So what do you make when you have friends coming over for game night?
Vietnamese Chicken Curry Soup and Minny’s Chocolate Pie, of course!
My dad used to make a Vietnamese Chicken Curry soup or “Chicken Curry” for us when we were growing up. It’s a hearty and robust soup loaded with heavy cream, chicken, and curry; typically served with warm and crusty garlic french bread for dipping. I don’t even try to recreate his version. However, I make a version based on this recipe. I thought it was the perfect thing for a winter weekend meal for a game day with friends.
Vietnamese-Style Chicken Soup – Courtesy of allrecipes.com
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 (3 pound) whole chicken, skin removed
and cut into pieces
1 onion, cut into chunks
2 shallots, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/8 cup thinly sliced fresh ginger root
1 stalk lemon grass, cut into 2 inch pieces
4 tablespoons curry powder
1 green bell pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 carrots, sliced diagonally
1 quart chicken broth
1 quart water
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 kaffir lime leaves
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
8 small potatoes, quartered
1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
1 bunch fresh cilantro
|1.||Heat oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Cook chicken and onions in oil until onions are soft and translucent; remove onions and chicken from pot and set aside.|
|2.||Saute shallots in pot for about 1 minute, then stir in garlic, ginger, lemon grass and curry powder. Continue to cook for about 5 minutes, then stir in bell pepper and carrots. Return chicken and onion to pot and stir in chicken broth, water and fish sauce. Season with lime leaves, bay leaf and red pepper flakes.|
|3.||Bring to a boil and introduce potatoes. Return to a boil and pour in coconut milk. Reduce heat and simmer 40 to 60 minutes, until potatoes and chicken are tender. Garnish each dish with a sprig of fresh cilantro.|
Serve with a bunch of crusty french bread and warm garlic bread for dipping.
- I would use half of the red pepper flakes unless you want the soup extra spicy. Remember the ginger has a kick too. Sometimes I only use 1/2 a teaspoon if my guests don’t care for things to be too spicy.
- In this recipe I recommend you use whole chickens, but you can use boneless breast or thighs.
- Make a sachet made out of cheesecloth to hold the kaffir lime leaves and bay leaves.
- Cut your ginger and lemongrass into bigger chunks to easily retrieve before eating. No one wants to eat the crunchy ginger “potato”.
- Place empty bowls on the table for bones, lemongrass, and ginger
Now for dessert.
I fell in love with the movie “The Help.” If you haven’t seen it… you must. I will not be giving away the secrets of this pie, but if you have seen the movie. The answer is “No,” this pie doesn’t have anything special inside of it.
Minny’s Chocolate Pie – Courtesy of Food & Wine Magazine
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs, beaten
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
Whipped cream, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Ease the pie crust into a 9-inch pie plate and crimp the edges decoratively. Prick the crust lightly with a fork. Line the crust with foil or parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes or until set. Remove the foil and weights and bake for about 5 minutes longer, just until the crust is dry but not browned.
- Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk the sugar with the cocoa powder, butter, eggs, evaporated milk, vanilla and salt until smooth.
- Pour the filling into the pie shell and bake for about 45 minutes, until the filling is set around the edges but a little jiggly in the center. Cover the crust with strips of foil halfway through baking. Transfer the pie to a rack and let cool completely before cutting into wedges. Serve with whipped cream. MAKE AHEAD The chocolate pie can be refrigerated overnight.
If you choose, you can also make your own pie crust if you are adventurous or if time allows. If not, the pre-made pie crust is just fine.
After making this pie, I compared my results to the website. They didn’t quite look the same. I thought there may have been a problem with how I mixed the ingredients. A recommendation I found on the site was to whisk the cocoa into the sugar and salt, add the vanilla and melted butter, then add the eggs one at a time and whisk after each egg. Lastly, whisk in the evaporated milk. I did not do this and perhaps this is why the top layer of my pie looked different from the F&W site. Oh well, regardless, it was damn tasty!
So now, go make yourself some soup, go see the movie, and then make yourself a chocolate pie.
Remember – You is smart. You is kind. You is important!