This chicken curry recipe is more fantastic than it’s simple ingredients would lead you to believe! Plus it’s easy and quick to make. I found this recipe on Epicurious years ago and, since then, have modified it, created a dairy free option, and added “hidden vegetables”. Curries have a wonderful quality, you can add lots of vegetables and the dish still tastes rich and delicious.
The sauce is thickened with ground, roasted cashews and yogurt or coconut milk. So no flour or other thickeners are required. The richness of the ground cashews gives the sauce texture and a luscious flavor. Combined with the other spices it creates a sauce that tastes complex and absolutely wonderful. It always gets rave reviews.
It can be made ahead a few days ahead of time. It’s fancy enough for company and easy enough for a weeknight dinner. Not only that, it makes for fabulous leftovers. I usually make a large batch and we all eat it (fight over it?) for lunch during the week.
An important tip: often curries and stews have vegetables that are way overcooked. The secret to avoiding a big pot of mush? Add cooked vegetable chunks just before serving. For example if you are adding cauliflower, steam it first so it is just the right doneness, and then add it at the last minute. Like the Green Soup recipe, the vegetables can be varied based on what’s available at your local stores and markets or what needs using up in your fridge. In addition to the broccoli in the recipe, I’ve used steamed cauliflower, sautéed zucchini, and baby peas (just add them frozen and they cook in a minute or two). I’ve even added a handful of golden raisins (put them in with the chicken), which are delicious but carby so I don’t do that too often.
- 1/2 stick butter, salted or unsalted; or coconut oil for dairy free
- 2 cups chopped onions, about 1 large or 2 medium
- 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
- 3 tablespoons curry powder
- 2 teaspoons salt, less if using salted butter
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- 3 1/2 - 4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 2" chunks
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 3/4 cup cashews (1/4 pound) - raw and lightly toasted in the oven or already roasted
- 3/4 cup plain whole milk yogurt or full fat coconut milk for dairy free
- 1 pound broccoli
- Heat butter in a 5 to 6 quart, wide, heavy pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and ginger, stir and continue cooking for another 2 minutes. Add curry powder, salt, cumin, and cayenne and stir and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Add chicken and stir to coat. Stir in tomatoes, including juice. Bring to a simmer, cover the pot, and gently simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 40 minutes.
- While the chicken is cooking, cut the broccoli into florets and the stems into little chunks and steam until tender. Set aside.
- Grind toasted/roasted cashews in a food processor or spice grinder until very finely ground. Be careful not to over grind or they will turn into cashew butter. Set aside.
- Just before serving, stir in yogurt or coconut milk, ground cashews, and broccoli and simmer gently, uncovered, to heat.
- Ahead of time note: this dish may be made, up until you add the yogurt, cashews, and broccoli, 2-3 days ahead of time and kept covered and chilled. Reheat on low and add the yogurt, cashews, and broccoli.