If you enjoy a crispy chicken schnitzel but also like food with a bit of zing to it, then this easy chicken katsu curry is for you! Cover your chicken in panko breadcrumbs and fry, then cook up a quick curry sauce and you’ve got yourself a very simple, tasty meal.
When I was a little girl, one of my favourite books was about two children who discovered a magical tree that led to different strange lands (it was called ‘The Faraway Tree’ if anyone is interested!). One of the chapters that I read time and time again was the one about ‘the Land of Eat-what-you-want’! You entered the land armed with cutlery so that you could scoop jelly out of flowers and eat ice cream of absolutely any flavour you could dream up. That’s the sort of cool place it was.
So a couple of weeks ago Mr. Scrummy and I went to a big food show where I felt a bit like I was in the Land of Eat-what-you-want! There were stalls everywhere promoting different foods and giving away little samples. Definitely my idea of a perfect day!
Surprisingly, we still had room in our chock-full-of-freebies tummies for a proper lunch from one of the food trucks there. And, you guessed it, my choice was a chicken katsu curry!
I have no idea how many ingredients were in the curry sauce I ate at the show, but I really wanted to keep mine as fuss-free as possible. So all I put in it was garlic, onion, ginger, curry powder mixed with flour, a bit of soy sauce and chicken stock and a smidge of honey. After letting the sauce simmer and reduce for a bit, you then blend it to make it smooth.
The chicken is easy peasy, too. Just dip it in flour, then egg, then panko breadcrumbs, fry until golden then finish off in the oven while you sort out the sauce. The chicken ends up lovely and crunchy, then you’ve got the simple tasty sauce to drizzle all over the top. Mop up with some big crunchy salad leaves and there you go – dinner is served!
No wonder this is considered the ultimate Japanese comfort food – well, apparently! (not that I would really know!) It’s certainly nothing fancy, but it hit the spot quite nicely for us!
Chicken katsu curry (with an easy curry sauce)
For the chicken
- 1/4 cup flour seasoned with plenty of salt & pepper
- 1 egg beaten
- 3 ounces Japanese panko breadcrumbs*
- 4 large -ish skinless boneless chicken thighs
- 2-3 tablespoons oil for frying
For the curry sauce
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 garlic cloves chopped finely or crushed
- a thumb-width size piece of ginger peeled & chopped finely
- 1 tablespoon plain flour mixed with 1 tablespoon mild or medium curry powder
- 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon honey or brown sugar if you don’t have honey
- boiled rice
- crispy lettuce leaves optional
Put the flour, egg and breadcrumbs in three separate bowls. Roll each chicken thigh first in the flour, then in the egg and finally in the breadcrumbs. Place on a plate, cover and refrigerate while you start making the curry sauce.
Preheat the oven to 180C/355F. Then add a splash of oil to a medium saucepan and cook the onion, garlic & ginger for a couple of minutes until softened. Add the flour and curry powder to the pan and cook for another couple of minutes or so while stirring continuously.
Slowly add the chicken stock, then stir in the soy sauce and honey. Simmer for about 15 minutes or until the sauce has reduced and thickened a little.
Meanwhile, heat up the oil in a frying pan, then fry the chicken for a few minutes on each side until golden. Place the chicken on a wire rack over a baking tray, then finish off cooking in the oven for 20 minutes.
Blend the sauce with a handheld blender or in a food processor until smooth, then pour back into the pan and re-heat ready to serve.
When the chicken is cooked, slice each thigh into 3 or 4 thick slices length-wise, then serve over rice. Drizzle a little sauce over each dish and serve with the crispy lettuce leaves (if using) and any extra sauce on the side.
You can find panko breadcrumbs in most large supermarkets (at least here in the UK), but if you can't find them there then a good Asian store or supermarket should have them. They're worth hunting down because they give you a nice delicate but super crunchy coating, but normal breadcrumbs will work in a pinch! 🙂
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