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Thursday, March 2, 2017

Chicken with an Indian Flair

Yesterday I started my pantry challenge, but as usual I had not thought anything through and a short February caught me completely unprepared.  I have no idea what to call this chicken because I really did just look at what I had on hand that could be defrosted quickly for dinner. (since I am a crappy planner and had defrosted nothing) I found 2 packages of 2 small chicken breasts in each pack, tossed the frozen breasts in a pyrex bowl and nuked them on the defrost setting, until they were kinda sorta pliable.   While I was looking to see what else was available in the freezer (without digging too deep) I found a 3 slice package of Naan bread and immediately decided to go Indian_ish!

This is a very bastardized version of a classic Indian roast chicken, because I was not about to run to a speciality store to buy curry leaves or a few other key ingredients that I don't have around the house ever on a regular basis.

4 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts

In a small bowl mix:
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon chili
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced ginger root
juice of a small lemon
zest of same lemon
salt and pepper to taste (I am not crazy about salt so I added none)
1 cup yogurt
2 tablespoons tomato paste*

Mix everything together and spread a thin  layer of the goop over the bottom of a 9x9 baking pan (I use pyrex because I am an insane pyrex fan but use whatever works for you)  Arrange the chicken pieces over the layer of sauce and spread the remaining evenly over the chicken.  Bake uncovered in a 350 degree oven until the chicken is nicely done. (about 35 minutes)  If I had planned better I would have made rice to sit it on, but I didn't so we just had it along with steamed green beans (bought 2 weeks ago and forgotten about.  Thank goodness they were in the crisper so they were still decent bean.s), sliced cucumbers and a piece of Naan.  Holy moly! This stuff was fabulous, and I feel very fortunate that there is a piece left over for lunch either today or Friday.  Try this, it is pretty tasty, very spicy but not hot. (Next time I will sprinkle some crushed red chilis in it to amp up the heat, cause we like hot stuff)



* What to do with the leftover tomato paste?  Open both ends of the tomato paste can and use the bottom lid to push the paste out.  Cut off the needed amount with a knife.  Freeze the leftover in the open ended can (tube). When it is frozen push it through the can in one piece and store in a small freezer bag.  You can just slice off whatever portion you need and keep the rest frozen.  Since I only have 1 can of tomato paste and have 30 days left, I am wasting none of it!

22 comments:

  1. Hey this sounds good. I love the tomato paste idea. great tip.

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    1. It works really well and I rarely use a full can of tomato paste anyway!

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  2. What's that saying - motherhood is the necessity of invention? Necessity is the mother of invention? You know what I mean! I usually have those spices around having recently tried making butter chicken. It was pretty good. Not perfect. It called for 35% whipping cream (NO WAY!!) so I used 18% which I still squirmed at so it wasn't as rich as it should be. Great tip for tomato paste!! I always find it moldy in the back of the fridge after using a couple of tablespoons!

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    1. I find it in the way back too, so I decided to try and be a little smarter this time!

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  3. I freeze a lot of canned stuff like tomato paste, even canned pineapple when you only use part of a can. I like the idea of pushing it through though, smart. That looks like a fabulous first using it up meal day, great save!

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    1. I have never thought of freezing uneaten pineapple. I usually put it in a covered bowl and push it way back in the fridge until it dies. Thanks for the tip.

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    2. Anne, i do that with pineapple, too!

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  4. The chicken was probably good, but your tomato paste frozen slices is what got my attention.

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  5. My daughters and I love the Indian flavors, but DH is picky, but I think this might work for him.

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  6. I buy tomato paste in a jar and store the opened jar upside down in the fridge. It extends the life of the tomato paste but it also sometimes leaks sticky tomato-ey water on the shelf. I could avoid this by putting it on a plate but i forget it happens. Until it does

    Your chicken looks delish btw

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    1. I don't think it is available in jars here, but now I am going to look and see.

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    2. It comes from Aldi, nobody else does it

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  7. Sounds delicious.
    I'm not sure it is available in jars in my area either. I'm always impressed when I see TV chefs using tubes of it. I've never seen those for sale here either.

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    1. I have bought it in a tube but it is very pricy.

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  8. Yum! Good idea on the tomato paste. I've bought it in tubes before but like the idea of using the more frugal can.

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    1. Me too. I think the tubes just cost too much for the amount you get. Especially when I can pick up tomato paste for 50 cents a can when they are on sale.

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  9. Looks yummy!!

    http://lucyandtherunaways.blogspot.com.au/

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    1. It was good and even better rewarmed the next day

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  10. You did great! That chicken sounds delicious! I've frozen leftover tomato sauce, but in little baggies. I like your idea, better.

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