SERVES 6 TO 8 Keep some good, fresh curry powder and a few cans of coconut milk in your pantry, and you can make a meal as fast as take-out Indian food. For the best fl avor, marinate the chicken overnight and cook it when you get home from work. Serve over rice (see note).
Instructions
1. Cut the chicken breasts into 1-inch pieces. Sprinkle with the salt, pepper, and curry powder. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.

2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. When the oil is hot, carefully add half the chicken pieces and half the diced red pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is lightly browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer the chicken and red pepper to a plate, drizzle more oil into the pan if necessary, and cook the remaining chicken and diced pepper, transferring it to the plate with the fi rst batch.

3. Add a little more oil to the pan if necessary and add the garlic and the onions. Cook, stirring, until both are lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Return the chicken and red pepper to the pan, along with any juices on the plate. Stir in the coconut milk and the water. When it simmers, reduce the heat, cover, and cook for 20 minutes; stir in more water, ¼ cup at a time, if the sauce becomes too thick, letting the sauce cook for a few minutes before adding more.

4. When the chicken is tender and the sauce is velvety, toss in the peas, scallions, and cilantro, stir once or twice, and serve.

5. Cat’s note: Try different kinds of rice with this. Jasmine or basmati are both good, but I also serve this with brown rice, because of its health benefi ts. Pour 2¼ cups cool water into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, add a pinch of kosher salt, pour in 1 cup brown rice, stir, cover, turn the heat to low, and simmer until it’s done, about 20 minutes. You can lift the lid to test for doneness, but don’t stir or move the rice.

6. Chef’s touch: Replace the curry powder with 3 tablespoons Garam Masala Spice Mixture

Ingredients
* 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 2 ¾ pounds)
* 2 teaspoons kosher salt
* 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 3 tablespoons curry powder
* 1/ 4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more if needed
* 1 red bell pepper, diced small
* 1 garlic clove, crushed or minced
* 2 medium red onions, sliced into 1/ 4-inch rings
* 1 14-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
* 1/ 4 cup water, plus more if needed
* 2 cups peas, fresh or frozen, thawed
* 2 scallions, chopped
* 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro