{recipe} Jamaican Chicken Curry

April 25, 2011

Jamaican Chicken Curry

The madness continues! Peko Peko: A Charity Cookbook for Japan still has me busy as a bee (and is, by the way, looking AMAZING!) and the Hungry Boy has been on Spring Break for over a week. I’ve barely had time to breathe, never mind develop new recipes. Old favorites, great family food finds like this One Pot Kale and Quinoa Pilaf and eggs (lots of eggs), have been keeping dinner safe from take out during this busy time.

One of our favorite go-to dinners is Jamaican Chicken Curry. I’ve mentioned before that we’re big fans of Jamaican food (and that the Hungry Boy regularly gets jerk pork FedEx’ed to him!) but, for some reason, have neglected to share this recipe.

Major oversight on my part.

The first time I had this at home, my nanny, who is from Jamaica (and makes a mean turkey meatball), made it for us. I watched her carefully but, given her disregard for measurements, wasn’t able to walk away with a sharable recipe. I recreated her goodness a few weeks later, but was in a rush. Given my disregard for measurements when I’m rushing or not cooking for you all, I still didn’t have a sharable recipe. Then, one day while on Martha Stewart, I found this.

Curious to know if Martha’s recipe would pass muster with our nanny, I gave it a try. Given how straightforward it is to make Jamaican curry—brown the meat, add the aromatics, stew in liquid until the meat is cooked through—I had high hopes. And with good reason: the recipe was a hit and has become a keeper.

All in all, this delicious curry take a little bit longer than 30 minutes to prep and cook, but just barely. It’s a simple one-pot meal that goes great with rice or Jamaican rice and peas if you have extra time. It also keeps well, so you can make it a day or two ahead of time if you know you’ll need a super fast dinner.

One more note… you can use any curry powder, but the Jamaican kind is best for this recipe. You may find mild yellow Jamaican curry powder in the international section of your grocery store. If not, consider buying some online; it’s even available through Amazon.

Jamaican Chicken Curry, barely adapted from Martha Stewart
serves 4
(can be served to kids 6+ mos)*

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 lb skinless, boneless chicken chicken thighs
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 medium onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tablespoons Jamaican curry powder
1 teaspoon fresh thyme (you can substitute 1/2 teaspoon dried)
4 carrots, thinly sliced
1 can (13.5 ounces) coconut milk
1 package (10 ounces) frozen peas, thawed
Cooked white rice, for serving

1. In a large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper and brown the chicken, about 3-4 minutes per side. You may need to work in batches to be sure not to overcrowd the chicken. Transfer to a plate.

2. Reduce heat to medium. Add onion, garlic, curry, thyme and 1/2 cup water. Season with salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion has softened, 3 to 5 minutes.

3. Add carrots, coconut milk, 1/2 cup water and chicken with any accumulated juices. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover partially, and cook until chicken is cooked through and carrots are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in peas. Serve curry over rice.

*Note: Be sure to cut meat and veg into age appropriate bite sizes. If feeding to a beginner eater not yet eating chunks, puree with or without meat and/or rice. Use the coconut sauce and water to thin the puree to desired texture.

15 Responses

  1. I love curry. This looks good – might try with tofu…

  2. Morgan G says:

    From a woman who buit her wedding budget around the ‘need’ to serve Jamaican Jerk Chicken from her (and her husband’s) favorite local Caribbean food joint – thank you for this take!

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