Chicken katsu curry: It might just be your family’s new favourite dish

Tangy, sweet, smooth curry sauce served with breaded chicken and using apple

Chicken katsu curry

Chicken katsu curry

 

Lilly Higgins will be cooking the dish from this column on Monday, November 2nd at 6pm on Instagram.  Join her  @lilly_higgins_

Chicken katsu curry has long been one of my kids’ favourite dinners. Essentially it’s a tangy, sweet, smooth curry sauce served with breaded chicken. Along with a mountain of soft white rice, this is one dinner that never gets complaints.

November is Food Month in The Irish Times. irishtimes.com/foodmonth
November is Food Month in The Irish Times. irishtimes.com/foodmonth

I always think of my maternal grandmother when I add fruit to curries. I remember her turning an apple in her hand while peeling it with a paring knife, chatting as she did it and expertly removing the peel without having to even look.

She made the most incredible curries. She would marinate the meat by rubbing spices over lamb, neck of lamb or kidneys, then store it in the dark cool basement for a few days. 

She was a nurse who worked as an ambulance driver in the Queen Alexandra nursing corps during the second World War, based in Burma, India and Sri Lanka. When she came back to Ireland and had her own children in the 1950s, she made them curries based on those she had eaten abroad and always added cubed apple or sultanas for a fruity sweetness. I’ve used apples for this Japanese curry sauce, but half a mango, diced, is really delicious too.

November is Food Month at The Irish Times and this year is no different. The whole month will be a celebration of cooking, eating and enjoying the best produce Ireland has to offer. And what perfect timing it is. This year we need it more than ever. Many of us are in a position to cook more at home and it’s a great way to support local producers at the same time.

Over the past few months, I’ve been doing live cook-alongs on Instagram each Monday evening. It’s great fun, very interactive and a lovely way to cook. So for all of November,

I’ll be cooking the dish from this column on the following Monday at 6pm throughout November over on Instagram. Find me on Instagram @lilly_higgins_

CHICKEN KATSU CURRY 

Serves 4-6

Ingredients
For the sauce:
1 tbs coconut oil
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 onion, finely diced 
1 thumb-sized piece ginger, finely chopped
1 yellow or red pepper, chopped
1 eating apple, peeled, cored and chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
2 tbs curry powder   
300ml stock or water
1 x 160ml tin coconut milk
1 tbs soy sauce
2 tbs tomato puree
2 tbs chopped fresh coriander`
For the chicken:
3 chicken breasts, butterflied open and flattened
2 eggs, whisked with 2tbs water
200g plain flour
250g panko breadcrumbs
150ml vegetable oil or sunflower oil for frying
To serve:
Plain boiled rice

Method
1 Melt the coconut oil in a medium-sized heavy-based pan. Add the onion, garlic and ginger. Sauté until the onion is soft. Add the pepper, carrot and apple. Place the lid on and leave to cook for a few minutes before adding the curry powder. Stir to coat everything well and toast the spices a little. Add the stock and coconut milk and simmer for 10 minutes until the carrot is cooked.

2 Add the soy sauce, tomato purée and coriander.

3 Remove the curry from the heat and allow to cool a little. Blitz the curry until smooth using a hand-held blender or use a food processor. 

4 Pour the smooth curry sauce back into the pan, keep it warm and set aside. 

5 Get three shallow bowls and place the flour in one, beaten egg in the other and breadcrumbs in the last.

6 Heat the oil in a wide frying pan. Dip the chicken into the flour, egg, breadcrumbs and then cook in the oil for about three to four minutes on each side, until cooked through.

7 Serve the chicken, in slices,  while it is still piping hot, with the rice and curry sauce.

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