love garlic, I love curry, I love chicken, and I love gourmet
cooking. But after a 12- or 13-hour day spent in the confines
of a San Francisco corporate office, needless to say my
energy for cooking gourmet is more than diminished. Heres
an easy yet elegant dish to try. And its super friendly
on the cook who is trying to beat the kitchen at its own
Beating the Kitchen Game
You can play this every time you cook. The object of the
game is by the time youve finished cooking
to have the kitchen as clean or cleaner than it was
when you started. By finishing, I dont mean all the
time allotted to washing dishes or clean-up after dinner
has been eaten. We all want a spotless kitchen before
the food is even served. How you play this game depends
on your cooking style. If you can cook and clean up as you
go along its usually the best way to go. If youre
cooking with lots of different pans and dishes, try to meter
the finishing points of the pans at different times, so
you can transfer the food from those pans to their appropriate
place in the cooking process and then clean them up immediately.
a harder version of this game, start with a dirty kitchen
and a sink full of dishes and try to have everything cleaned
up before the meal is served. This game gets harder the
faster you can make the recipes, or the more attention you
have to pay to your cooking. For instance, you can get much
more cleaning done while cooking a pot of rice than making
a cream sauce. Try your hand at this game and youll
find it contagious.
Youll need these ingredients:
As many chicken breasts as there are servings (although
Im sure you could substitute other chicken parts)
a sheet of foil big enough to wrap the chicken breast in
and place it on a flat surface. In the middle put a teaspoon
of garlic (more or less to taste I happen to love
garlic), a tablespoon of curry (again more or less according
to your taste), add enough olive oil to make a paste of
the garlic and curry right there on the foil.
a chicken breast and dip both sides in the paste, then wrap
the breast in the foil. Repeat this process for the rest
of the chicken. Place the wrapped chicken in a 300400
degrees Fahrenheit oven until cooked (about 3045 minutes).
Check occasionally to make sure you dont overcook
finished, serve with a simple salad and curried rice.
Take enough rice to serve. To gauge the water to rice ratio
I remember the rhyme Once rice, water twice,
meaning for every cup of rice you cook you should use two
cups of water. I like to put a little olive oil in my rice
pan (I use a heavy stainless steel sauce pan for rice) and
sauté some onions and garlic before adding the uncooked
rice, sautéing for a few more minutes. Frying the
rice before adding water is a technique I learned in Brasil.
Then add the water and stand back, because it will bubble
and steam immediately. Youll still want to keep the
heat high until you get to a rolling boil but then follow
the traditional rice cooking recipe.
curried rice, I add curry to taste to the rice just after
Ive added the water. You can also add chopped carrots
and peas to add extra color and flavor.
finished, curried rice is almost a meal in itself. Serve
the chicken and rice with a simple salad. Use romaine or
leafy green lettuce, which are higher in vitamin content
than iceberg lettuce. Add tomato, onion, and cucumber to
the lettuce. For dressing, I recommend a light oil and vinegar
olive oil and balsamic vinegar add extra gourmet
flavor. You can even top the salad with Parmesan or feta
cheese and freshly ground black pepper.
candles for the table and some red wine for yourself turn
the meal into a special occasion.