Enjoy this meal of complex bold flavors with tender chicken thighs. Braised Chicken Curry is a hearty meal with added cauliflower served over fragrant basmati rice. The chicken has a crispy golden skin and the sauce is delicious with a touch of heat. Smells and tastes delicious!
Curry adds a strong fragrant aroma through your kitchen, which makes cooking with the spice wonderful. Furthermore, the flavor it adds to any dish is just as great. The flavors all come together with the crispy golden skin from the chicken, and you cook the cauliflower right in the sauce. It’s a one-pot dish served in one bowl, which means fewer dishes to wash. Now we’re gettin’ somewhere.
The term “braised” just means that the meat has been fried lightly and then stewed slowly using fat and liquid in a closed pot. So let’s start with the “fried lightly” part of that.
Starting with the chicken, pat the skin dry with paper towels and salt both sides of the thighs. Using a cold, dry large pot or dutch oven, place your chicken thighs skin-side down. The pot is dry, because we’re already cooking with skin-on thighs, so no need to add additional fat. Mush them all in there with as much of the skin touching the bottom of the pan as possible. Turn the heat on to medium and leave the chicken undisturbed as the skin releases some of the fat and begins to turn golden brown. This takes about 20 minutes or so. This is going to be awesome!
Getting Ready to Make Curry Sauce
Meanwhile, chop the onion in half through the root end. Place one half into the food processor; we’ll come back to this. Chop the other half of the onion into 1/2″ wedges, and chop all of the green bell pepper into large slices (stem and seeds removed), and set them both aside. Back to the food processor; blend up that other half of the onion along with the garlic cloves, the fresh ginger, the tomato paste, coconut milk, and spices.
Once the chicken has been browned on the skin side only, remove the chicken with tongs and set them skin-side up on a plate. In other words, we’re only cooking one side of the chicken right now.
Base of your Braise
Now your sauce comes to life. Add the onion wedges and chopped green bell pepper to the same pot you just took the chicken out of. Cook and stir until the onion is translucent and browned in spots. Deglaze your pan by adding just a splash of water scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen the brown fatty bits. Next, pour in the sauce from your food processor and bring it all to a simmer. Turn off the stove. Gently place the chicken on top of the sauce, keeping the skin-side up. Cover the pot and cook in a preheated oven set at 325° for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut up a small head of cauliflower (about 4 cups) into bite-size pieces. When the timer goes off, take the pot out of the oven and remove the cover. Once again, remove the chicken and set it on a plate while you thicken the sauce with some cornstarch and water. Add the cauliflower into the sauce and stir until evenly coated. Place the chicken back on top still keeping it skin-side up. This time leave the cover off and cook for another 30 minutes. This is a good time to start your rice. Basmati is my favorite, but jasmine is great, too.
And there it is! Braised Chicken Curry. Spoon the cauliflower loaded sauce over the rice, then place that crispy skinned chicken thigh on top. Sprinkle liberally with cilantro leaves.
Braised Chicken Curry
- 6. skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (approx. 1.5-2 lbs.)
- 1 Tbsp. kosher salt, divided
- 1 onion
- 1 green bell pepper
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 2" piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 6 oz. can tomato paste
- 1 can (13 oz.) unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 Tbsp. curry powder
- 1 Tbsp. garam masala
- 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
- 4 cups cauliflower (approx. 1 small head)
- 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
- 1 Tbsp. water
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
- Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and salt both sides with 1/2 Tbsp. salt. In a cold, dry large pot, place chicken skin-side down. Try to get as much of the skin touching the bottom of the pot as possible. Turn heat to medium and fry until skin turns golden brown, approx. 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, chop half the onion into wedges (the other half goes in the food processor) and chop the bell pepper into large slices (seeds removed), set aside.
- In a food processor, blend the other half of the onion, garlic cloves, ginger, tomato paste, coconut milk, curry, garam masala, red pepper, and remaining salt.
- Preheat oven to 325°. Check on the chicken.
- When the chicken skin is done browning, remove chicken to a plate skin-side up. (We're only cooking one side of the chicken right now.) In the same pot, cook onion wedges and bell pepper until onion turns translucent, edges may begin to brown, approx. 5 minutes.
- Deglaze the pot by adding in a splash of water scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen the brown fatty bits. Pour the sauce from food processor into the pot, bring to a simmer, then turn off heat. Set chicken on top of sauce skin-side up and cover. Bake for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, chop cauliflower into bite-size pieces. In small bowl, mix cornstarch and water together. Chop cilantro.
- Remove pot from oven, remove cover. Once again, remove chicken and set on a plate. Stir cornstarch into sauce, add cauliflower and stir to coat evenly. Add the chicken back into the pot keeping the skin-side up. Bake for another 30 minutes, this time uncovered.
- This is a good time to start your rice, such as basmati or jasmine.
- Serve chicken and sauce with cauliflower over rice, sprinkle liberally with cilantro. Enjoy!
Any time I eat food with a little spice-heat in it, I really look forward to the sweetness of dessert. Try this delicious Sugar Cookie Lemonade Crumble or if you don’t feel like turning the oven on, try this No Bake Lemon Blueberry Dessert. All in all, have a blessed day my friend, and happy cooking.
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