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Wafuu Chicken Curry

Warm chicken curry with potatoes, classic Japanese comfort food.

Course Dinner
Cuisine Japanese
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 4
Author Kelly ~ the hungry bluebird (adapted from SAVEUR)

Ingredients

  • 3 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped peeled ginger, I used a microplane
  • 1 medium onion, 1/2 finely chopped, 1/2 cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder, preferably S & B brand
  • 2 tablespoons crushed tomatoes
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch rounds
  • 1 medium russet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 small fuji apple, peeled, cored, and coarsely grated
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • steamed short-grain white rice (see note for perfectly cooked white basmati rice)

Instructions

  1. Bring the chicken stock to a simmer in a medium pot, then reduce heat to maintain simmer. (I put a lid on askew because I don't want the stock to simmer away and reduce too much.)
  2. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.  Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper and add to skillet.  Brown on all sides and then remove skillet from heat and transfer chicken to a plate.
  3. Return skillet to medium-high heat and add butter.  Add ginger, chopped onions and garlic.  Stir often and scrape up any browned bits, until onions are translucent, about 3 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and cook and stir constantly until evenly browned, about 2 minutes.  Add the curry powder and tomatoes and stir well.  Remove skillet from heat.
  5. Add 1/2 cup hot chicken stock to the skillet and whisk vigorously to combine, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  If the whisk doesn't get the fond up, try a wooden spoon or metal spatula to scrape it up.  Remember, this contributes greatly to the color and flavor of the curry.
  6. Whisk the curry mixture from the skillet into the pot of simmering stock and whisk well to combine.  Then add the reserved chicken, onion pieces, potatoes, carrots and bay leaf.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally,  until the vegetables are tender and curry has thickened, about 30 minutes.  (pot uncovered)
  7. Lastly, stir in the grated apple, honey and soy sauce to the curry.  Salt to taste.  Simmer over low heat about 5 more minutes.  Serve with rice.

Recipe Notes

To cook white basmati rice, put one cup rice in a bowl and cover with water.  Swirl water and rice with fingers until cloudy.  Drain and repeat, 3-4 more times until water is clear.  Cover one more time with water and let sit for 30 minutes.  Bring 1 3/4 cups water to a boil, add a little salt and the drained rice.  Stir, bring back to boil and then turn down to lowest heat possible, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.  Cut heat and rest another 5 minutes.  Fluff with a fork and serve.  Perfect rice.  Thanks Aarti.