Roasted Chicken Coconut Curry

Roasted Chicken Coconut Curry

This recipe is so good that once I made it the first time, I made it again only 5 days later.  The first time was for a few friends who came over for a Sunday night dinner and we all knew right away that this was a winner.

I probably took the most complicated route to making this recipe, since I roasted the chicken myself and toasted/ground my own spices, but don’t worry because I show you tips along the way that will save you some time in the kitchen.  I think no matter how you piece them together, these flavors are good friends and play together well, so you can’t really go wrong.

This dish makes for a filling meal on its own, or is also great when served with brown rice to soak up some of the sauce.  Enjoy a big pot of it with some friends or family!

 

Roasted Chicken Coconut Curry
1 large yellow onion (about 1 lb)
3 medium carrots (about 1/2 lb)
A whole 3 lb roasting chicken – or about 1 and 1/2 lb of both drumsticks and bone-in breasts
Drizzle of olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 head of broccoli
2 tsp cumin seed
2 tbsp coriander seed
2 dry Thai chilies (aka bird’s eye chili)
2 tbsp turmeric powder
2 cans of coconut cream
Splash of fish sauce or soy sauce (optional)
(NOTE: this is a large recipe and can easily be halved.)

1. Roasting the chicken

Roasted Chicken Coconut Curry

Preheat your oven to 325F.

Start by pealing and chopping up the onion into medium-sized chunks.  Peel the carrot and cut into long but thin strips.  Line the bottom of an enameled cast iron dutch oven or a roasting pain with the onion and carrots.

Roasted Chicken Coconut Curry

Make sure your chicken is completely thawed before using, even if chicken is a little frozen on the inside it will affect how it cooks.  Rinse your chicken and lay over the veggies in the pan.  Drizzle the olive oil over the chicken evenly (2-3 tbsp is plenty) and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Cover your dutch over with a lid or if you are using a roasting pan then cover well with foil.  Bake for 45 minutes, then flip the chicken, re-apply olive oil, salt and pepper to the other side, cover again and bake 30-45 minutes more.  You only need about 30 minutes for chicken pieces.  But you’ll need more like 45 minutes for a whole chicken, maybe even a little bit longer, check the meat before cutting it all apart.

Roasted Chicken Coconut Curry

Once cooked set the chicken aside on a cutting board to cool and the onions and carrots into a bowl.  When the chicken is cool enough to handle you can pull the meat off the bones (and save the bones for bone broth if you’d like.)

If you are using a dutch oven then save it for making the curry in, don’t rinse it out as it has a lot of flavor coating it.

NOTE: if you don’t want to roast your own chicken then you can grill up some chicken breast, chop, and add in later.  Just steam the carrots to soften a little and saute the onion in some oil, salt and pepper.

2. Prepping other veggies

Roasted Chicken Coconut Curry

Rinse both the broccoli and bell peppers.  Cut the florets of the broccoli, cut them down to evenly sized pieces if any are larger.  Cut the flesh off the bell peppers, leaving seeds and membranes behind, then slice the peppers into thin slices.

Lightly steam both the peppers and the broccoli over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until the broccoli is bright but slightly tender to a fork, the peppers should be slightly softened.  Don’t over cook these or they will be mushy later.

Roasted Chicken Coconut Curry

NOTE: I made this a few weeks back when it was still possible to get some fresh bell peppers in California, but that season is quickly coming to a close.  But you can use many other veggies that go well in curry, try sweet potatoes, peas, green beans, or spinach.

3. Toast the spices

Roasted Chicken Coconut Curry

Measure out your whole cumin and coriander seeds into a small pan along with the chilies.  Over medium-high heat toast all these together until they become fragrant and are starting to brown, this takes a minute or two so keep your eye on it.

Once toasted, remove the stems of the chilies and put them in a spice grinder with the seeds.  Grind until well ground into a fine powder, then mix with turmeric powder and set aside

Roasted Chicken Coconut Curry

NOTE: of course you can use a pre-mixed curry powder!  You will need about 2 tbsp worth to replace the cumin, coriander, chilies and turmeric in this recipe.

4. Now you’re making curry

Like it said above, if using a dutch oven then you are going to build the curry right in the pan you roasted the chicken in before, it still has a lot of flavor in it.  You want to pour the coconut cream in and put on the stove over medium-high heat, then scrap down the dutch oven with a wooden spoon to get all the cooked on bits into the curry sauce.  This is called deglazing and it is one of my favorite ways of getting extra flavor into a dish.

If you aren’t using an enameled cast iron dutch oven then just build your curry in a large stew pot and skip the step above, pour in the coconut cream and heat up.

Roasted Chicken Coconut Curry

I must say, I don’t usually like to eat food from cans, but there truly is no replacement for coconut cream.  I have made fresh coconut milk before, and make curry from it as well, but it’s not possible to get fresh coconut milk as creamy as coconut cream.  If you want that authentic creamy curry that you’re used to then you really do have to use the canned stuff.

Add in the curry powder you prepped and stir until completely incorporated.

Once the coconut base is warm you can gently add in all your prepped ingredients, the pulled chicken, onions, carrots, bell peppers and broccoli.  Now that everything is in you just have to adjust the seasonings to your liking and it’s done!

I recommend a little bit of fish sauce, a little goes a long way so try 1 tsp to start.  If you don’t have fish sauce on hand then you can use soy sauce or something similar.  If you don’t want to use either, then you can just add salt and any other spices you’d like to accommodate your palate.

Roasted Chicken Coconut Curry

You can store this for leftovers, just keep in mind the veggies won’t be quite as fresh and the coconut milk will thicken in the fridge, but will liquify again when heated.

Yields at least 10 servings

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