Curry chicken is a beloved dish that is popular around the world. The aromatic, flavorful curry sauce pairs perfectly with juicy chicken pieces. While you can easily get curry chicken from your favorite takeout spot, there's nothing quite like homemade. With just a few simple ingredients and steps, you can make restaurant-quality curry chicken with curry paste, potatoes, and carrots. It can be in better taste overnight.
Unlike Thai-style or Indian-style curry chicken, Chinese-style chicken curry does not contain coconut milk and is cooked more like a braised dish, cooperating with some of the most basic Chinese seasonings like soy sauce.
Chicken legs are perfect for this chicken curry because it is juicy and tender even when simmered in sauce. You can use boneless, skinless chicken breast as well. Remove any visible fat or membranes before cutting the meat into bite-sized pieces.
The combination of onions, garlic, and ginger will give the Chinese-style chicken curry a basic savory taste base.
potatoes and carrots are commonly used side ingredients for Chinese curry chicken. The potatoes add a nice texture and soak up the sauce.
You can also add other starchy vegetables like taro or Chinese yam.
Curry paste provides a big curry flavor. I used a golden curry paste for a nice spicy kick. You can adjust the amount depending on how intense you want the curry flavor to be.
Except for the basic ingredients above, we also need the following seasonings.
- cooking wine- helps to enhance the flavor
- of soy sauce- and adds a lovely umami flavor which can combine well with the curry taste.
- cornstarch for marinating the chicken.
How to make easy Chinese-style curry chicken
Marinate the Chicken
Before we start cooking, the chicken needs to be marinated. This simple 15-minute marinade makes the chicken extra flavorful and helps it brown perfectly.
Toss the chicken to evenly coat in the marinade. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes while you prep the remaining ingredients.
Sauté the Aromatics
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the onions, garlic and ginger. Cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently, until fragrant.
Add the potatoes and carrots and continue cooking for another 2 minutes. This jump-starts the cooking process for the veggies. They'll finish simmering in the curry sauce.
Simmer the Curry
Break up the curry paste with a spoon and stir to combine thoroughly with the sautéed aromatics and liquid. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer.
Let the curry simmer for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. The sauce will thicken slightly from the starch released by the potatoes.
Taste and add more soy sauce if needed, starting with ½ tablespoon at a time until you achieve the right salty-spicy flavor balance.
Sear the Chicken
While the curry simmers, we'll quickly sear the marinated chicken.
Heat another tablespoon oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the chicken in a single layer. Cook for 3-4 minutes per side until nicely browned.
Searing caramelizes the exterior and renders any fat for more flavor. It also warms the chicken so it doesn't drop the temperature of the simmering curry.
Once the chicken is browned, add it to the pot of simmering curry. Gently stir to coat the chicken with the sauce. Continue simmering for 5 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the flavors have integrated or until the sauce is well thickened.
However, if you missed the time and the curry looks a little thick, add a splash of water to loosen it up.
The starch from the potatoes and the starch we used to marinate the chicken should provide enough thickness so there is no need to add extra starch.
And that's it - your homemade curry chicken is ready to enjoy!
Chinese chicken curry
- 1 chicken leg deboned and cut into large pieces
- 1 potato diced
- 1 carrot diced
- ½ onion diced
- 1 small piece ginger minced
- ½ block curry paste
- 2 tbsp. cooking oil
- 1 tbsp. Soy sauce
- hot water , 2 cm higher than the content
- 1 tablespoon cooking wine
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- 1 tbsp. vegetable cooking oil for coating the chicken meat
- Marinate the chicken: Toss chicken with the marinade ingredients and rest 10 minutes.
- Sauté aromatics: Heat oil in wok and cook onion, garlic, ginger until fragrant.
- Add vegetables: Add potato and carrot and stir fry briefly.
- Simmer curry: Add water to cover all the contents, then place in curry paste, soy sauce and bring to a simmer. Simmer for around 15 to 20 minutes until the sauce is slightly thickened.
- Sear chicken: Heat oil in skillet and pan-fry marinated chicken until browned.
- Simmer chicken in curry: Add seared chicken to the curry pot and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Serve over rice.
What to serve with
Curry chicken tastes amazing with rice or naan to soak up the flavorful sauce. Here are some serving ideas:
Steamed rice- curry chicken is the best partner with steamed white rice.
Noodles- curry chicken can also be spread on top of flat noodles.
Since it is a savory dish, you can also match it with cucumber salad or soups for a better balance. Following are some of our best recommendations.
- smashed cucumber salad
- egg drop soup
- Chinese blanched vegetables
- Wood ear mushroom salad
- a more interesting way is to serve with bubble tea - taro bubble tea, mango bubble tea, matcha bubble tea, and my favorite tiger bubble tea.
Homemade curry chicken is easier to make than you think. With a simple marinade and aromatics on hand, you can whip up restaurant-worthy results.
Serve it with rice, flatbread, and noodles for a complete meal. You can pack the leftovers for quick lunch boxes since they taste even better after the ingredients are combined overnight. Happy cooking!