Thursday, January 13, 2011

Curried Chicken and Chickpeas

This easy, Indian-flavored weeknight meal comes together in a hurry.  The original recipe called for chicken breast tenders, and I find that the closest vegan match is either the barbecue chicken wings or buffalo wings from Gardein, both sold in the freezer section (without the accompanying sauce).  Thaw 1 pound of the Gardein chicken in a microwave, and cut into 1-inch pieces, then follow the recipe instructions below.  Don't use commonly-available Sriracha for the hot chile sauce - it contains fish extract.  Instead, try to find the hot chile sauce from Thai Kitchen, which is certified vegan.

  • Cooking spray
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
  • 1 pound Gardein chicken, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 cup chopped plum tomato
  • 1 cup vegan chicken broth (prepared from Not Chick'n bouillon)
  • 1 teaspoon hot chile sauce (such as Thai Kitchen)
  • 1 (15.5-ounce) drained can chickpeas
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 3/4 cup uncooked couscous
  • 1 (9-ounce) package microwavable fresh spinach
  • 4 lemon wedges (optional for garnish)
1. Heat a large skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat.  Toss the thawed, chopped chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and the garlic.  Add the chicken mixture to the pan and saute for 3 minutes.  Stir in the curry powder and cook for 1 minute.  Add the plum tomato, the broth, the hot chile sauce, and the chickpeas; bring to a simmer, then cover and cook for 8 minutes.

2. While the chicken mixture cooks, place the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 cup water, and the olive oil in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil; gradually stir in the couscous, then remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 5 minutes.  Fluff with a fork.

3. Meanwhile, pierce a few holes in the spinach bag.  Microwave for 2-3 minutes, until wilted.

4. Place 1 cup of the chicken mixture, 1/2 cup couscous, and 1/2 cup spinach on each of 4 plates.  Garnish each serving with a lemon wedge for a pretty presentation, if you like.

Nutrition Info:
4 servings (1 cup chicken mixture, 1/2 cup couscous, 1/2 cup spinach), Calories 436 

Tasting Notes:
So good!  Although this dish was way saltier than I normally cook, it gave it an authentic Indian-restaurant taste that was to die for.  If you are watching your sodium levels, decrease the salt, or omit it all together.  Either way, once the three components of this dish were mixed together on my plate, the result was delicious - the curry powder gave it the exact right amount of spice.


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