One of our ongoing projects here at Feed Me…I’m Hungry is our ‘World Food Tour’ where we take time to find out more about culture and food from around the world. Right now we’re checking out Jamaica so read on for more…
There have been a few articles on Food 52, one of my favorite food blogs, about ‘heirloom recipes’ that have been handed down from family members for generations. I don’t know that I exactly have any ‘heirloom recipes’ though I have many excellent cooks in my family. I just can’t think of a recipe that has been handed down generation after generation.
But we certainly do have some dishes that are a tradition. Christmas cookies I started baking with my Mom when I was very tiny, my Mom’s much loved cinnamon rolls, a few traditional dishes that come from my Mom’s Irish background, lasagna, a few favorite Jamaican dishes from my Dad’s side of the family… Curry chicken is, of course, a favorite Jamaican dish. Well at least for some of us. My Dad, inexplicably in my opinion, hates curry.
My curry chicken recipe is actually an adaptation from my Grandpa’s recipe. My Grandpa has never cooked a lot. Like many men he primarily handles the barbecue. However, he does have a few specialties, among them curry chicken and a time consuming but amazing rum cake. (If you are all very nice I may share it with you some day.)
There is really only one major difference between my Grandpa’s recipe and my adaptation, searing the meat. I’ve added the step of searing the chicken because I feel it enhances the flavor of the dish. Though if you don’t have time or perhaps just want to dump all the ingredients in the crock pot in the morning and come back to dinner after work you could certainly skip the searing ( if you do use chicken with skin on I would consider the searing essential). I should also mention my Grandpa uses all parts of the chicken, bone in, or a whole chicken cut into pieces. However, I have a thing with the texture of meat and generally prefer chicken breast without skin. I know I’m strange. But, curry chicken is actually a great treatment for chicken breasts. They come out tender and moist because of the low and slow cook time of the recipe. So feel free to use whatever pieces of chicken are considered choice in your book. Whatever part of chicken you select I do highly recommend giving this recipe a try for an easy, delicious change in your meal rotation.
- Splash of vegetable oil
- 1 large onion diced
- 6 cloves of garlic minced
- 3 lb. chicken cut into bite sized cubes (whatever pieces of chicken you prefer, with or without skin is ok)
- 4 cups of water or chicken broth/stock + additional as needed
- 4-6 tablespoons yellow curry powder
- 1 teaspoon red pepper (optional)
- Salt to taste
- 1. Heat a large sauté pan with a lid or large pot with a lid to a medium high heat. Add the oil onion and garlic to the pot. Sauté until the onion is translucent and the garlic is lightly browned.
- 2. Add the chicken cubes to the pan and sear lightly on each side, string frequently to prevent burning.
- 3. Add the four cups water or chicken broth to the pan and reduce the heat to a simmer. Add four tablespoons of curry powder and red pepper (if desired) to the pan and stir well to combine all ingredients. Cover the pan and allow the chicken to simmer for at least 1 hour before tasting.
- 4. Taste the sauce and add more curry powder if desired and salt to taste. The meat should be entirely cooked through at this point and can be served if needed however the dish benefits from an additional hour or two of simmering time. Additional liquid may need to be added if too much cooks off during simmering. There should be plenty of broth to spoon over the final dish when serving.
- 5. Serve hot over fresh white rice.
- If you are not accustomed to curry you may want to use the 4 tablespoons of curry powder rather then the 6, curry is a fairly strong flavor.
- The red pepper is optional but adds a nice bite to the dish if included.