Breasts and Beyond: Chicken Part Three

A simple and scrumptious South Indian-style Madras…

Hello and welcome to part three of Breasts and Beyond – a recipe series by The Grumpy Chef created in celebration of Britain’s most versatile bird: the humble chicken.

To kick off the series we made a delicious chicken breast and sweetcorn dish for part one, and then in part two we spiced things up a bit with a delicious Korean-street-food-inspired drumstick snack.

Today is all about the thigh—one of the most tender and succulent parts of the bird,  and undoubtedly The Grumpy Chef’s  favourite bit to eat. And what better way is there to enjoy chicken thigh than cooked to perfection in a delicious curry? None, he would argue. In fact, The Grumpy Chef loves curry so much that it’s become something of a regular meal at home, and, needless to say, something that I always look forward to when I know it’s on the cards.

If you love curry as much as we do then this simple South Indian-style dish served with wholesome brown rice is sure to satisfy your spice cravings.

The Grumpy Chef’s Easy Chicken Curry

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 50 minutes to 1 hour
Serves: 4


4 chicken thighs (skinless, deboned and cut into bite-sized chunks)
2½ tbsp. Madras curry powder
3 tbsp. ghee (or vegetable oil)
6 medium shallots (finely chopped)
1½ inches root ginger (peeled and finely chopped)
6 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
1 cinnamon stick
4-5 hot chillies (dried)
1 can coconut milk
2 tbsp. tamarind paste
2 pinch of salt
1 handful coriander (chopped)
2 cups long grain brown rice

Equipment: You will need two large lidded saucepans.

1. First of all you will need to prepare the rice as this will take the longest time to cook. Rinse under cold water to remove the residual starch and then place in a large pan along with 3 cups of cold water and a large pinch of salt. Bring to the boil with the lid in place and leave to cook for at least 40 minutes. While 3 cups of water should be enough, it’s a good idea to check the rice after 30 minutes to make sure that it hasn’t boiled dry. If it’s looking a bit dodgy then you can add a bit more water at this stage to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

2. In the meantime you can make a start on the sauce. Over a medium heat gently fry the chicken in the ghee until fully sealed, adding a pinch of salt for seasoning, then remove and leave to one side for later. Next, add the shallots to the pan along with the cinnamon, chillies and half of both the ginger and the garlic, and fry for around 5 minutes until the shallots are soft and golden.

3. Next add 250ml of water with all of the Madras powder and stir slowly whilst continuing to heat. After 5 minutes or so add the sealed chicken thighs and another 250ml of water. Stir slowly as you bring the mixture to the boil. When boiling point is reached cover the pan with a lid and allow to simmer gently for around 25 minutes until the chicken is fully cooked through.

4. When the chicken is done and the sauce has reduced enough to coat the back of a spoon, add the coconut milk and tamarind paste and continue to simmer (without replacing the lid) for a further 5 minutes or so. Before serving, add the rest of the ginger and garlic (and more salt if needed) and continue to heat for another minute or two. When hot you can remove from the heat and serve as desired, with a sprinkling of chopped coriander to garnish. For maximum enjoyment The Grumpy Chef recommends serving this dish (and all curries for that matter!) with an ice-cold bottle of Indian beer such as Tiger or Cobra.

Note: As with all meat products, it is highly recommended that you purchase your chicken from a trusted organic butcher.

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