Chicken Curry Cous Cous is my husband’s creation. It’s his most famous dish, and everyone who’s tried it has raved. I got him to stand in the kitchen and direct me to make it just like he does. Here’s what he said:
You’ll need the following ingredients:
3 chicken breasts
1/2 a vidalia onion
1 green pepper (red also works)
1 bag of spinach
6-8 cloves of roasted garlic
Cous Cous (get the “Mediterranean Curry” flavor of “Near East” brand or add 2.5 tbl spoons of curry to some plain cous cous if you can’t find the boxed brand).
Chili Oil (look in the Asian Foods section of your grocery store. “Mongolian Fire Oil” is the best)
Fish Sauce (look in the Asian Foods section of your grocery store)
Chopped Basil (from a jar. If you want to use fresh basil, just double the amount called for)
Heat about 2 tablespoons of cooking oil in a medium sized pan (enough to coat the surface). Roll the oil around so that it covers the bottom of the pan. Chop the onion and pepper into long, thin slices and let them simmer in the oil. Pour 2-3 tablespoons of chili oil over the top (using a bottle, crisscross the veggies with the oil until they’re well coated, as shown below).
Allow the peppers and onion to simmer over low to medium heat until they’re softened. Add 1/2 tbl spoon of curry powder and a teaspoon of sugar, and cook for another few minutes without stirring. When the sugar begins to caramelize on the veggies and they want to stick when you scrape them from the pan (they’ll look slightly brown in spots), remove from heat. They should look something like this:
Cut the chicken breasts into wide, flat pieces. Slice the roasted garlic. Fill a large pan with cooking oil about a half an inch deep. You want just enough oil to cover the chicken when you add it to the pan. Add 2 tablespoons of fish sauce to the oil. Fish sauce is really stinky when added at this point, but it mellows into a wonderfully mild flavor when heated. When the oil has warmed over low heat, add the chicken and garlic. Simmer until the chicken is no longer pink. This can take a little longer, but you want to cook the chicken slowly over a low heat setting for more tender, juicy bites.
When the chicken doesn’t appear pink anymore, remove the pan from the heat and pour off the excess oil, removing as much as you can. Return the pan to the burner and turn the heat up to medium. Don’t stir the chicken for a couple of minutes, allowing it to sear slightly. Stir, then allow it to sear again. When the chicken has been seared, add the spices. You’ll want to add 2 pinches of kosher salt, 1 pinch of sugar, 1 teaspoon of black pepper, 1 teaspoon of ginger powder or freshly shaved ginger, 1 tablespoon of freeze dried chives, 1 teaspoon chopped basil, and 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper. If you don’t like spicy foods, then substitute 1 teaspoon of paprika for cayenne.
Following the directions on the box, make the cous cous (bring water to a boil, add cous cous and allow to sit off the heat for 5 minutes, usually). Fluff the cous cous with a fork.
Chop up the bag of spinach into long shredded pieces.
Combine the peppers, onions, and lettuce with the cous cous, tossing it so everything is evenly distributed. Dole out a generous portion of cous cous on a plate, and cover with chicken. I eat it as is, but my husband has a thing for insanely hot foods. He covers his plate with a good dusting of cayenne pepper. Try this for yourself, but be warned. It’s hot!