A Taste of Disney: Coconut Curried Chicken Stew
I miss Disney. I'm sure I'm not the only one who looks forward to planning my next Disney trip before I've even left the happiest place on earth. Sometimes I feel like I'm going through withdrawal, and I'll find myself planning vacations that I know I can't afford. Well, I've found that cooking some of my favorite foods from Disney helps to keep the blues away. Apparently, Disney knows that, too, because they have released countless cookbooks.
I've been going through my cookbooks trying to see what I can attempt to make at home. I'm always looking to see how I can further hone my culinary abilities. With my ever-changing work schedule, cooking dinner at night can be difficult, and I don't always have time to do anything besides order takeout.
One of my favorite restaurants at the Walt Disney World Resorts is Boma. I love all of their different dishes, and there is always something new to try. I like to consider myself an adventurous eater—I'll basically try anything once. I will admit I never tried this stew, though. Curry intimidates me. I always thought "curry" meant "very spicy." I found this particular recipe in one of my Disney cookbooks, and I felt that it was something I could take on.
- 1 whole chicken, cut up
- 2 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 3/4 cups flour
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1-2 potatoes, diced
- 1 can coconut milk
- 4 cups chicken broth
- Rub salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon of curry powder on the chicken. Then heat the canola oil in a 4-quart pot and then sear the chicken until it is golden brown. Remove the chicken from the pot.
- Melt the butter and then stir in the flour until it is well combined.
- Add the chicken broth, honey, remaining curry powder, cayenne powder, and the drained diced tomatoes. Simmer until thickened, approximately 20 minutes.
- Add the onions, red bell pepper, potatoes, coconut milk, and the chicken to the stock.
- Cook over a medium heat for about 25-30, or until the chicken is cooked through and the potatoes are soft.
I have never cut up a whole chicken before. There, I said it. I've roasted a whole chicken. But cutting a chicken into the thigh, breast, wings, and drumsticks is something that I didn't feel super confident with. I decided that I would use chicken thighs, instead. I went with a tray of boneless, skinless chicken thighs. I figured the thigh meat would stay tender better than breast meat. I ended up being right; the meat was so tender and flavorful in the finished meal. I also decided to cut the chicken thighs after I seared them. The recipe didn't say anything about cutting the chicken before it was added back to the stew, but I didn't want to have giant chunks of chicken in the stew.
The recipe also called for a jalapeño, which I omitted because I wasn't able to find any at the store. I imagine it would have added a fair bit more heat to the stew. To be honest, I didn't miss it.
The last thing I changed was the garnish. The recipe calls for a garnish of fresh cilantro. I do not like cilantro. I'm one of those people that can only taste soap when they eat cilantro. I didn't want my curry stew to taste like soap. If you like the taste of cilantro then I say go for it—but as I have no idea how it is supposed to taste, I don't really know what it will bring to the dish.
This recipe was amazingly simple to put together. The entire house smelled like warm spices. The stew did most of the work by itself on the stove. I loved it. My boyfriend loved it. It will be made again for sure.
I loved how it had a little bit of heat but wasn't burning my mouth with each bite. The flavors were balanced. The meat was tender. Overall it was a fantastic dish. I regret that I had never tried it at Boma, as I cannot compare it to the original.
I feel like this dish is fairly healthy and is a good, hearty meal—perfect for cooler weather.