With potatoes, carrots, and celery, this one pot warming chicken curry over rice is made with a thick, rich and delicious broth. It is perfect for those large Fall holiday gatherings.
Having been on the warmer part of the west coast for the past few weeks wearing shorts and summer dresses, I was dismayed to come back to the first frost of the season. Geez, Autumn, where did you go? That girl you see apple-picking while bundled up in a scarf, winter coat with a double layer of socks on…. Um, yes, that was me this past Sunday.
So my natural impulse is to bake or cook, anything that heats up a five-foot radius from where I am standing and gives me an excuse to hibernate in my kitchen for a few days.
One of my favorite comfort foods and now recipes I like to make during these hibernation periods is my Grandpa’s chicken curry. I confess I have been spoiled with this for years but never tried making it myself till this past year.
My grandpa’s chicken curry is a one-pot meal filled with celery, carrots and potatoes in a thick and rich curry broth that is sure to warm your soul. The sauce isn’t spicy, but does have a strong yellow curry flavor. Nothing overpowering though. My brother and I would normally serve out large spoonfuls of the curry, just enough to drench our rice with the delicious sauce so we could get more of it.
Start Prepping Vegetables a Day Earlier.
It takes some time to make, but it is so worth it. To make things easier for you, I recommend chopping and dicing up the vegetables a day before. You can even brown the chicken the day before, so all you need to do the next day is assemble.
Start by seasoning and searing the chicken on both sides to maximize its flavor and to help it develop a more crisp outer layer. You will also want to stir-fry the vegetables first. This ensures a more flavorful and fragrant curry broth later.
So maybe take a break from all that Fall baking and make this curry instead. It’ll take some time, but it’ll will make enough for the whole week or for your next large holiday gathering. Enjoy.
Grandpa’s One Pot Chicken Curry (咖哩鸡)
- Oil for frying
- 5 chicken drumsticks skin removed, optional
- 8 or 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, fats trimmed
- 5 medium carrots, chopped in 3/4-in pieces
- 1 medium onion, diced 1/2-in pieces
- 6 celery ribs, 2 cups, chopped in 3/4-in pieces
- 1 large Idaho potato, peeled and chopped in 1-in pieces
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 T. yellow curry powder (Javin Brand preferred)
- 1.5 tsp. salt
- 10 cups water
- salt and pepper for seasoning
- 1/8 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup flour
Cut slits in the chicken thighs to ensure the flavor enters in. Season chicken thighs and drumsticks with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Place 2 T. oil in a large stockpot or dutch oven. Heat on medium high. Brown chicken thighs and drumsticks on both sides, about 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. You may need it do it in two batches. The chicken will not be fully cooked yet. Remove and set aside.
Wipe your dutch oven clean and remove any scraps. Heat 2 T. oil on medium heat. Add the diced onion and stir-fry for two minutes. Add the celery and carrots. Stir-fry for two more minutes or until the vegetables have softened but are still fragrant.
Add 2 T. curry powder and 4 T. of water to the vegetables. Mix until well incorporated. Add the chicken back into the dutch oven and gently mix. Add enough water into the pan until the chicken and vegetables are just about covered (about 10 cups of water).
Cover pan and let the mixture come to a boil. Add 1.5 tsp. salt and 2 bay leaves. Once boiling, bring the heat down to medium and let it simmer for 20 minutes, covered. Add the potatoes, bring to a boil again, and simmer for 15 more minutes.
While the potatoes are simmering, make your roux. Roux is a thickening agent often used in soups and sauces. In a small pot, carefully heat 1/8 cup oil on medium high. Once the oil is hot, take the pot off the stove. Gradually add in 1/4 cup of flour. Whisk rapidly to remove any clumps and until smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Set aside 1 T. of the roux in a small bowl. You can refrigerate any leftover roux and it can keep for up to 1 month.
Add 1 cup of the curry sauce to the small bowl with the roux. Whisk for 30 seconds until smooth. Strain to remove large clumps if needed. Add the roux mixture to the dutch oven with the chicken.
Let the chicken curry simmer for 5 more minutes to thicken up the sauce. Add more roux if needed. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with jasmine rice.
You can purchase the curry powder here or you can find it at your local Asian grocery store.