Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Chicken Curry

I’m a bit of an idiot savant in the kitchen. (OK, so not just in the kitchen.) Among the Things I Cannot Cook, even if my life depended on it:
  • Rice Krispie treats
  • Macaroni and cheese from a box
  • Rice (of any kind)

Luckily the list of Things I Can Cook is still the longer of the two, and I now can add chicken curry to that list.

I’ve tried making several chicken curries in the past, but none was quite right. Too bland. Too dry. Too curryish. While talking with my friend Angie the other night, she mentioned that homemade curry powder can be far less overpowering than your usual curry powder. Smart gal, that Angie. Sounded like a swell idea.

This recipe is an amalgamation of ideas from a few recipes, mixed with my own techniques. I found the seasoning and sauce ideas, and adapted them to use boneless, skinless chicken. I decided to simmer the chicken in the sauce so it stayed tender, and then thicken up the sauce toward the end so we didn’t lose it all over the plate (it was some darn good sauce).

This turned out to be the best chicken curry I’ve eaten. Lest my ego get inflated, I served it with the worse basmati rice ever made. (And the ever-present flatbread, made from some dough I’d frozen.) So there you have it. I make the best chicken curry in the world! And I can’t make rice from a box.

Chicken Curry
Serves 3-4

½ Tbsp. garam masala
1 tsp. turmeric
1½ tsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. hot pimentón or paprika
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in chunks
Salt and pepper
2 tsp. vegetable oil
1 c. onion, chopped
Additional salt and pepper
1 tsp. garlic, minced
1 small tomato, seeded and chopped
1 tsp. gingerroot, grated
1½ c. chicken broth
1 tsp. arrowroot powder or slurry (corn starch mixed with water)

1. Combine the garam masala, turmeric, chili powder, and hot pimentón or paprika. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, and then pour seasoning mixture on chicken, mixing chicken until thoroughly coated.

2. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add chicken to pan, browning slightly on all sides, about 5 minutes.

3. Remove chicken from pan. Add onion to pan, cooking until slightly softened, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add garlic, ginger, and tomato. Cook about 1-2 minutes.

4. Add broth to pan, scraping up any bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pan. Return chicken to pan and bring mixture to a boil.

5. Lower heat to medium, and cook at a high simmer about 25 minutes, until chicken is tender and sauce is starting to reduce.

6. Add arrowroot powder or slurry to pan, stirring quickly with a small whisk, until sauce starts to thicken. Reduce heat to low until serving.


T2 said...

Alyssa, get a rice cooker!

Any idiot can make rice with a rice cooker.

Anonymous said...

yeah, i totally agree with that home-made curry powder thing. that's what i do.