The beginning of the new year always brings a fresh outlook for the months ahead. For many, it's a time to start using their gym membership or enjoy the great outdoors and run! I'm for the latter and, in addition, I'm revisiting my eating habits and making more healthy choices.
In the January issue of delicious living, I found an interesting recipe with an old favorite - chicken curry - and a new one (for me) - black Japonica rice. I love white rice but definitely want the benefits of eating whole-grain foods filled with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. This recipe has tons of flavor and keeps the nutrition-factor high. Even my 4-year old liked this dish, so enjoy!
Black Japonica Rice with Thai Chicken Curry
2 1/2 C. water
Pinch of salt
1 1/4 C. black Japonica rice
1 14-ounce can coconut milk
2-3 tsps. Thai green curry paste
1 14.5-ounce no-salt-added dice tomatoes, undrained
2 lbs. bone-in split chicken breasts, skinned
4 scallions, thinly sliced (keep white and green parts separate)
3 Tbsps. chopped fresh cilantro
2-3 Tbsps. fresh lime juice
Soy sauce or Thai fish sauce (optional)
Fresh cilantro and lime wedges, for garnish
Bring water and salt to a boil in a heavy, 2-quart pot or Dutch oven. Stir in rice. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until some grains have burst open and rice is tender, about 45 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes.
In a 4-quart pot over medium heat, blend coconut milk and curry paste until smooth. Add tomatoes with juices, chicken, and whites of scallions. Bring to a low boil over medium heat. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until chicken is cooked, 20-30 minutes. Remove chicken. Shred or chop meat and discard bones. Return chicken to pot along with green scallion parts, cilantro, lime juice to taste, plus soy sauce or fish sauce, if desired.
To serve, press about _ cup rice into a ramekin or coffee cup. Unmold onto center of plate. Spoon chicken curry around rice. Garnish rice and curry with additional cilantro. Set a few lime wedges to one side.