This recipe is a classic Filipino version of chicken in yellow curry sauce. It is a very tasty main dish cooked by sautéing the chicken bone-in slices with garlic, onions and ginger - seasoned with pre-mixed curry powder and spices, and simmered in pure coconut milk until the meat has tenderized and absorbed all the flavors. A variety of vegetables, commonly potatoes and carrots, is also added. It is a must-have in the menu during celebrations like fiestas, weddings and birthdays, and best partnered with hot steamed rice. Having been invited by my good friends – Princess and Jason into their home during the feast day of Sto. Niño in a small barangay in Quezon City, I was so lucky to get a taste of their own adaptation of the curry dish. Theirs is packed with more veggies like chayote (pear squash) and sliced fried eggplants. Hence, I am calling it Chicken Curry Overload. Another thrilling part is that they used baby potatoes, with skin on and cut into halves, instead of the usual peeled and quartered big potatoes. Until then, I never realized that this dish could both be as appetizing and as hearty.
Chicken Curry is not only famous in the Philippines. In fact, a number of variations can be found in other parts of South Asia, Southeast Asia as well as in the Caribbean. A wide range of additional strong spices may include turmeric, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, peppers and chilies; depending on the geographic location, cultural tradition, religious practices and even family preference. It is believed that curry recipes originated in India some 8000 years ago. During the early centuries, Indian spiced dishes were evidently carried eastward by Buddhist monks to Burma, Thailand and China, and southward by coastal Indian traders to Indonesia and elsewhere, including the Philippines. From then on, curry-based delicacy continued to evolve and increasingly become part of international fusion cuisine. With all its hot and flavorful ingredients, would you believe that curry is also one of the most powerful aphrodisiacs? Very interesting, isn’t?
Chicken Curry Overload
Number of Servings: 3 to 4
- 1 lb. chicken, washed and sliced into serving pieces
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
- 1 inch-sized ginger, sliced into strips
- 2 pcs. chayote (pear squashed), peeled and cut into wedges
- 2 pcs. small carrots, chopped
- 8 pcs. baby potatoes, washed and cut into halves
- 2 pcs. long eggplant, sliced into slant ovals
- 1 pc. small red bell pepper, sliced into strips
- 2 tbsps. curry powder
- 2 cups pure coconut milk
- 2 tbsps. patis (fish sauce)
- ½ tsp. ground black pepper
- cooking oil
- In a large pan, heat the cooking oil and sauté garlic, onion and ginger. Add the chicken slices and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the curry powder and patis, stirring continuously. Pour in the coconut milk and simmer for 10 minutes or until the sauce slightly thickens.
- Add the baby potatoes, carrots, chayote and bell peppers. Simmer for another 10 minutes or until the chicken and vegetables are tender.
- Season with ground pepper. Remove from heat and set aside.
- On a separate pan, fry the eggplant slices. Drain the cooked eggplant with paper towels.
- Put the chicken curry on a serving plate and top with fried eggplant slices. Serve with hot steamed rice. Enjoy!
TIPS FROM ENZ:
- It is important to choose the brand of curry powder with the best quality. Commercialized curries vary in spiciness and strength of flavor. Find the one that will best suit your taste.
- It is preferable to use pure coconut milk straight from real coconut meat (niyog) whenever available. Otherwise, you may use the commercialized packed coconut crème. Again, choose only the product with the best quality.
- If you want your curry with thick sauce, you may simmer it for a little longer but do not put your vegetables right away to reduce cooking time. You do not want to overcook your baby potatoes.