Bride – ‘I hate thigh.’
Caterer – ‘Well I hate cooking breast.’
Caterer’s husband – ‘If the Bride wants breast let her have breast.’
Caterer – ‘Fine if the Bride wants tough, dried out breast, the Bride can have tough dried out breast.’
Bride – ‘Yes I’d like that.’
Caterer – ‘How about a compromise of half breast, half thigh?’
Bride – ‘Ok done.’
That was just one of my many discussions with our poor wedding caterer (all said very jokingly and nicely might I add – not in a mean attitude way!). She also had to fulfill my request of no cucumber in the Greek salad. I know – I’m crazy.
The chicken breast debate is one I had to win. I only eat chicken breast. No brown bits, no slimy bits. I’m a princess when it comes to eating chicken.
It’s one of the things that stayed with me after my fussy eating days and I don’t think I’ll ever get over it. We nearly always have a supply of chicken in the freezer which came in handy the other night when I felt like a nice warming curry.
This recipe was really easy to throw together and as it cooks in the oven and needs no attention while it’s in there, you’re free to do what you want while dinner prepares itself.
It was so wonderfully fragrant I couldn’t wait to dig in and it tasted as good as it smelt. I saved some for lunch the next day but didn’t get to eat it until the day after and it was even better after sitting for a while. If you can make it a day in advance, do.
I went all-out old-fashioned making this and chopped everything by hand rather than using my chopper. Really must start wearing gloves when I chop chili.
You will need a casserole dish with a lid that will go in the oven. I got to use my new Emile Henry risotto pot and it definitely lived up to Celia’s rave reviews.
Start by heating the oil in the bottom of the dish and then add the onion. Cook it until it starts to turn transparent and then add the garlic, chili and ginger. Cook it all together, stirring for a couple of minutes.
Then add the flavour hit. Any Indian curry paste will do. I used tandoori because that’s what I found in the depths of my pantry but Tikka Marsala or anything mild is fine. Of course feel free to go all out and add something super spicy.
Cook, stirring for another couple of minutes until you can smell the curry. You might want to put the extraction fan on at that point. It can get a little spicy to breath in.
Add the chicken and carrot to the pot and stir them through until you have one big pot of orange then keep cooking until the chicken is all sealed.
Pour in the tomatoes and coconut milk. I was just getting out the peanut butter when I had a stroke of genius – what about macadamia butter?! It did the same job and I knew it was all natural because I made it myself with 100% nuts. I also liked that there was the occasional little chunk of macadamia in the curry.
Mix it all together and then bring it to the boil. Clamp on the lid and then it’s into the oven at 190C fan-forced for 45 minutes.
It’s ready when the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has thickened. If the sauce isn’t thick enough, either put it back in the oven or simmer it on the stove for a bit. Add the finishing touches by stirring through the spinach and coriander (I used powdered coriander).
Serve it with yellow rice and pappadums. I forgot to buy pappadums and they were seriously missed. They would have been perfect to scoop up the sauce and rice.
I just went to link to my yellow rice recipe and realised I’ve never shared it. It’s not really a recipe because I never measure anything. All you do is throw some powdered turmeric, cardamon and cinnamon in with the rice while it’s cooking. Enjoy!
So what about you? Do you prefer breast or thigh? I’ve found people have quite strong feelings on this debate!
Quick chicken curry
- 1 tbsp oil
- 500g chicken breast or thigh cut into 3cm pieces
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 green chili, seeds removed and chopped finely
- 2tsp finely grated ginger
- 2-3 tbsp mild chili paste (I used Tandoori and the recipe used Tikka Marsala)
- 400g can diced tomatoes
- 400g can light coconut milk
- 2 tbsp macadamia butter
- coriander to serve
- 2 carrots, peeled and sliced in 2cm chunks
- 100g baby spinach leaves
- rice to serve
Pre-heat the oven to 190C fan-forced.
Heat the oil in the bottom of a medium sized oven-proof dish (that has a lid).
Saute the onion until it begins to turn transparent and then add the garlic, ginger and chili.
Cook for 2 minutes, stirring and then add the curry paste. Cook, stirring until it is lovely and fragrant then add the chicken and carrots.
Stir in the chicken until it is coated in curry paste and then cook until it is sealed.
Add the tomatoes, coconut milk and macadamia butter and stir them through.
Bring the pot to a boil, put the lid on and then transfer it to the oven to cook for 45 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce nice and thick.
If it’s not quite thick enough, put the pot back on the stove to simmer without the lid.
Stir through the spinach leaves and coriander and serve with rice.