Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

January 24, 2022

© Richard Jung

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Chicken curry

This dish can be cooked in a bowl set in a steamer or in a tightly covered pot. The chicken is chopped into small pieces, on the bone. It cooks more quickly than it would in large pieces and more surface area is exposed to the flavour paste and broth.

The chicken is rubbed with garlic, ginger, ground coriander, turmeric and dried red chilies. It steams in its own juices, emerging tender and succulent.

1½ lbs. (680 g) chicken parts, chopped into about 15 pieces
1 tbsp. (15 ml) minced garlic
1 tbsp. (15 ml) minced ginger
1 tsp. (5 ml) salt
2 to 4 dried red chilies, seeded and minced
scant 1 tsp. (5 ml) ground coriander seed
¼ tsp. (1.25 ml) turmeric
1 tbsp. (15 ml) water, or as needed
1 tbsp. (15 ml) peanut or vegetable oil, if slow-cooking
2 tbsp. (30 ml) minced scallion greens or chopped coriander (optional)

Rinse the chicken pieces, remove most of the skin and set aside. Place the chicken a wide bowl.

Pound together the garlic, ginger, salt, chilies, coriander and turmeric in a mortar to make a paste. Alternatively, mash the garlic and ginger with the side of a knife. Place in a small bowl, add the rest of the spices and use the back of a spoon to blend them. Stir the water into the paste then add it to the chicken. Turn and mix the chicken and paste until the pieces are well coated. Set aside.

If steaming the chicken, you’ll need a shallow bowl large enough to hold all of the pieces that will also fit into your steamer when the lid is on. You’ll also need a pot that’s the same diameter as your steamer, so that no steam escapes.

Pour 3 inches (7.5 cm) of water into the pot and set the steamer inside. Transfer the chicken and flavourings, and the reserved skin to the bowl and place in the steamer. Put on the steamer lid, then heat the water over high heat. When it comes to a boil, turn the heat down slightly. Steam the chicken until cooked through, 1¼ to 1½ hours. Check on it after 45 minutes, being careful not to burn yourself with steam when you lift the lid. Stir so that pieces underneath will be exposed to the steam. Cover and resume steaming.

Check one of the largest pieces for doneness after an hour. Also check that the pot has enough water and is not running dry. When all the chicken is cooked through, remove the steamer from the pot, again taking care not to burn yourself.

If slow-cooking, add 2 tablespoons (15 ml) more water and the oil to the chicken pieces. Place in a wide heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid, add the reserved skin, and stir to mix well. Place over medium-low heat, with the lid on, and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 1 hour, or until all the chicken is cooked through. The chicken will be bathed in a light sauce, and will be tender and succulent.

To serve, remove the skin and discard. Serve hot or at room temperature, topped, if you like, with scallion greens or coriander. Serves 4.

To double the recipe: Double all the amounts and cook in two bowls set in stacked steamers; if slow cooking, use a 10- to 12-inch (25-cm to 30-cm) heavy pot, so the chicken is not stacked too deep. The cooking time will be a longer.

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Showing 1 comments

  1. On April 14, 2013, Mike said:
    Where is the curry in the recipe????

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