Stewed Chicken with Delightful Toppings
This recipe is a treat for the taste buds! Prepare yourself to be amazed. I never thought I’d like so many random things on top my curried chicken and rice. This dish is a surprisingly harmonious dining experience where we combine sweet, salty, bitter and sour flavors with a variety of textures – all on one crazy plate!
I first had this riff on Indonesian Rijsttafel at my Auntie Linda and Uncle Paul’s house on Easter Weekend of 2019. Auntie Linda is my dad’s youngest sister, the 11th of 12 siblings, and another fantastic chef in the family. It’s always a treat to be with my Wehri and Schroeder aunties. This recipe started with my Auntie Dorothy and has made its way down the pike to me – who is now giving it to all of you!
A Dutch Tradition
Rijsttafel is the Dutch word that literally translates to “rice table.” Rijsttafel originated with the Dutch colonization of Indonesia as a means for Dutch colonists to sample many differently spiced dishes on rice. Rijsttafel wasn’t meant to be a hodgepodge of random dishes but a blending of all flavors and textures. Traditionally, rijsttafel is multiple small dishes served on top of rice.
The Wehri take on rijsttafel is heart-warming. Imagine sitting at a big table with all of your favorite people surrounded by a colorful array of toppings — all of which you get to choose to flavor your curried chicken and rice. When we ate together, the dinner conversation was sparked with, “Ooooooh, I just got a bite with chocolate in it!” and “I just love the salt of the olives with the crunchiness of granola!” It was entertaining to say the least!
Group Dinners . . . or Cleaning Out Your Refrigerator
I recommend this dish when you’re hosting a group for dinner since all of it can be prepared in advance (except the rice – you’ll want that to be made right before you eat). It’s also helpful when you have a lot of random things in your fridge that need to be used up.
3 Tbsp curry powder
1 Tbsp cayenne pepper
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 roasting chickens, cut up
¼ cup parsley, chopped
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 bay leaves
1-3 jalapeño peppers, de-veined and de-seeded, chopped
salt & pepper to taste
Cooked brown rice (approximate 1/2 cup dried rice per person)
Ideas for Toppings (Diced/Chopped)
Dark chocolate (70%+, recommend 85%+)
Unsweetened coconut flakes
(Clean out your fridge – the world is your oyster!)
1. Mix the curry powder and cayenne pepper together. Cover the bottom of a heavy sauce pain with EVOO and add 2 Tbsp of the curry powder mix and coat until it changes color.
2. Add onion and cook until tender.
3. Add chicken, parsley, garlic, bay leaves, hot peppers, salt & pepper. Then cover with water.
4. Cook until chicken is tender. Then debone and shred the chicken and return to the sauce. (Chicken can be made ahead of time and refrigerated.)
5. Dice up toppings and place in individual ramikens. (Cold/fresh toppings can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated.)
6. Prepare brown rice just before eating. Top with chicken and your mix of toppings.