Chicken Rice Curry Dinner

Chicken rice curry. Photo by Keri White

I saw a version of this in The New York Times a few weeks ago. The original recipe was called “One-Pot Japanese Curry Chicken Rice” and was the creation of Kay Chun.

I was intrigued by the preparation, as one-pot meals always speak to me, and with the chill still lingering in the air, this warming dish seemed appealing. A comment on the recipe’s name: I did not find this evocative of Japanese cuisine — to me, it skewed Indian in its flavor profile, but my daughter deemed it more in the Moroccan or North African palate. Regardless of where it sends you, the dish is delicious.

Chun’s version used bone-in chicken thighs and Madras curry powder; I swapped these for bone-in breasts and hot curry powder. Other than that, I followed the recipe closely, but going forward, I could see introducing more vegetables, using brown rice and maybe swapping out the bone-in for boneless chicken.

The mixed winter greens complemented the dish nicely; for this dish, the sides should be simple, as the curry brings a lot to the table.

Chicken Rice Curry
Serves 4 generously

For the chicken:
4 large bone-in chicken breasts, cut in half
2 tablespoons canola or
vegetable oil
Generous sprinkling of salt and pepper

For the curry:
3 tablespoons canola or
vegetable oil
1 small onion, chopped
3 tablespoons hot curry powder (or your favorite curry blend)
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1-inch piece ginger, grated
2 medium potatoes, each about the size of your fist (peel if you wish; I do not)
5 carrots, sliced thickly
1½ cups white rice
3½ cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
To serve: chopped fresh cilantro and/or scallions

Heat your oven to 350 degrees F.

Salt and pepper the chicken. In a Dutch oven or heavy ovenproof pot, heat the oil and brown the chicken pieces in batches. Remove the chicken from the pan, and set it aside.
Scrape up the brown bits, add the remaining oil and add the onion, curry powder, garlic, ginger, potatoes and carrots. Sauté until fragrant and coated with seasonings, about 3 minutes. Add the rice, and stir to coat.

Add the broth, Worcestershire sauce and more salt and pepper, then return the chicken to the pan. Bring it to a boil, cover and place it in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the cover, and cook it for another 10 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked through.

Serve with chopped fresh cilantro and scallions, if desired.

Mixed winter greens. Photo by Keri White

Mixed Winter Greens
Serves 4

This preparation is as simple and basic as they come, but consider it a blank canvas. Add the ginger or red pepper flakes, onion, lemon juice and zest or your favorite spice blend. I kept it simple for this meal because the curry delivers so much flavor.

1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
Salt and pepper to taste
10 cups chopped mixed winter greens, coarsely chopped — I used napa cabbage and bok choy, but any combo of cabbage, kale, collards, mustard greens, et cetera, works well in this recipe.

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the garlic, salt and pepper, and stir until fragrant. Add the greens and sauté, turning the leaves to coat them with oil.

Continue cooking and turning the greens until they are wilted and cooked through. The timing varies with the greens; kale/collards will take longer, while bok choy/spinach cook more quickly.


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