Cooking with Pete and Barb Marczyk: Coconut-curried chicken soup
Pete Marczyk and Barbara Macfarlane do not leave their work behind when they leave Marczyk Fine Foods and head for their great old Denver house with the big, new kitchen. They often bring some of their market's choicest ingredients home with them and cook up a feast.
At Blanchard's Table
Pete and Barb have exactly one sport they care about -- and it's not football. Instead, they're obsessed with skiing, and they just got back from Vail, where they cooked, as they usually do, for hungry friends. "It was a beautiful blue sky-day with fresh snow -- the kind of weather that just begged for soup," says Barb, who made a coconut curried chicken soup. "It's delicious, it's easy, it has coconut -- what could be better? -- and it's spicy." If you want to ramp up the heat, just add more curry paste.
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Coconut Curried Chicken, from the At Blanchard's Table cookbook
1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste
2 cups sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1-inch chunks
2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
2 scallions (white and green parts), cut into 1-inch pieces
2 heads baby bok choy (white and green parts), cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup shiitake mushroom caps (If the shiitakes are bite size, keep them whole. If not, cut them into halves or quarters.)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt to taste
1. Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the curry paste and cook 1 to 2 minutes, or until fragrant.
2. Add the sweet potato and chicken and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the broth and coconut milk, reduce the heat to low, and simmer gently until the chicken and sweet potatoes are cooked, 15 to 20 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables by bringing a pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Blanch the scallions and bok choy in the boiling water until bright green and crisp-tender, 1 to 2 minutes, then drain.
4. Heat olive oil in a small saute pan and briefly cook mushrooms until just softened.
5. Right before serving, add the scallions, bok choy and mushrooms to the chicken pot.
6. Season with salt and serve immediately.