Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Day 111! Micronesia - Coconut Chicken Curry - Up Next, Moldova

Until I set out to cook this Coconut Chicken Curry dish from Micronesia, I wasn't exactly sure where/what Micronesia constituted. Chalk it up to ignorance, Euro-centric geography classes that focused more on explorers who wiped out indigenousness people all over the world with disease, violence and greed. Whatever the reason, I think (and hope) that tonight's meal was a wonderful and delicious representation of some of the 2,100 tropical Islands that make up Micronesia and the people who call them home.

Micronesia is a sub region country in the Western Pacific Ocean. It is distinct from Melanesia, to the south, Polynesia to the east and the Philippines and Indonesia. It's name is derived from the Greek, Mikros (meaning small) and Nesos (meaning island).  For hundreds of years, the islands were under the domination of the Spanish, U.S., Germany and British empires.

The country's people are descended from the indigenous people, Melanesians, Filipino and Polynesian ancestors. As such, cuisine in this country reflects Spanish, Malay and Chinese cultures. Food can be characterized as fairly mild, not using a lot of hot peppers for seasoning. Rice, fish, seafood of all kinds, sauces, spices, curries, banana leaves, taro, bread fruit, coconut and coconut milk are all staples in Micronesia.

Micronesian Coconut Chicken Curry

2 lbs. chicken, cut to pieces (I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs)
2-3 potatoes, quartered
2-3 carrots, cut into small pieces
1 big red bell pepper, cut into 1x1 cubes
1 big green bell pepper, cut into 1x1 cubes
2 medium onions, chopped
1 bulb of garlic, minced
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, pounded
2 cups coconut milk (I used light and added a little extra)
2-3 Tbsp. curry powder
1 tsp. chili powder or minced chili (optional)
4 Tbsp. cooking oil
Salt and pepper to taste

In a frying pan, fry the cut chicken until light brown. Next, fry potatoes and carrots, then set aside.
In a sauce pan, saute garlic, onions and ginger in cooking oil for 2 minutes.
Add the chicken, coconut milk, curry powder and chili powder. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Add potatoes, carrots, red and green bell peppers and continue to simmer for another 5 minutes or until soft
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve hot with steamed rice.

Final Assessment: AWWWWWWWWW yeah. This was so great. The combination of curry, coconut milk, ginger, garlic and all the vegetables was both sweet and spicy in the best imaginable way. I'm hoping the savages in my house leave me a little for lunch tomorrow. A+, and pretty too.

1 comment:

Cathy Schaum said...

I had this last night... delicious... and, as Sarah says..... AWWWWWWWWW yeah !