just bought. It was really nice to have someone to cook for for a change. We made this the same night I made the olive oil scented cake, so I thought it was fitting to be my next entry.
I was excited to try a different cuisine; I have never been to an African restaurant or attempted to cook it myself. The flavors are earthy, bold, and slightly sweet; simple yet intoxicatingly fragrant. I dont have any special notes about this other than it is best served over white rice and accompanied by a bitter vegetable to balance the creamy, slightly sweet coconut milk. I researched Kenyan vegetables and kale came up – it was perfect. Oh, and when you’re cooking with tumeric, don’t wear anything that you dont want stained. My counters were stained, my hands were stained, and my shirt was stained. It all came out in the end but I didnt realize how bright the seasoning was – it was my first time cooking with it.
Coconut Stewed Chicken
from Saveur magazine
1/4 c vegetable oil
2 tsp ground turmeric
4 cloves garlic
2-3 tsp chili paste (or 4 Thai chilies)
4 small tomatoes
4 bone-in legs and thighs, separated
1/4 c lime juice
2 14 oz coconut milk
salt and pepper to taste
cilantro for garnish (optional, but a great addition)
4 c cooked white rice for serving
1. Heat oil in large pot over medium high heat. Combine the turmeric, garlic, chili paste, tomatoes, and onions in the pot until the onions are caramelized – about 20-25 mintues.
2. Add lime juice, coconut milk, and chicken and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce to medium-low heat and simmer, stirring occasionally until the chicken is tender – about 10 minutes.
3. Season with salt and pepper. Serve over rice and top with cilantro.