|Chicken Coconut Curry Casserole with Savoy Cabbage and Carrots|
|Fresh from the oven|
After the previous (long) discussion on the virtues of and reasons for making your own coconut milk, I wanted to also give you the recipe for which I needed the lovely coconut milk in the first place.
This is the perfect recipe to enjoy after a day spent outside when you are feeling really hungry, or to eat on a day when you need some nice, warm comfort food. I created a twist on coconut curry by cooking the coconut milk into a curry béchamel, and combined it with the beautiful busiata sicilian pasta I’d picked up in Sicily over the summer. If you can find busiata, I’ve listed other pastas that will stand in well – basically anything that can stand its own among thick vegetables and sauce.
|Ready to assemble|
I also threw in Savoy cabbage and carrots, because they are in season right now and taste really amazing in this dish. You get a little bite of carrot; the cabbage goes nice and soft, the chicken and pasta add a nice bite and the creamy, spicy coconut curry hums in and around pulling the whole thing together nicely.
Chicken Coconut Curry Casserole with Savoy Cabbage & Carrots
Preheat oven to 375°F/ 190°C
1. Gather your ingredients:
250 g pasta (busiata siciliana, fusilli, farfalle or casarecce – something with twists and turns and heft but no tubes – you want the rest of the ingredients to stick to and around it)
2 cups cooked chicken (see step 2)
3 tablespoons butter or coconut oil
3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
2 cups coconut milk (500 ml can, or make your own)
1 teaspoon + 1 teaspoon of salt
1.5 cups of pasta water
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 teaspoons mild curry powder
2 tablespoons of cooking oil (I used rapeseed)
1 onion, minced
3 cups shredded Savoy cabbage
4 carrots, peeled and cut into thin rounds
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup coconut flakes
2. Cook the pasta:
Bring water to a boil. Add two teaspoons of salt. Pour in the pasta and boil for two minutes fewer than the package suggests. Remove from heat. Reserve 1.5 cups / 3 dl of the pasta water.
3. Prepare the chicken:
You will need 2 cups of cooked chicken for this recipe. You can either cut up a previously cooked chicken into a dice, or cook 2 raw chicken breasts. To do this, dice the chicken breasts into 1/2″ / 1.25 cm chunks. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan, place the chicken into the pan, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt, and cook and stir until done. Pour the chicken onto a plate to cool slightly.
4. Make the coconut curry béchamel
In a heavy stockpot over medium-heat, melt the butter or coconut oil. Once fully melted and simmering, add the flour and whisk until completely combined. Pour in 1/2 cup of coconut milk and whisk vigorously to combine. Pour in another 1/2 cup and whisk vigorously again until smooth. Pour in the remaining cup of coconut milk and the pasta water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in the garlic and curry until fully combined. Set aside.
5. Cook the vegetables
Pour the oil nto a heavy frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until the onion is tender and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the cabbage and carrot and sprinkle 1 teaspoon of salt and the black pepper over the vegetables. Stir; then cover the pan with a lid and allow the mixture to cook for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender.
Spread 1 cup of the béchamel over the bottom of a large baking dish. Sprinkle half of the pasta over the béchamel. Spread half of the vegetable mixture over the pasta, followed by the chicken. Repeat by pouring béchamel, pasta, vegetables, chicken. Pour the remaining béchamel evenly over the entire dish. Sprinkle with coconut flakes. Place into the hot oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow the casserole to rest for 10 minutes. Serve hot