Chicken Curry in a Hurry
Ya’ll know we’re not big fans of cheating here on Endless Simmer, but when it comes to curry, who has days to wait for that deliciousness? Guest writer Megan Sullivan offers up a quick tip for your curry fix.
A good curry uses several different spices that you blend together by hand, and can take several hours to prepare. However, there is a quick way to make a great curry that tastes like you spent hours slaving over a hot stove.
Traditional Indian cooking uses a clarified butter called ghee, which imparts a velvety texture to the sauce. You can mimic the effects of ghee by combining extra virgin olive oil with regular butter.
Quick Chicken Curry
Prep Time: Approx 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40-60 minutes
1 lb. Chicken breasts
1 Large, white onion
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. cayenne powder
2 Tbsp. mild curry powder
1 Tsp. salt
2 10oz cans diced tomatoes, drained
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1 small can tomato paste
Dice the chicken into cubes on a clean cutting board. Sprinkle salt on the chicken and set it aside.
Slice the onion into thin slivers and set them aside.
To avoid cross-contamination, use a fresh knife, or clean the knife, when switching between items. You should also consider having separate cutting boards for meats and vegetables. For example, use a red board for meats and a green board for vegetables. You can find sturdy, professional-grade, colored cutting boards from Restaurant Discount Warehouse for a good price.
Add the olive oil and butter to the large skillet and turn the heat to medium.
Add the cayenne pepper, garlic powder, curry powder and salt to the hot oil. Stir the spices until they form a paste.
Add the sliced onions to the spice mixture. Stir them, and let them cook, until they are translucent. Do not let them brown.
Add the diced chicken to the onion and spice mixture. Stir the chicken and let it sauté until it turns white on the outside.
Stir in the diced tomatoes and chicken broth and let the mixture simmer for 5 minutes.
Stir in half the can of tomato paste, cover the skillet, and reduce the heat to low. Let the mixture simmer for 30 minutes, stirring often.
You want to stir frequently to keep the mixture from sticking or scorching.
At this point you can taste the sauce to see if it is to your liking and add more curry, garlic, or cayenne, if you desire. If the sauce is too thick, you can add more broth. If it is too thin, add some more of the tomato paste.
At the end of the simmer time, stir in a splash of heavy cream. The cream will contribute to the velvety texture. The more you add, the lighter your sauce will be.
Let the sauce simmer for another 10 minutes, or until it reaches the flavor you desire.
Transfer the curry to a serving dish and serve over Jasmine rice.
Enjoy this curry with a nice India Pale Ale or a similar beer to help cut the richness and spiciness of the dish.
This curry is very flexible and you can make it with a variety of meats and vegetables. One favorite in my household is this curry made with diced lamb, baby spinach, diced tomatoes and mushrooms; with heavy cream instead of tomato paste.
(Photo: Laurel Fan)