Chicken Curry (Indian-Jamaican style)

Everyone has one favorite dish that instantly connects them with warm memories from childhood. For me, that dish is curry.

I LOVE curry.

The best thing about curry is the sheer variety of curry dishes available from the traditional to experimental: lamb rogan josh, balti, chicken massamun, gaeng tai pla, pork vindaloo, maha di dal, and countless other combinations of vegetables, meats, and sauces  from recipes originating in Asia, the Caribbean, and beyond.

I grew up on yellow curry, primarily made with chicken. I have done my fair share of experimentation with different types of curries (my sweet lemon black bean curry is out of this world), but I always come back to yellow curry with chicken.

The recipe I use currently is a bit of a hodge podge, with some traditional elements from the Indian-Jamaican tradition, and some elements that I find rather tasty. There is the option of making the curry mix from scratch, but when I’m in a pinch, I like to go for Blue Mountain Curry (if I have it on hand-it’s Jamaican) or Penzey’s Hot Curry mix.  My style of making curry might not be to the likes of curry purists, but it’s always a hit with my friends and family. Hopefully it will be a hit with yours!

Chicken Curry
 
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs chicken without the skin in pieces (preferably breasts, but drumstick or thigh meat also works)
  • 2 Tablespoon Coconut oil
  • 1 pint tomatoes, diced
  • 1-2 large onions, diced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic (Fresh is optional)
  • 2-8 Tablespoons curry powder**
  • ⅔ cup Coconut milk or plain yogurt
  • Sea salt or Himalayan pink salt to taste
  • *Chopped fresh chilis to taste (According to “heat” preference)
  • *1 cinnamon stick
  • *lemon wedge
  • * Optional, but lends a more authentic, regional flavor.
  • ** A Sweet madras style or Garam Masala may be used instead:
  • 1 tsp ginger power
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp black pepper (tellicherry)
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tsp fenugreek
Instructions
  1. Heat coconut oil in a frying pan over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Test heat by putting a piece of onion in the oil. If it begins to sizzle, it is hot enough.
  2. Add diced onions, tomatoes, and garlic and sauté until onions are soft, but not soggy.
  3. Add curry powder, coconut milk or yogurt, chili, cinnamon stick and salt. Cook for 2 more minutes.
  4. Add chicken and lower heat. Cook for 30 minutes or until meat is thoroughly cooked. Tip: Cooking the meat longer at lower heat will make it very tender and allow the flavors to become more complex.
  5. Remove cinnamon stick (rinse, dry, and store for later use). Garnish with fresh chilis and a squeeze of lemon if desired

Serve with cilantro-lime rice (white rice with a bit of lime juice, butter, cilantro, and salt stirred in) and naan or a flat bread of your choice. Enjoy!

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