How about another curry dish before you go about your weekend? I plan to post a sweet treat next but I want to finish this curry series before doing so. I was so happy about making my own curry paste that I enjoyed using it every chance I could. My last post demonstrated how curry paste can be used effectively outside the confines of stews and marinades. It worked wonderfully as a base for a vinaigrette that spiced up what would have been an ordinary cole slaw otherwise.
This time, I did go the traditional route, electing to spice up one of my chicken stews. I eliminated the soy sauce and bay leaves; instead, I used the curry paste as the foundation for the stew. To round out the dish, I added purple potatoes and fresh baby spinach that needed to be used. I’m happy to say that this was a complete success. I can’t attest to the authenticity of this dish as a proper Indian curry stew but I was happy with the results.
But would you like to know what qualifies this as an “easy” dish? I used store-bought rotisserie chicken to prepare it. After a long day traveling home from Catalina last weekend, cooking was the last thing on my mind. I picked up some staples at the store, including a whole rotisserie chicken per my husband’s request, but we ended up eating bread and cheese that evening. I couldn’t let the chicken go to waste so I decided to make a curry dish out of it the next day.
You might scoff at my admission that I buy pre-made chicken but I’m not ashamed…not at all. I do roast my own chicken fairly regularly and admittedly it is better than store-bought but my grocery store happens to make good chicken–the main reason they sell out of them every night. Okay, I’m done with making excuses. My point: This dish didn’t suffer at all for my attempt at a shortcut. In fact, I appreciated that I could prepare a warm, satisfying meal in a very short time. Try it, you might like it, too.
Easy Chicken and Spinach Curry
- 1 3-4 pound store-bought rotisserie chicken, cut into serving pieces
- 1 14-oz can tomato sauce
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2 heaping tablespoons curry paste (my recipe here)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3-4 shallots or 1 medium onion, chopped
- A handful potatoes, cut into small halves if small and quarters of regular-sized
- A few cups fresh spinach leaves
- A few pinches red pepper flakes
- Salt, to taste
Heat the olive oil in a pot over med-high heat. Add the shallots and red pepper flakes and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add a couple pinches of salt then add the curry paste and cook until fragrant, 1 – 2 minutes. Add the can of tomato sauce and chicken stock bring to a boil and cook for about 5 minutes.
Add the chicken pieces, including the juices from the container, cover the pot and reduce heat to simmer. Add the potatoes and cook until they are tender–this might take about 10 – 15 minutes. About five minutes before you turn off the stove, add as much spinach as you would like. Remember that spinach cooks down a lot so you will need to add more than you think. I used three packed cups to serve two. You can always add more when you reheat the stew. When the spinach has cooked down, the stew is ready. Sprinkle with more red pepper flakes for a spicier option.