Chicken Katsu Curry Recipe
I love a Chicken Katsu Curry. I am certain there is nothing authentic about the dish, or indeed this recipe, however, it is completely and utterly bloody delicious. What is there not to like about a lightly crumbed piece of, wait for it, *aagghh* moist chicken, sticky rice and lashings of subtly spiced curry sauce. The whole family got hooked on this after numerous trips to Wagamama. On every visit I felt I should have the slightly healthier option of a vegetable laden, noodle soup, but then always thought, sod that, I’m having the Chicken Katsu. For me, it’s the lure of the whole dish being covered in a what seems to be a slightly smarter version of chip shop curry sauce. *Cue the soundtrack of my tummy rumbling*.
Putting to one side my love affair with curry sauce, this is a brilliant dish to tart up dull weekday dinners. I have also served it for a Friday supper party, as it is, and I hate this word, a ‘fun’ dish to serve up. There are several ways of cheating with this dish too. If I can’t be arsed to make my own curry sauce, our local Tesco sells this brilliant Chinese Curry Sauce.
All you do is add water and let it bubble for a bit. So this can be a life saver if you are pushed for time, or lack the inclination to make your own. On another note, I am not averse to the odd bit of shallow frying. Admittedly, it’s not the healthiest of cooking methods, however, on this occasion, it works so well with the crisp breadcrumbs and you wouldn’t fry every day. I do also finish the chicken in the oven, so it’s not super oil based. But, if this offends your health consciousness, you could always oven bake the crumbed chicken, but do make sure you drizzle it with some melted butter or oil so it browns evenly and crisps accordingly. My inspiration for this recipe came from quite a few hours on Pinterest and via the very informative All Recipes website, with thanks.
That aside, serve this Chicken Katsu Curry with a green vegetable, to counteract the frying, and your conscience can be clear. And your friends and family will love it and will love you right back for making it.
Here’s the Chicken Katsu Curry parade. Panko breadcrumbs are best for this, but in a middle class problems type scenario, Waitrose had run out. However, these ones were just as good, just avoid those 70’s style orange crumbs.
Make a start with the fragrant curry sauce. Heat the two tablespoons of sunflower oil in a medium sized saucepan and chop the onion, garlic and carrots. No need to be too precise with your chopping as the end result is going to be blitzed anyway. Pop all the veggies into the oil and cook for around 10 minutes, until softening beautifully and starting to brown.
I did say it didn’t need to be precise, which is just an excuse for some sloppy chopping.
Once the veggies are soft and browning, stir in the flour, followed by the curry powder. Thoroughly stir cook off for a minute or two, then gradually pour in the chicken stock, ensuring the sauce is smooth.
Not the most elegant affair at this stage, but plough on. Pop in the couple of bay leaves, the honey, soy sauce, ample seasoning, then leave to simmer for 20 minutes while it’s all about the chicken.
While this wonderful spiced sauce does its thing, it’s time to beat up some chicken breasts. Lay each one between two pieces of cling film and flatten using a rolling pin.
Pop your flattened breasts *oh come on* onto a plate and sprinkle with some flour and season with salt and pepper. Then on the first plate whisk one egg with a fork and on the second plate, pour out the breadcrumbs.
Then, so you are ready once the crumbing is done, pour the sunflower oil into a shallow frying pan and heat. The oil is hot enough when a breadcrumb sizzles when dropped into it.
Back to the crumbing in hand. Take your floured breasts *why didn’t I use thighs* and dip each one in egg, followed by crumbs until each is well coated. Two at a time, carefully place the chicken into the hot oil and cook for a couple of minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Pop all the browned chicken onto an oven tray and place in your pre heated oven for 10 to 15 minutes to finish cooking through.
See how I elegantly egg and breadcrumbed my own hand.
While the chicken is in the oven, finish off the sauce. Stir in two flavourful teaspoons of garam masala and any additional seasoning as needed, then puree or sieve the curry sauce. I dusted off the trusted old hand blender and cunningly remembered to remove the bay leaves prior to pureeing.
I was tempted to just dip a big bit of bread into this, it’s so tasty, spiced and warming.
Finally, check for seasoning, ensure the sauce is hot, then it’s full steam ahead. Spoon a good portion of rice onto a bowl plate, top with the crisp chicken then slather on the wonderful chip-shop-esque curry sauce.
Then all that’s left to do is dig in. Adding more of the beautiful curry sauce as and when needed.
Having this little take away treat in your back pocket is going to gain you points with your family. And will win you the most delicious supper. Don’t question the slightly mixed origins of this dish, just take my word for it that covering a meal in chip shop style curry sauce, makes it bloody amazing.
Chicken Katsu Curry Recipe
You will need no particularly exciting pieces of kitchen equipment, apart from a hand blender or sieve
2 tablespoons oil, whichever you have to hand
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 medium sized carrots, sliced
2 tablespoons plain flour
4 to 5 teaspoons curry powder, more or less according to taste
500ml chicken stock
2 teaspoons honey
5 teaspoons soy sauce
2 bay leaves, fresh or dried
2 teaspoons garam marsala
good amounts of salt and pepper to taste
4 chicken breasts
a sprinkling of plain flour
salt and pepper
100g breadcrumbs, Panko if you have them
200ml-ish of sunflower (or similar) oil to shallow fry the chicken
Sticky rice or basmati rice and a green vegetable to serve
Pre heat your oven to around 160 degrees fan assisted.
Start by making the curry sauce. Heat the two tablespoons of oil in a medium sized saucepan, over a medium heat. Chop the onion, carrots and garlic, no need to be too precise as you are going to puree the end result, and add them to the heated oil. Sauté the vegetables until soft and starting to brown, for around 10 minutes. Stir in the 2 tablespoons flour and cook off for a minute, then add the curry powder, stirring again. Pour in the chicken stock, gradually, to make a smooth sauce. Add the bay leaves, honey and soy sauce and bring it to the boil. Simmer for around 20 minutes, then stir in the 2 teaspoons of garam masala. Puree with your hand blender or pass through a sieve until the sauce is smooth and of a pouring consistency.
While the sauce is simmering, crack on with the chicken. Pour the sunflower oil into a shallow frying pan and heat until when a breadcrumb is dropped in, it sizzles and rises to the top. Take the breasts and put between two pieces of cling film. Bash them with a rolling pin to flatten out a little. Place all four flattened pieces of chicken on a plate and dust with flour and season with salt and pepper. On one plate place the breadcrumbs and on another add a beaten egg. Dip each piece of flattened chicken in the egg, then into the breadcrumbs so well coated on both sides, then pop into the pan of hot sunflower oil, two at a time works well. Cook for a couple of minutes on each side until lightly browned and crisp. When all the chicken breasts are golden, pop them in the oven on a tray for 10 to 15 minutes to finish cooking.
To assemble, put a good serving of rice onto a plate, top with a piece of chicken and slather with curry sauce. Add a green vegetable of your choosing. Inhale.