I used to think that the people who swarm to the grocery store at the first mention of snow were morons. Can’t you live without your Ho Ho’s for a mere 24 hours? Don’t you have a few cans of tuna fish somewhere?
But I was wrong. There is a worse kind of moron. The sort of moron that knows we’re running low on milk, bread, feminine products, etc. a week before the snow is set to hit, and, still, no trips to the grocery store are made. And when that special brand of New England slush starts falling from the sky, fusing itself to every possible surface, and then freezing solid so you’re encased in your own personal life-sized snow globe prison, well by then I’m too much of a wuss to fishtail my way to the moron store to stock up on all the moronic products that, apparently, only morons don’t have.
So, that’s how I found myself with nothing even remotely delicious in the house, trying to concoct dinner from the slim pickings I had in the pantry. Rice. Coconut milk. Pumpkin pie filling. Except that I can’t touch the pumpkin pie filling or an irate engineer will spontaneously crash through the ceiling with a ridiculous but fierce display of Kung Fu-ish flailing. You can’t mess with the man’s pumpkin pie ingredients.
The refrigerator was completely empty. We had finished off the condiments during our afternoon snack. In the freezer, there were all kinds of mysterious things, but all I could immediately recognize were: 1) a lone freezer-burned chicken breast, and 2) a million kinds of stock. So, what can you make with rice, coconut milk, chicken, and how about duck stock?
1 Tbsp. canola oil
1 yellow onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1½ Sambhar curry powder
½ tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. ground coriander
½ tsp. ground ginger
6 cups homemade yummy poultry stock of your choice
½ cup basmati rice
1 large chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 cup coconut milk
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
3 Tbsp. toasted, sliced almonds, optional
Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, and garlic, and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add curry powder, cumin, coriander, and ginger, and cook a minute or two. Add the stock and rice. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook uncovered for 12 minutes.
Add chicken, return to a simmer, and cook until chicken is done and rice is tender, about 8-10 minutes more. Stir in coconut milk and return to a simmer. Remove from heat, and stir in lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Garnish with almonds, unless you’re a moron.
Source: Adapted from Eating Well. The original recipe called for 2 diced Granny Smith apples, but the moron didn’t have any apples. Plus, she wasn’t so sure about apples in her Mulligatawny. So, instead, she decided to use full-fat coconut milk in place of the “lite” coconut milk originally listed in the recipe, and just call it even.