Heidi here. Oh, and veggie-loaded chicken curry here too. Friends, meet curry. Curry, meet friends.
I so wish we could do introductions in person for this one. This is my happy place—happy dinner, happy tummy, happy Heidi. But the good news is, soon this can be your happy place too. Check out these simple, naturally gluten-free ingredients: chicken, olive oil, onion, bell pepper, carrot, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, coconut milk, spinach, curry powder, salt.
I’ll do a break-down ingredient by ingredient at the bottom of the post with tips for contamination-free brands. Just a heads up as we go through this recipe—Taft and I doubled this recipe when we photographed it for this post. Because we kind of can’t control ourselves around this stuff, and the thought of making just one batch was simply unbearable. If we don’t have the fridge and freezer stocked with this delicious goodness, we’re in trouble. As in, we’re making this again tonight because we just ran out. Again.
Still, I’ll write the recipe instructions for a single batch, in case you aren’t converted to the double batch technique until the second time around. 😉
First, the chicken: 1 lb of boneless, skinless chicken breasts (in our case, this came out to about 3 frozen filets) per recipe. Partially defrost the chicken (you can skip this step if you’re using fresh) and cut into 1-inch cubes. Next, dice one large onion (vidalia and yellow onions have worked great for us) and one bell pepper (red, orange, or yellow). Add 1 ½ tablespoons of oil (olive oil or another oil of your choice) to a large pot and set to medium heat. We use a deep frying pan for a single recipe or a large (8-quart) pot for a double, since we like to have lots of room for adding fresh spinach at the end. Add the onion and bell pepper, with ¼ teaspoon of salt, to sauté.
While the peppers and onions are cooking, peel and grate about three carrots, until you have about 1 cup of shredded carrots, and open all the cans. Don’t forget to give the veggies on the stove a quick stir every minute or so. When the peppers and onions are soft (about 7 minutes), add the curry powder and stir for another minute. Most recently, we’ve used about 4 teaspoons of a mild yellow curry powder (one that’s gluten free and meets Whole30 requirements). For stronger curry powders or curry pastes, start with 2 teaspoons and add to taste.
Next add one 13.5-oz (give or take) can of coconut milk, one 15-oz can of diced tomatoes, 3 oz of tomato paste (half a standard can), and 1 cup of shredded carrot. Let this mixture sit for about 5 minutes (still on medium heat), stirring occasionally. It should thicken slightly. This waiting time is great for washing fresh spinach.
Check out that creamy sauce.
When the 5 minutes is up, simply add the raw chicken cubes to the mixture and give everything a good stir. Cook for about 6 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through (we find that it takes slightly longer with a double recipe).
And now pack in the fresh spinach! We can’t get enough—often we use about 10 oz per recipe, but use more or less as desired. The fresh spinach will simply wilt down into the sauce (stir gently as needed to help it along). And then you’ll have space to add more!
Oh yum. At this point, do a quick taste test (as if you could help yourself), and salt to taste. We like to use sea salt.
We originally served this curry recipe over jasmine rice (any rice will do), but lately, we LOVE serving it over (Sweet) Potato Cubes, a little trick we came up with to keep our bellies full and happy while we completed our almost Whole30 diet. My (Heidi’s) favorite is using a mixture of cooked potato and sweet potato cubes. The flavors are simply perfect together. Filling. Delicious. Gluten free (and grain free!). Veggie heaven. A sprinkle of red pepper flakes makes it perfect.
So, are you coming for dinner?
Veggie-loaded Chicken Curry Ingredients
- Olive oil (or another oil of your choice): Olive oil is naturally gluten free, and I expect that the risk of contamination is very low. If my bottle wasn’t labeled gluten free, I probably wouldn’t think twice about it. As it is, we have a bottle of Carlini 100% Extra Virgin Olive Oil right now (picked up at ALDI) that is labeled gluten free. 🙂
- Onion: Naturally gluten free, just wash it off to be safe.
- Bell pepper: Also naturally gluten free. Our bell peppers often have a sticker, so we’re especially careful about washing off that residue, just in case the adhesive contains gluten.
- Salt: Naturally gluten free. We use Kirkland Signature (Costco) fine grain sea salt, which is packaged in a gluten-free facility.
- Curry powder: Here’s the main place to pay attention! Olde Thompson Yellow Curry Powder is gluten free and packaged in a gluten-free facility (confirmed by phone call in November 2015) and meets Whole30 requirements, but it’s not very strong, so we often use about 4 tsp per recipe. We’ve also used A Taste of Thai Red Curry Paste (also gluten free but not Whole30 approved), adding a 1.75 oz packet to a double recipe.
- Unsweetened coconut milk: Naturally gluten free. To be 100% honest, our coconut milk this time was Nuoc Cot Dua, which does not have a gluten free label. We’ve never run into trouble with any brand of coconut milk (usually our coconut milk comes from Thailand, which to the best of my knowledge does not produce a lot of gluten crops). Thai Kitchen unsweetened coconut milk is fabulous, is labeled gluten free, and meets Whole30 requirements. We’ve been happy with our curry using Thai Kitchen too!
- Diced tomatoes: Tuttorosso and Wegmans store brand are both great gluten-free choices.
- Tomato paste: Tuttorosso, Wegmans store brand, and Kings (picked up at ALDI) are all gluten free and have worked great for us.
- Carrot: Naturally gluten free, just wash it off to be safe.
- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts: We use Perdue’s Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, filet cut. We buy a 10-lb bag (that is CERTIFIED! gluten free at Costco)—awesome!
- Fresh spinach: Again, naturally gluten free. It often comes pre-washed, but we like to rinse it anyway—your judgment call.
- (0ptional) Crushed red pepper: We like Kirkland Signature brand because it’s gluten free and packaged in a gluten-free facility.