Curried Chicken over Rice

The great thing about curry is that when you make it once, you have nearly all the ingredients you need to make it again and again and again. A well-stocked spice cabinet is the secret to curry. Simply pick up a protein, an onion, and some greens for garnish at the store and you’re good to go. This particular recipe has a beautiful color to it from the turmeric and the ginger makes it just as bright in flavor as it is in color.

I served my curry over plain white rice which I had infused with cinnamon and bay leaves. Simply heat a bit of oil in a pot, add the spices and the rice and toast them all together for just about a minute before adding in the water and cooking the rice as usual. The subtle hint of cinnamon is a real winner here and goes beautifully with the spicy chicken curry. With some sauteed greens on the side, you’ll have a complete and yummy meal.

If you serve it up in recycled takeout containers, you’d easily convince your guests that you ordered in from the finest Indian restaurant in town.

Curried Chicken over Rice

  • 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1” pieces
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp plus 3 cups water, divided
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2″ piece fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • scallions and cilantro, for garnish

Heat some oil in a large Dutch oven over medium high heat. Toss in the chicken, curry powder, salt, pepper, and 1 tbsp of water. Stir to combine everything, making sure that the chicken is evenly coated. Cook the chicken for 7 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it is browned on all sides. Using a slotted spoon, remove the chicken from the pot and set aside.

Add the onion to the pan and cook until it just begins to soften, 5 or so minutes. Add the garlic, tomato paste, spices, and additional salt and pepper and stir until everything is well mixed and fragrant. Return the chicken to the pot and continue to stir. Add the remaining 3 cups of water and bring the curry up to a low boil. Reduce the heat, cover the pot and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.

Serve the curry over rice and top with some cilantro and scallions. I cooked my rice with a cinnamon stick and 2 bay leaves to infuse more flavor into the dish. Simply discard the cinnamon and bay leaves once the rice is ready to serve so that any leftovers do not have an overpowering flavor of either.

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