Spicy Chicken Curry

Tonight I followed a recipe. Well… read ‘followed’ loosely. I used a recipe as a base for what became dinner. But more than that, I worked out the nutritional info and I wrote it up to post here.

I wanted to do something with chicken. I wanted something that I could make in bulk and freeze. I wanted something that would be tasty and healthy. I started looking through cookbooks and a recipe called ‘Hot and Spicy Chicken Curry’ caught my eye. It seemed to fit all the criteria.

My small boy is not up to hot foods yet, but he does get spicy foods regularly. To adapt the recipe for him I left out the chilli powder. I did leave in the white pepper so it will be interesting to see what he thinks. I also cut down the amount of oil called for from 60mL to 10mL. I only used 1kg of chicken thigh fillets, the original called for 1.7kg. I did this because I had only bought 1kg of thigh fillets and I did not want to go back to the shops. I left the amount of the spice the same even with less chicken but cut back a little on the liquid. So, I did mean loosly followed 🙂

There are alot of spices used in this dish. We like spicy food and cook frequently, so we had all of these in the cupboard except for the fresh lemon grass and the curry leaves. These are both available in asian grocery stores and larger supermarkets in Australia.

I thought about swapping the coconut milk for light evaporated milk with coconut essence… but decided against it. I am not using much in the total dish and it will add to the taste and texture of the sauce. But you could swap the coconut milk for reduced fat greek yoghurt. That would give the curry a slightly different taste but it would work.

The curry serves 5-8 people, depending on how much chicken you want. My diet is higher in protein so for us the meal served 5 (ish). I had 8 thigh fillets in my kg of chicken, that gave me 16 pieces of chicken. I served up 3 pieces of chicken for each person. If you only had 1 thigh fillet each, the curry would serve 8.

There was alot of sauce, which I like and it made me think that the recipe would work with more chicken but not increasing the quantities of anything else. The flavours are gentle because there is no chilli but still complex. The chicken was fall-apart tender. I needed to add a little salt and the coriander was important. I really liked this dish. I am glad there are left overs to freeze. It is not too heavy for a cool summer evening and it would be a good winter dinner.

Spicy Chicken Curry
(adapted from Woman’s Weekly Cook It Freeze It)

2 tsp olive oil
1kg chicken thigh fillets, halved
2 onions, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2.5cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
10 curry leaves
400g tin of diced tomatos
1/2 cup chicken stock
10cm piece of fresh lemon grass, bruised
80mL light coconut milk
coriander leaves to garnish

Spice blend – mix together the following:
1 tbs ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground fennel seed
1/2 tsp ground cardomom
1/2 tsp ground white pepper

Pre heat the oven to 160’C.

Heat the olive oil in a large flame proof casserole dish. Brown the chicken in batches, set aside.

In the same pan, cook the onion, stirring until soft and browned, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger, cook for a further minute. Add the spice blend and curry leaves, cook stirring for a further 2 minutes. Add the stock, tomato, lemon grass and the chicken, stir to coat. Bring to the boil.

Cover with a tightly fitting lid and place in the oven. Cook for 60 minutes, stir and return uncovered to the oven for a further 30 minutes. Add the coconut milk, stir to incorporate.

Serve with basmati rice, some steamed greens and garnished with coriander leaves.

Nutritional info (without the rice or the greens)
Total: 8110 kJ, 104.5 g fat, 190.1 g protein, 68.3 g carbohydrate, 8.7 g fiber
per serve (5 serves): 1622kJ, 20.9 g fat, 38.0 g protein, 13.7 g carbohydrate, 1.7g fibre.

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