March 19 – National Poultry Day

March 19 – National Poultry Day

That’s right. It’s the day to get your chicken on. And I don’t mean something that “tastes like chicken”. I mean the real thing.

A staple at our house, particularly during the cooler months, is what I call chicken soup casserole. It’s not quite a casserole, but it’s too think to be soup. I take boneless, skinless chicken breasts, brown them with garlic infused olive oil and onions, then pour water in to get my broth started. I chop carrots and add those in about 20 minutes into the broth cooking. Then you want to chop celery and parsley and add those in. Finally, pick your pasta and toss that in and within 10-15 minutes, chicken soup casserole is ready yo be eaten.

The trouble here is we had this last night (leftover from one I made at the end of last week). So what to do, what to do?

We love Indian food, and I think today calls for a tasty north Indian dish – butter chicken (murgh makhani). A restaurant not too far from of us, Cafe Tandoor, makes a delicious butter chicken based off a tandoori chicken. My version will have to be a boneless, skinless chicken breast browned with maybe some coriander, cumin, curry. The three C’s never fail me. So let’s brown the chicken – 3-4 boneless, skinless breasts chopped into 1 inch cube pieces – on a pan with some olive oil. After these are brown and tasty, set them aside and prep the pan.

Now we’re going to take half a stick of butter and melt it on a low heat. While that is doing it’s thing, chop up one onion. Could be medium, but we like onion so we will go big. Toss the onions in and some chopped garlic (the stuff in the jar is fine for this) and let the onions start to get translucent and golden. Now we want to get our spice on. You’ll have to stop at an Indian grocer and pick up some garam masala, which is a Indian spice blend. You’ll add a tablespoon of that, 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric, 1 teaspoon cinnamon (you can add only 1/2 I do more because it is good for my diabetic husband) and I always add cayenne. The cayenne you will want to do to taste – if you like it hotter, go 1/2 teaspoon or more. If you don’t like too much heat, start with a pinch and add to your tolerance. Now we are going to add 2 cans of tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes. Bring the mixture to a slow boil, add the cooked chicken and then bring down to simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring to meld all the flavors.

Once that has simmered, add 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream. Let that simmer for an additional 5-6 minutes, blending the cream into the mixture. Once heated through, serve over a saffron or basmati rice and enjoy!

Happy Poultry Day to you!