Let’s talk about one of my favorite dishes to make: Chicken Curry. I cook this all the time. It’s salty and spicy. It’s really, really easy to cook. All of which adds up to keeping it in my regular rotation. Extra bonus? My parents like it too. Now you’ve probably had curry dishes before in your life. You’ve probably had many different iterations across multiple cuisines. Time to add another one to your life with my chicken curry: Filipino style.
Unlike other chicken dishes on the blog, this one is not a stew or a soup. It is soupy–it’s curry after all. But it’s not that kind of soup. Anyways, this recipe comes from the Filipino bible of cooking, aka Nora Daza’s Let’s Cook with Nora. I’ve made some adjustments, some additions, but the foundation of this recipe is all Nora.
Like I said, cooking this dish is pretty easy. In fact, it’s one of the first one’s that I learned by heart. It’s also another dish I make when I’m not feeling motivated to cook. Mostly because I know it so well that it doesn’t take much effort for me to put it together. That’s not to say that it isn’t easy to cook. It is! All you need is one pan and a few ingredients.
First, start off with the Filipino foundation–garlic and onions. Saute them in some oil. Add your chicken and saute that too. I usually make this dish with chicken wings, because that’s what we usually have on hand at the house. But I’ve also tried it with chicken thighs and shrimp. Fun fact: when I was a kid, shrimp curry was my absolute favorite thing in the world. Today it’s still top 5. But alas, when I make it now, it’s still usually chicken.
Anyways, after the sauteing comes the seasoning. The seasoning is what gives the soup its curry flavor. Flavor your chicken with a good heaping helping of curry powder and chili powder. That way every bite gets a bit of that sensational curry flavor. To keep building that taste, start making your broth. All you need to really get this soup going is a really great can opener. Add a can of coconut milk and a small can of tomato sauce. Your soup should now be a nice orangey color. It should also have a nice tangy, spicy, salty curry flavor.
As I mentioned before, I add a couple of things that Nora doesn’t. To give it some vegetables, extra color, and another texture and taste I add green bell pepper and celery. The celery in particular gives it a nice contrast in taste to the strong curry flavor. And there you have it! Simmer it through and enjoy while hot. As always, serve it with rice.
There are a lot of similarities to other kinds of curry. It has a coconut milk and tomato sauce base. It also uses yellow curry powder. Is there anything in particular that separates a Filipino style curry from another? I’m not sure. In my opinion, it’s not soupy, not as many components, but still just as delicious. Every curry is different, but Filipino style is surely one of my favorites. Then again, I may be biased.
What’s your favorite kind of chicken curry?
Chicken Curry: Filipino Style
- 2 lbs chicken wings
- salt + pepper to taste
- 1 large onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tbsp curry powder
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 14.5 oz coconut milk
- 8 oz tomato sauce
- 1 large green bell pepper chopped
- 3-4 stalks celery chopped in 1-inch pieces
Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Set aside. In a deep pan, heat oil over medium heat. Saute the garlic and onion until soft and fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. Add the chicken and saute until lightly brown, an additional 5 minutes.
Add the curry powder and chili powder. Mix until the chicken is fully coated. You want to to form almost a paste-like texture. You should be able to smell the curry as well.
Pour in the coconut milk and tomato sauce. Mix until fully incorporated. Cover the pan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium. Let it simmer until cooked through, about 20-26 minutes.
In the last 10 minutes, add the green bell pepper and celery. Bring to a simmer and continue cooking. Serve with rice!
This recipe originally appeared in Let's Cook with Nora, by Nora Daza