Monday, April 4, 2016

Chicken Katsu Curry

A quick, easy, delicious main meal to throw together when you need something tummy-warming after a long exhausting day at work. Also great when you want a proper meal late at night but are trying to avoid delivery/take-away stuff. This is also very easy on the budget. My husband Alan loves this recipe and eats it without any complaints, only murmurs of pleasure and appreciation - and if you know Alan you understand how rare that is; Alan could nit-pick for Britain.

The sauce can be made ahead of time and frozen for later use. I usually make the full amount, divide it in half when finished then use part immediately and freeze the other for later use. I find I can have dinner ready start to finish in 20 minutes if I grab a packet of the frozen sauce. Otherwise it takes me about an hour to make the fresh batch of sauce. Make this sauce slowly and gently, stirring and chopping, blending and tasting as you prepare this with love.

Sauce ingredients:

1 - 2 T peanut oil (called groundnut oil in the UK)  As needed
1 medium onion - peel and chop
5 whole garlic cloves (3 if they are the huge ones) peeled and smashed
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 T plain flour
1 T medium curry powder
1 pint chicken stock (600 ml)
2 - 3 tsp honey
1 T soy sauce (I use a tamari soy)
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp garam masala

1.  Heat the oil in a small pan. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes, then throw in the carrots and sweat slowly for 10 minutes with the lid on, stirring occasionally until softened and starting to caramelise.
2. Stir in the flour and curry powder and cook for a minute.
3. Slowly pour in the stock while whisking or stirring until combined. Add the honey, soy sauce and bay leaf and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, so the sauce thickens but is still of pouring consistency.
4. Remove the pan from the burner and stir in the garam masala, then use a stick blender to puree the sauce quickly. Return to the burner, taste and adjust, and simmer briefly to finish.
5. At this point you can separate the sauce and freeze for future use or set aside to wait while you complete the rest of the recipe.

Chicken cutlet ingredients:

1/2 cup plain flour seasoned with lots of salt and pepper
1 large egg,  beaten lightly
1 cup Japanese panko breadcrumbs (or 1 packet, etc)
6 Chicken mini-breast strips/chicken tenders (called different names in different places)
Peanut oil
White rice and salad to serve along with the chicken and sauce

To prepare the Chicken:

1. Lay strips of chicken on non-stick baking paper, gently pound flat.
2. Place the seasoned flour, egg and breadcrumbs on separate plates. Coat the chicken in the flour, then dip into the egg and finally into the panko breadcrumbs.
3. Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the breaded chicken breasts for 5 minutes on each side, or until golden and cooked through. Remove from the pan and leave to drain on kitchen paper. Slice the chicken diagonally and serve with the sauce drizzled over, and steamed rice and salad.