Monday, November 12, 2012

"Don't Bother Me" Curry by Frugal Sister

I hate cleaning the kitchen. There are just so many hours in a day and I would rather spend them doing...... well, just about anything that does not involve repeatedly cleaning the same dishes, the same pots and pans. I look at my sponge and think "Us again?". It's like deja vu. Like it's happened before. Like deja vu. Like it keeps happening. Cook. Clean. Repeat.

There are ways to keep the mess down and still have economical, nutritional food.

One of my all time favorite recipes is also my daughter's pick for best meal. We eat it once a week and she brings the leftovers to school the next day. Takes less than 10 minutes to make it in the morning and when you come home tired, just turn on the oven. Or, better yet, when your teenager comes home, she can turn on the oven and get the show on the road in a way that does not turn the kitchen into a two hour clean up! (I love you sweetie, but please DO NOT make spaghetti EVER AGAIN!).

Don't forget to write out the instructions and  (for the sake of safety) MAKE YOUR TEENAGER USE THE OVEN TIMER! I've always felt that smoke detectors were a bad way to be notified that the meal is not just done but REALLY done.

                                              Don't Bother Me Curry Chicken
(Note: you are an adult, I'll let you decide how much of each ingredient you want)

Frozen Chicken pieces. STOCK UP WHEN THEY ARE ON SALE!!!  (thigh's are best because you want SOME fat)

Chopped Onion(s)

Chopped potato(S)
Bag of frozen veggies (whatever is on sale)

Tomato paste, sauce or soup. Again, whatever is on sale.

Curry seasoning. Don't have any? Turmeric, cumin and garlic powder are the big 3 ingredients.

Salt. This dish needs salt. Or, a salt-based seasoning

Hot sauce (the small bottle of hellfire type) or, cayenne pepper powder. Be generous, it really adds zing!

Start with a roasting pan (one with a lid so you don't waste foil). 

The size of the pan is up to you.... I make several meals at a time and I use the huge Turkey Roaster.

Put the frozen chicken in the pan and sprinkle all of the spices on top of the chicken, follow this with onion and potato. Dump the tomato on top of these. No mixing needed. Dump the frozen veggies on top and put the cover on. You just leave alone. Throw away the onion skins and the kitchen is STILL clean!

Shove it in the cold oven and just forget about it because all the work is finished. Really. The chicken defrosts and marinates at the same time. Leave it for at least 3 hours. All up to you and your busy schedule.

Cook for 2 Hours @ 400 degrees F. 

After an hour, take off the lid and stir. Put it back in the oven. 

If the ingredients seem too soupy, leave the lid off. 

All done. Some people will like rice with this. You can pick up naan at Trader Joe's, but it's really tasty just like it is.


Rich sister's note: If you get to the end of two hours and it's soupier than you like - although with potatoes in it, maybe you've starched it up enough -  and you don't mind messing up a saucepan, you could tip off or spoon out some of the sauce. Avoid taking too many big chunks of the curry itself, and just boil the heck out of this sauce until it reduces to whatever consistency you like; then it could be poured either directly back into the curry or held aside to be used as a gravy

Also, if you've made white rice, and are facing scrubbing out a starchy pan anyway, it might make a good vessel to boil the soupy curry juice you want to thicken - I'll bet the rice starch will do "wondras" for it. - must try and see -  and then you'll have reduced the amount of cleaning up by a tiny bit where that pan is concerned.

Rich sister adds that she has, this very day, just thrown together a pot of this stuff and considerably reduced the burden on the motor which keeps her freezer cold by taking out a heap of forgotten frozen veggies. She wonders how the mozzarella balls she just found in that eggplant dish from Trader Joe's will look after cooking for two hours in this curry.  But after finding them part of one of a frozen veggie "melange", she decided not to take them out one by one, just leave them there as an exercise in "What the hell?" in the spirit of "Don't Bother Me" curry and Frugal Sister's approach in general. Hey, Indian food uses paneer, which is cheese balls, fundamentally.  

P.S. Thanksgiving is just around the corner. It should be interesting, as Rich Sister makes a meal for twelve relatives and Frugal Sister finds her own creative path to honor our Pilgrim forefathers and mothers. 

Mayflower descendants are like serial killers: they look just like everybody else. If you say you are one, half the people won't believe you anyway. So why say it? You know what happened to Senator Elizabeth Warren when she told everyone she was a Cherokee. Well, every Mayflower descendant knows that there is another trail of tears too, and that's the one you get when they beat you up on the way home from school because you told the teacher that John Alden and Priscilla Mullins were family. Seems like there were more Cherokees than Pilgrims where I grew up -- Rich Sister
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