Cooking for a party: Curry Chicken

Monday, March 17, 2014

Editorial: I am starting a new series on recipes that are suited for cooking for a party or group of people, i.e. 30-40 

I am teaching some friends here to cook some Asian dishes for church lunches. I will make some adjustments to the recipe to cater for party-eating, striking a balance between taste and the need for simplicity when doing large quantity cooking.

I will start with Curry Chicken. Curry is a great party dish. It keeps well and the taste actually gets better hours after it is done. It is a one-pot meal and apart from rice, you only need to add veg like fresh cucumber, lettuce or tomatoes. You can prepare the paste in advance and cook the curry on the day of the event itself.

For some background to this dish, do read my various curry recipes here and here.

I am using boneless chicken meat as it cooks fast, easier to eat (especially if you are using disposable cutlery) and you don't have leftover bones to manage.

As I am cooking this in Toronto, I have to adjust to what is available here. Fresh red chillies are expensive. So I prefer to use chilli powder, either the Korean or Indian variety. The curry power here is also very good and it keeps well in this weather. By all means, use this instead of mixing your own spices. I have coriander and cumin seeds with me and I always like to add them to add some aroma to the curry.

While I prefer to use shallots for curries, using large red onions is easier for parties like this and is an acceptable compromise. The large red-purplish onion in Toronto is cheap and good. Use them.

Averaging, each person will eat 100 gm of meat and 100 gm of potatoes. The rest of the ingredients will be proportioned accordingly.

Curry Chicken for 20 pax:

2 kilos of chicken meat (breast or thigh)
2 kilos of yellow-flesh potatoes (peeled)
1.2 kilo of large red onions (about 3 large pieces, dice in large chunks)
2 pieces of turmeric (about an inch each, scrap skin off)
1 pack of peeled garlic (about 200g)
4 stalks of lemon grass (bruised, white part only)
2T red chilli powder
2T coriander seeds
1T cumin seeds
A bowl of oil
Salt & Sugar
For garnishing: Coriander Leaves or finely diced Kaffir Lime leaves (optional)

Preparing the Curry Paste, meat and potatoes
  1. Dry toast the coriander and cumin seeds in a pan or wok. 
  2. Cut the onions up & scrape the skin off the turmeric. 
  3. Blend the onions, garlic, turmeric. Add some cooking oil for smoother blending action. 
  4. Add the spices and continue blending. 
  5. Bruise the stalks of lemon grass.
  6. Cut up the chicken meat (don't cut off the fat) and potatoes into cubes, about 3/4 inch squares.
Cooking the curry
  1. Heat up a large pan or wok with some oil in it. Add the blended mix and the stalks of lemon grass.
  2. Add the chilli powder, stalks of lemon grass and 1T of salt and 1t of sugar.
  3. Stir occasionally and simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Add coconut milk and when the curry is heated back up, add the chicken and potato cubes.
  5. Simmer for another 15 minutes.
  6. Add coconut milk and simmer for another 5 minutes. 
  7. Adjust the taste with salt if necessary. 
  8. When serving, garnish with coriander leaves or diced Kaffir Lime Leaf. 
Serve the curry with fresh slices of cucumber and tomatoes. 

This is a simple dish to make and in the version taught here, it will be delicious enough to please your guests. I have not added too much chilli and you can always add more if you think your guests prefer it spicier.

If you are using pork ribs, cook it longer (30 minutes or more). Add Indian curry leaves if you can find them. Don't make it too watery and in the recipe here, the water comes from the coconut milk.

The curry here is done. 

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  1. Hello, from a fellow Singaporean in Toronto. =) I hope you will have a chance to try out Gourmet Malaysia at Brimley and Sheppard. They are pretty good. =)

    We have had a brutul winter this year, but summer is usually very nice here with lots of outdoor activities! Enjoy your stay in Toronto.

  2. how much coconut milk do you use????

  3. Sandra - I coconut milk for a large chicken. Actually it is up to your preference.