- 4 (4 ounce) boneless skinless chicken breast halves
- 1 recipe curry powder (see below)
- 1/2 recipe vegetable fried rice (see below)
- 4 cups cooked and cooled brown rice
- 2 tbsp peanut oil or vegetable oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 small yellow onion, minced
- 1 tsp minced fresh ginger
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 lb sugar snap peas, strings removed
- 1/2 lb bite-size broccoli florets
- 1/2 cup fresh corn kernels
- 1/2 small red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut
- 8 asparagus spears, rimmed and cut
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup whole coriander seeds
- 2 tbsp whole green cardamom seeds
- 2 tbsp whole cumin seeds
- 2 tbsp whole yellow mustard seeds
- 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp whole fenugreek seeds
- 2 tsp whole cloves
- 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
- 1 cinnamon stick, broken into several pieces
- 1/4 cup ground tumeric
- 2 tbsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tbsp ground cayenne
1. Trim any visible fat and connective tissue from the edges of the chicken breasts and put them on a plate.
2. Spread curry powder evenly on top of the chicken breasts. Set aside.
3. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil, or prepare a countertop steamer following the manufacturer’s instructions. Arrange the chicken breasts side by side in a steamer basket that fits snugly on top of the saucepan, or in the countertop steamer’s tray.
4. Steam the chicken until it is cooked through and the internal temperature of a breast registers 165°F on an instant-read thermometer inserted into its thickest part, 8 to 10 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, prepare the Vegetable Fried Rice (below), reserving that recipe’s cilantro and scallion garnishes.
6. As soon as it is ready, divide it among four heated large individual serving bowls, or mound it on heated serving plates.
7. When the chicken breasts are done, transfer them to a cutting board.
8. With a sharp knife, cut each breast crosswise at a 45-degree angle into slices about 1/4 inch thick.
9. Fan out each sliced breast across the rice in each bowl or on each plate.
10. Garnish with the cilantro and scallions.
Vegetable Fried Rice:
1. In a mixing bowl, gently rub the cold rice between your fingers to separate it into individual grains.
2. Heat a nonstick wok or a large, heavy nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil. When it is hot enough that it is barely beginning to show slight wisps of smoke, add the garlic, onion, ginger, and red pepper flakes.
3. With a stir-fry spatula or a long-handled wooden spatula or spoon, stir constantly until fragrant, about 1 minute.
4. Add the sugar snap peas and broccoli and stir-fry just until their color brightens, about 30 seconds. Add the corn, bell pepper, and asparagus and continue stir-frying. Then add the rice and stir-fry for 2 minutes more.
5. Drizzle the beaten egg around the rim of the wok or skillet so that it cooks before it touches the rice. Quickly stir the egg, breaking it up into small curds and folding it into the rice. Sprinkle in the soy sauce and stir well.
6. Season the fried rice to taste with salt and pepper.
7. Heap the rice into individual large heated bowls or a large serving bowl, or onto a platter, or serve from the wok or skillet. Garnish with the cilantro and scallions. Serve immediately.
1. One by one, in a small, dry skillet over medium heat, toast each of the whole spices—the coriander, cardamom, cumin, mustard, fenugreek, cloves, peppercorns, and cinnamon stick—stirring with a wooden spoon just until they are fragrant and darken slightly in color, about 5 minutes each. (Note that the seeds, when ready, will make popping noises.)
2. Transfer all the spices to a bowl to cool.
3. In a spice mill or grinder, working in batches as necessary, grind the spices to a fine powder.
4. Pass the ground spices through a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl and press with a rubber spatula. Discard any chaff in the sieve.
5. Add the ground turmeric, ginger, and cayenne. Stir well. Store the spice blend in an airtight container at cool room temperature or in a resealable plastic freezer bag in the freezer.