Kim says she is not a cook…she just makes friends with cooks. Or she doesn’t cook…she just arranges. But: What about those Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins she made for The First Unconfidential Cooks’ Dinner? And, what about this great Indian Chicken? When we went on the tour of the Los Angeles Farmers’ Market, Kim bought some Nomu spices, among them an Indian spice mix. She started fiddling with a chicken dish based on some serving suggestions on the label. Not long afterwards, a date was set for The Second Unconfidential Cooks’ Dinner…and it was a no-brainer that Kim would bring her perfected Indian Chicken. It is so good, and very simple to fix. Plus, the longer it sits the more the flavors meld so it’s a great dish to make when you’re having company and don’t want to spend your time whipping up something last-minute in the kitchen. Heat and serve, as they used to say.
I think what’s really interesting about cooking is that it’s very personal–we each have our own sensibilities about food–and yet it’s probably one of the most universal ways of sharing one’s self with friends and family. I love having people to our home, figuring out what they might enjoy eating and cooking for them. When someone invites us to their home, I feel as honored if they grill hot dogs as I do if they’ve spent days fixing a five-course meal–either way, I see it as a supreme act of generosity, warmth and welcome. The act of cooking (anything) is the offering, not the intricacy of the dish.
I’ve had delicious eggs at Kim’s house to celebrate Obama’s victory, and a lovely grilled chicken and roasted vegetables to celebrate her newly designed garden. In my mind, despite her protestations Kim cooks. Try this chicken recipe—you’ll see what I mean.
1 1/2 lbs. boneless chicken, cut into bite-size pieces
1 T plus 1 t. of Nomu Indian spices
3/4 of red onion (I use red because it adds color)
4 medium tomatoes
1 T of canola oil and a little extra
Put chicken in a bowl and add a tiny amount of canola oil to just lightly coat, then toss with spices. Let it sit while chopping the onion and the tomatoes. Add the canola oil to a large saute pan over medium/high heat and warm to coat the pan. Add the onions and cook until just tender. Add chicken and brown. Add tomatoes, lower heat and cover until cooked through. It cooks fairly fast, so check frequently. Server over rice if desired.
Other Recipes from Kim