Dan came over this afternoon to try and re-create the Brazilian Chicken Coconut Soup from Earth & Tea Cafe in downtown Harrisonburg. He brought the ingredients, and together we worked out a version that came pretty darn close.
(He’s expertly deboning a chicken quarter here, although you can’t see it.)
Our first attempt:
1/2 large onion, diced
1 chicken leg quarter, skinned and boned, diced (or use about 2 boneless chicken thighs)
1 can light coconut milk, well-shaken
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp tumeric
2 T tomato paste
1 carrot, diced
1/2 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
1/2 bell pepper (red would be good, we had green)
1 C chicken stock
1/2 C frozen frenched green beans
Saute diced onion in a little olive oil and butter until soft, then add coconut milk and chicken. Simmer a few minutes, then add spices and tomato paste. Simmer about 10 minutes, stirring often so the bottom doesn’t burn. Add carrot, sweet potato, and bell pepper, and then add chicken stock. Stir well, and simmer for about 20 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Add green beans and heat through.
We got pretty close – the texture and sweetness (from the sweet potato, mostly) were right on. Something was missing – we added a little lime juice in our bowls, and wondered if it would be mellow enough if we added it earlier. It could also use a little heat, maybe some crushed red pepper flakes or ground red pepper; maybe a little ginger. It definitely needed salt and pepper. We’ll keep you posted on attempt #2.
Other signs of spring: the trees in front of the hospital, on the corner of Mason and Cantrell, are in bloom.
The Shenandoah Valley in spring is really one of the most beautiful sights on earth.