Chinese-Style Chicken Curry Recipe: This chicken curry dish has been my family’s favourite picnic meal since my children were young. Now they are grown up and have their own families. However this dish still brings us together and reminds us of those happy memories! This dish goes best with french loaf or steaming hot white rice, so be sure to cook extra rice to go with it!
When we stayed in Ang Mo Kio and my children were still young, it was a family routine for us to have a picnic almost every weekend by the beach at East Coast, together with my sister and brother-in-law. They always looked forward to the big pot of Curry Chicken served with french loaf from Delifrance, and the big tupperware of Fried Bee Hoon that I would prepare. We would mount our bicycles to the back of our car and head for the beach. While the children were enjoying building sand castles and playing with water, the adults would be chatting away happily. Those were the days….
Ironically, after we shifted to the east some 20 years ago, we hardly went to the beach. A couple of weeks ago, I suggested a repeat of what we had done in the past but this time round my grandchildren were part of the party. There we had our long forgotten picnic at East Coast Park. Hope that this dish will also find a place in your family bonding time, and bring back great memories everything you have this dish with your loved ones!
Hope you enjoy this recipe, and please leave me a comment below if you have any questions, suggestions or feedback for me!
Suggested Modifications for Special Diets
- Egg-Free: No modifications needed.
- Fish-Free: No modifications needed.
- Nut-Free: No modifications needed.
- Shellfish-Free: No modifications needed.
Chinese-Style Chicken Curry
Steaming hot chinese-styled chicken curry goes perfectly with french loaf or white rice!
- 1 Chicken Approx 1.4kg
- 1 tsp Salt To marinate chicken
- 12-15 Shallots
- 2 cloves Garlic
- 1 thumbsized piece of Blue Ginger (Galangal / Lengkuas)
- 1 stalk Lemon Grass (Serai)
- 5 TBsp Oil
- 1/2 - 1 tsp Salt To taste (see Pro Tip 9)
- 1 packet Wet Chicken Curry Paste
- 200 ml Coconut Cream (Santan) Kara brand
- 2 cups Water Not necessary if using homemade coconut cream/milk (See pro tip 4)
PREPARATION FOR CHINESE CHICKEN CURRY (40 mins)
Remove the chicken head and innards in the chicken cavity. Next rub with coarse salt all over and in the cavity to remove the smelly yellow membrane, then wash thoroughly and drain dry.
Cut the chicken into pieces. Then rub 1 tsp of salt all over the chicken and inside the cavity, and marinate for 30 minutes.
Peel and chop the shallots and garlic finely.
Wash the lemongrass and cut into two, then peel the blue ginger. Smash the lemongrass and blue ginger with a chopper.
Peel the potatoes and cut in chunks.
COOKING METHOD FOR CHINESE CHICKEN CURRY (1 hour)
Add 5 Tbsp of oil in a wok over medium high heat. Once the oil is hot, add in the potatoes and fry for about 5-8 mins until browned (Why brown the potatoes? See Pro Tip 2). Transfer to a plate.
Turn the heat to low, and using the same oil, add in the shallots and garlic and fry until limp (Why low fire? See Pro Tip 3)
Mix in the curry paste and stir constantly, ensuring it does not get burnt. (See Pro Tip 5)
Add in the chicken and half of the water, then mix well with the curry paste and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Next add the rest of the water and bring back to a boil, then transfer to a pot.
Add the blue ginger, lemon grass and potatoes and continue to simmer uncovered over medium low heat for 20-25 minutes or until the potatoes are soft. Stir occasionally to ensure the bottom does not burn. (Why uncovered? See Pro Tip 6).
Add in the coconut cream (Santan/1st layer) and salt (to taste), then cook for another 5 minutes (see Pro Tip 7)
Best to cook ahead of time (see Pro Tip 8). When ready to serve, reheat the curry over the stove and serve with rice or baguette.
- Shallots, garlic and lemon grass are a must as they provide that deep flavour typical of curries. More shallots will give the curry a denser texture and a heavier body.
- Frying the potatoes first helps prevent them from breaking up after it is added to the curry mixture.
- When frying the spices, the heat must be turned down to low as the spices gets burnt easily.
- If you are using homemade coconut cream/milk, replace the water with coconut milk (2nd layer)
- It is very important to stir the curry mixture constantly especially after the coconut milk has been added to it, as it has the tendency to stick to the bottom of the pot and get burnt easily. The worst thing to happen to the curry is for it to get burnt, because burnt curry tastes awful. Once burnt, there is no remedy, so you will have to dump it and start over.
- Leaving the pot uncovered allows the chicken curry to cook more slowly, giving it more time to steep in and absorb the aromas and flavours of the spices. In general you should never cover the pot completely with a lid when cooking curry or any other curries, otherwise the curry will turn out to be very lumpy and not smooth.
- Do not add the coconut milk into the chicken curry from the start because it gets burnt easily. Add it in only during the last 15 mins of the cooking time.
- If you are planning to have curry for dinner, try to cook it first thing in the morning. The longer the chicken and the potatoes steep in the curry gravy, the better they will taste. Its even better if you can cook it the day before. Overnight curry always tastes better because the potatoes steeped in the curry will release starch, giving the curry more body.
- You will need to adjust the amount of salt added depending on the types of curry paste. Some curry pastes are already quite salty, so make sure you taste the mixture first before adding the salt.