One of my own creations:
Total prep time: About 10 minutes.
If it has avocado in it, I'm all in!
SOUTHERN (CHICKEN) CURRY
One of my favorite things to make is what I call a "southern curry" - it's a cross between Southern and Indian/Thai and I make it a little different every time. I almost always use chicken though for the meat.
Start the main pot cooking homemade chicken stock from a chicken (make sure to include the bones).
Sautee some veggies in a skillet with some of the spices. I always put in an onion and fresh garlic but the other veggies can include celery (incl. the heart), carrots, peppers, etc. - whatever floats your boat. Hot peppers are a must for me but you don't have to use them. Habaneros and Thai peppers are good but any kind will work. You can use any oil but I like olive or sunflower oil.
Then you just put the veggie base from the skillet into the stock after you strain it, and add back the decent chicken meat (the scrappy pieces go to the dog!). Then you let it simmer for awhile (at least an hour or so). Most of the spices go in after you combine (except the salt, paprika, pepper, garlic). Citrus can make a great addition, too. Lime is my favorite but lemon works, and orange is pretty good, too (the juice, although you can put in the pulp if you want). Coconut milk is optional but I use a can or two almost every time. I don't really measure; I ballpark it, then taste test a couple times as I go.
Salt (don't be shy with the salt!)
Curry (bunch - a tblspoon or two for a big pot)
Chili powder (bunch - a tblspoon or two for a big pot)
Fresh garlic (sautee with the veggies, one whole bulb chopped finely)
Fresh ginger (one root grated, super important to give it that Thai zing)
Tumeric (you can use a fair amount, 1/2 tblspoon is a good starting place for a big pot)
Other spices (optional):
Pepper (dash or two)
Basil (dash - you can use a fair amount but dont overdo it)
Paprika (any amount - you can use alot if ya want)
Cayenne (depends how spicy you want it)
Bouillon (a cube or two if you want to enhance the chicken flavor)
Light brown sugar (palmfull - offsets the citrus and the hot for some balance)
The whole idea is to improvise, and have fun with it. You really can't screw it up as long as you don't dump tons of spices in before you get an idea what tickles your palette. Since most spices go in after you combine, you can be conservative the first couple times and taste/add until you like it.
The last step is to put flour and milk into a jar, shake it up, and add (I use a strainer but you dont have to) to thicken it just like gravy. Make sure you aren't boiling when you do this. I add my citrus/coconut milk at this point if I decide to use it.
It's really pretty easy:
1. Boil chicken (that has already been cooked - leftovers are perfect) to make stock.
2. Sautee veggie base in a skillet
3. Combine chicken meat, stock, and skillet contents
4. Add most of your spices and simmer for awhile
5. Turn it down/off and add citrus/coconut juices when it is not boiling anymore, then thicken if needed with your flour/milk goop.
Remember to taste test as you go!