Whether you keep bees yourself, support local beekeepers, or just love honey, The Fresh Honey Cookbook by Laurey Masterton (Storey Publishing, 2013) presents recipes for every time of year featuring different honey varietals and seasonal ingredients. This recipe for curry is perfect for a busy night when you need a light meal.
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This is one of my mother’s recipes that I’ve adapted to include honey (of course!) and to accommodate our lighter styles of eating. It is a fine dish for a dinner party, especially one that includes serving a main course from a chafing dish on a buffet. The flavors improve over time, so feel free to make it ahead of time, freeze it, and defrost and serve when you have no energy to cook. You could use premade broth, but this version is really not that hard and is so good that I recommend you go the extra step to start from scratch. This mild curry goes nicely with rice.
For the chicken and stock
• 2 carrots
• 1 medium yellow onion, peeled
• 1 cup chopped celery, with tops
• 1 bay leaf
• 4 whole peppercorns
• 2 tablespoons kosher salt
• 1 whole chicken (about 5 pounds), cut into parts
For the coconut curry
• 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 6 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
• 2 garlic cloves
• 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
• 1/2 teaspoon paprika
• 1 tablespoon honey, preferably tupelo honey
• 1/2 cup half-and-half
• 1/2 cup unsweetened flaked or shredded coconut, plus more for garnish (optional)
1. Add 3 quarts water to a large pot. Add the carrots, onion, celery, bay leaf, peppercorns, and salt. Bring to a boil, then immediately reduce the heat to a simmer. Add the chicken parts.
2. Cook until the chicken is quite tender, 1 hour or more. Remove from heat and let cool. (Note: A quick way to cool hot chicken stock is to put the hot pot in a sink filled with ice water. When the sink water warms up, replace it with another round of ice water; repeat until the stock is cool.)
3. Pull the chicken off the bones, removing and discarding the skin. Return the chicken bones to the stock and simmer for another 30 minutes or so. Set the chicken meat aside, refrigerating it if you are not going to complete the recipe immediately.
4. Strain the stock into a bowl and set it aside too, refrigerating it if you are not going to complete the recipe immediately.
5. To make the coconut curry, melt the butter over medium heat in a large pot. Turn the heat to low when the butter has melted.
6. Add the flour and blend with a wooden spoon, stirring until it is a smooth, thick paste. Add the garlic, curry powder, paprika, and honey, and stir until thoroughly combined.
7. Slowly add the half-and-half and then 2 to 3 cups of the stock, gently stirring until the sauce is smooth and nicely thick, about the consistency of honey!
8. Fold in the reserved chicken and the coconut just before serving, and warm thoroughly. Add more stock if the consistency is too thick for you.
9. Serve with additional coconut sprinkled on top if you wish.
More from The Fresh Honey Cookbook:
• Coconut Macaroons with Dried Cherries
• Broiled Peaches
• Chunky Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho with Lemon Crème Fraîche
• Southern-Style Iced Tea
• Fresh-From-The-Garden Beets with Oranges and Blue Cheese
Excerpted from The Fresh Honey Cookbook, © by Laurey Masterton, photography by © Johnny Autry, used with permission from Storey Publishing. Buy this book from our store: The Fresh Honey Cookbook