Japanese Chicken Curry
Unlike Indian and Southeast Asian curries, Japanese chicken curry is thickened with roux into which the ground spices are stirred in. Ready-to-use curry roux seems to be the more popular choice but our recipe includes intructions for homemade curry roux.
For the stew
- 800 grams chicken thighs bone-in and skin-on
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 2 onions peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
- 1 carrot peeled and cut into two-inch cubes
- 2 potatoes peeled and cut into two-inch cubes
- 3 to 4 cups chicken bone broth (see notes after the recipe)
- 1 apple peeled and cored
Make the curry roux (for full illustration, see how to made a roux)
- In a sauce pan, melt the butter.
- Stir in the flour, all at once, until the mixture is smooth.
- Cook the roux over medium-low heat, with occasionally stirring, until lightly browned.
- Off the heat, stir in the curry powder, chili flakes, soy sauce and ketchup. Set aside.
Cook the stew
- Wipe the chicken thighs with paper towels.
- Using a heavy knife, chop each thigh through the bone into two portions.
- Toss the chicken thighs with a teaspoon of salt and half a teaspoon of pepper.
- Heat the cooking oil in a wok or casserole.
- Over high heat, spread the chicken in hot oil and allow the undersides to sear for a few minutes. Flip and sear the opposite sides. Stir and continue cooking until the chicken is lightly browned on all sides.
- Scoop out the chicken and transfer to a plate.
- In the remaining oil (which now includes rendered fat from the chicken skin), soften the onion slices with a little salt and pepper over medium heat.
- Add the garlic and ginger. Sprinkle in a bit more salt and pepper. Continue cooking, stirring often, for a minute or two.
- Throw in the carrot cubes and cook with occasional stirring for a minute.
- Stir in the chicken.
- Pour in the broth. Bring to the boill, lower the heat and cover the pan. Cook for 10 minutes.
- Stir in the potato cubes. Cover the pan again and cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until both the carrot and potato cubes are cooked through.
- Grate the apple dirctly into the pan and stir.
- Add the roux, a heaping tablespoonful at a time and stirring after each addition. When all of the roux has been added, simmer the chicken curry for another 10 minutes.
- Taste the sauce and adjust the seasonings, as needed.
- Scoop rice into shallow bowls and ladle the chicken curry around the rice.
If using bone-in chicken, it is quite alright to opt for water instead of bone broth. The bones in the chicken will expel flavor during simmering which translates to an equivalent of pre-made bone broth. If, however, you opt to use chicken fillets, then bone broth is a must. If using water or unseasoned / underseasoned bone broth, you will need to add more salt and pepper after pouring the liquid into the pan. Based on a recipe from Just One Cookbook