Easy, store cupboard ingredients curry
I’m trying to run down the contents of my freezer (so I can fill it with Christmas goodies!) and I needed a quick ‘whatever’s in the fridge’ type supper so here’s the result – my spicy citrus yoghurt and chicken curry. I’ll apologise for the photo now because, although cakes always photograph pretty well, my iPhone snaps of savoury dishes can often just look like something the cat regurgitated! Having planted that lovely image in your mind, I hasten to add that this is really quite delicious, inexpensive and easy peasy to make! I served it with basmati rice mixed with sautéed courgettes.
You will need…
- A pack of skinless chicken thigh meat – one standard supermarket pack of 6 fillets (about 350g is enough for 3 people but you could easily use 2 packs if you’re feeding more or want to freeze half for another day). I trim any excess skin or fat away and cut each fillet into 2. It really is a waste of money using chicken breasts for curry – thigh meat will always deliver the best flavour for less outlay.
- 2 onions – peeled and sliced
- 1 chicken stock pot pod (I’m a big fan of these Knorr stock pots, I have a selection of all flavours in the fridge!)
- The zest and juice of a lemon
- A pot of natural Greek-style yoghurt – I used a 500g Waitrose Essential pot
- 2 cloves of garlic – peeled and crushed
- A tablespoon of vegetable oil
- A teaspoon of sea salt
- A teaspoon of ground black pepper
- A teaspoon of brown mustard seeds (optional but it does add visual interest and texture not just flavour)
- A teaspoon of cumin seeds
- 5 green cardamon pods – lightly crushed
- A teaspoon of chilli powder
- Half a teaspoon of chilli flakes
- 1 1/2 tablespoons of ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- Coriander – fresh is best but I used a tablespoon of Waitrose chopped frozen coriander I keep in just for Indian and Asian curry dishes
- Mix the lemon juice, zest, salt and pepper in a bowl and marinate the chicken meat for about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the spiced yoghurt. Measure out the turmeric, chilli powder and flakes, ground cumin and ground coriander and stir it into the yoghurt along with the crushed garlic. Cover the chicken and lemon mix with the yoghurt. For the best flavour, refrigerate it for a couple of hours beforehand.
- Preheat the oven to 160C. You could cook this on the stovetop but oven cooking will give a better finish to the sauce and then you don’t need to keep an eye on it to stop it catching the base of the pan.
- Heat the oil in an ovenproof casserole (use a frying pan if you don’t have one you can use on the hob and then transfer everything to a casserole dish afterwards. A wide shallow casserole dish like the one below will deliver the best sauce as it will reduce across the surface area of the pan). Add the mustard seeds, cardamom pods and cumin seeds and stir for a few moments. Add the onions and cook until slightly browned.
- Add the chicken and yoghurt mixture and the stock pod, stir and cook for about 5 minutes to get it up to temperature and to dissolve the stock pod.
- Cook in the oven, covered with a lid or foil, for at least an hour so that the curry sauce thickens and reduces and the chicken is tender. You could cook it for two hours if you need to get on with something else but reduce the temperature to 150C.
- Test for seasoning and adjust to your taste before serving and stir in either chopped fresh coriander or the frozen kind. Lift off any excess cooking oil with a spoon before serving.
- Serve with rice stirred through with green vegetables such as courgettes, green beans, spinach or peas.
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