Saturday, February 13, 2010

Contoocook Chicken Coop, Cumin & Curry

About three Saturdays ago, I went to Contoocook, New Hampshire to visit Faith. Faith, with whom I taught in Hartford, Connecticut years ago, was in New Hampshire skiing. But on this Saturday she was staying in to make chili for family that was skiing (and to visit with me!). We had hours of chatting, catching up, chopping up onions and peppers, and comparing teaching notes. I got a great chicken chili recipe that Faith had from the Barefoot Contessa. We went out on a walk while the chili cooked and found this chicken coop down the street. Contoocook is a heavily populated suburb of Concord, so I was pleased to find the chickens there. Hopefully, Faith and our friend Gerri will be back to visit the next time Hartford is on vacation (they are not having a February vacation this year!).

8 cups chopped yellow onions
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup minced garlic (or 8 cloves)
4 red bell peppers, diced large
4 yellow bell peppers, diced large
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 teaspoons kosher salt
4 28-ounce cans of peeled plum tomatoes in puree, undrained
1/2 cup minced fresh basil leavves
8 split chicken breasts, bone in, skin on
Freshly ground black pepper

Cook the onions in the oil over medium heat for 10-15 minutes until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the peppers, chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, cayenne and salt. Cook for 1 minute. Crush the tomatoes by hand or in batches in a food processor fitted with a steel blade (pulse 6-8 times). Add to the pot with the basil. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Preheat oven to 350°. Rub chicken with olive oil and generously sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast 35-40 min. Cool. Separate the meat from the bones. Cut the meat into chunks and put it into the chili.

This is the recipe where John and I learned about cumin, which is the 2nd most popular spice in the world after black pepper. We have had bad luck finding brown curry powder in the store. But once John smelled the cumin, he knew that it was in curry. So now we have enough cumin to last a lifetime, but we still don't have a recipe for brown curry powder.

diigo it



  1. Lol...when I first saw the heading of your post, I thought it said "Cockatoo" chicken coop. Good heavens, I thought, they eat cockatoos in the US...until I took a closer look.

  2. I love chickens! I really do. I miss my chickens.

    I drive through that area when I visit my friend Heidi who lives in NH.

    I can't eat chile--I'm allergic to beans. I like, though.

    But--I do have a cocka(teil).

    Did you ever make sprouted grain bread?

  3. Hi Mary! No beans here! In fact, I was told that Barefoot Contessa said that only red and yellow peppers are used to avoid heartburn and indigestion. It worked for me! I was trying to make malt powder from the sprouted wheat. But a sprouted wheat bread sounds good. I'm going to look for a recipe.


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