Hi Tribe, long time no hear, don’t worry, I am still alive. I promise, I have just been very busy on Instagram and cooking for a lot of people. The people I have met and the feedback I have received, I am a very happy bunny. If you are not following on Instagram, you have been missing a lot. I share handy tips, there is one post on Jollof rice and Fried rice which you just need to go check out. I gave out secrets, you can never find in any cookbook or blog, tips caterers have been using for decades. When you have the time, wander down to @dooneyskitchen.
So, where was I, ah yes, this lemon and garlic chicken curry, which is a testament to listening to your mother. I was on the phone with Big Oladunni last friday and amidst our numerous gists, I asked her to remind me about her recipe for chicken curry. My mother makes a mean one, and I mean, amazeballs chicken curry. I have heard my Uncles and family friends eat chicken curry at parties and say, it is not as good as the one Ladunni makes. While she was telling me what to do, I told her I was using already cooked chicken, and would just shred it. She told me it won’t work and the chicken will be dry, stringy and break down into more shreds. I said nah, don’t worry, i will watch it carefully and take charge. Oh dear, I should just have listened to Mummy. It tasted brilliant, as it should, i had 3 helpings with rice, but it didn’t look as it should. She predicted the outcome straight down to a tee. My chicken curry ended up looking like the shredded chicken and sweetcorn soup you get at chinese takeaways. I was so mad. I ate it like that sha, but i was furious with myself as I wanted it to be a weekend recipe for the blog
Not to be deterred, I decided to try it again yesterday, this time obeying mummy and starting with raw chicken. Something good did come out of this experience though, I added 2 ingredients that she didn’t use and my word, WOWZER!!!!! Bestest Chicken Curry. Thanks to watching My Kitchen Rules and Master Chef a lot these days, I have been even more adventurous with cooking. I am seeing ingredient combinations and food combinations in a new light and my brain is awash with ideas. I mean, I made Uziza Oil yesterday to and, the church just has to say hallelujah. I will also be bringing that recipe to you shortly. What two ingredients for this chicken curry? Lemon and Garlic. You will never see our Nigerian chicken curry the same way again, I promise. This recipe is also so very quick to prepare. In under 30mins, if you have prepped your ingredients ahead, you can be done. Dinner ideas for you right there, with leftovers for office lunch the next day. Let’s Cook
- Chopped chicken breasts - or any fleshy bits of chicken
- Chopped mixed peppers - red, green and yellow bell peppers
- 1 piece of Ata Rodo - scotch bonnet/habanero pepper
- 2 pieces of red and green chilli - or use just ata rodo
- ½ a medium red onion
- 1 medium Carrot
- 3 - 4 pieces of baby potatoes or 1 or 2 large potatoes
- 1 tsp dry pepper
- 1 lemon
- 4 - 5 cloves of garlic - finely chopped
- Curry Powder
- White pepper
- Seasoning cubes or Chicken Stock Pot or chicken stock
- Hot water
- 1 - 2 tablespoons of flour - or use healthier flours or coconut milk
- Vegetable Oil
- Prepare all your ingredients i.e. chopping and dicing. For the potatoes, I recommend that you pre boil them it almost soft, so that they are at least partly cooked, as they will take longer to cook than the chicken and you don't want to over cook the chicken.
- With your ingredients ready, start by heating up oil in a saucepan, then add the chopped onion, garlic, chopped red and green chilli or ata rodo, followed by sprinklings of 1 seasoning cube or salt, curry and white pepper. Dooney's Kitchen Tip: Don't go overboard on the spices. Just a little is fine. Good chicken curry isn't supposed to be green
- When the contents of the pan have sauteed sufficiently, and you can smell the spices frying, add the chopped chicken breast and stir around on medium heat
- When one side has cooked, flip it over, to allow the other side cook. Gentle heat please, or you will over cook the chicken
- Add the chopped mixed pepper, diced carrots and quartered potatoes
- Allow these to cook a little with the chicken and release their juices. This is also the time you add the juice of half a lemon. Dooney's Kitchen Tip: To get as much out, i use a spoon to core the lemon, for maximum flavour impact
- After the lemon juice goes in, add about a little chicken stock, to allow for some sauce to develop. If you don't have chicken stock, use hot water and a chicken seasoning cube or a chicken stock pot which you can get from supermarkets. Allow this sauce to develop still on medium heat, simmering nicely. A key thing about my mother's chicken curry is that, you get a sauce develop first, in fact, you may not even need to thicken with flour. You only need flour to get more volume. See picture:
- Now, my major pet peeve with a lot of nigerian chicken currys i have tasted is this floury taste that coats the back of your tongue. It annoys the heck out of me, and i can tell immediately that too much flour was used, to get volume. A cost cutting measure. A chicken curry is a rich based curry. You should be able to taste the chicken all through, with the veg and potatoes too. You definitely would, if you follow this recipe closely. So, dissolve 1 - 2 tablespoons of flour in water, stir and ensure that their are no lumps, then slowly add to the pot. That was the total quantity of flour-water mixture that i was working with . Dooney's Kitchen Tip: I am advising that you pour in this floured water slowly, because you may not need to use everything. Slowly pour with one hand and stir with the other hand. Once the curry thickens a little from the previous state, just stop right there and don't add more. Taste and re-season if you wish. If you were not paying attention and you dunked the entire flour-water mixture in, add a little hot water to thin out the curry a little. Don't fret
- Before you take it off the heat, check that you can taste the lemon. You want to taste a distinct sourness, not overpowering though, but enough to know that you can taste the lemon and a hint of citrus. if you can't, add the juice of the other half of the lemon, give it another minute or so, then take it off....................and that is the best chicken curry you will make. hehehehehe
- I served this with rice and beans, and not just any rice and beans. Remember that I wrote making uziza oil previously. The sieved off bits of uziza from making the oil was added to the rice and beans before it was almost cooked. It gave the rice and beans a nice scent to it. I loooooved it. This is also how I achieved the plating. Smaller bowl containing rice and beans, tightly packed, upturned into a bigger bowl, spoon the sauce around the bowl, then take off the bowl. Watch your fingers, the curry will be hot, so wait for it to cool down a little.
I hope to continue blogging with a regular schedule. I have recipes for Yoyo (Lagos island fried fish), Uziza Oil, Ekpang Nkukwo and so many more to share.