Freaky Chinese-Indian Curry

asian spices

On Tuesday afternoon I was casting about the 'net for something original to make.  I'd planned on making an old standby, but that seemed boring to me and I wanted to jazz things up.  My only requirements were that the recipe used boneless, skinless chicken breasts and that it was fast.  I was also, for some reason, in the mood for potatoes, which is unusual.

Epicurious is great for times like these.  I plugged in "chicken and potatoes" and checked off the "Quick" box and voila!  Up came this curious recipe for "Chinese Chicken Curry."  The list of ingredients was so random, I just had to try it.  I, of course, tweaked the recipe based on what I had on hand and my tastes (i.e., the 6 tablespoons of oil called for in the original seemed excessive to me) and came up with a flavorful, if unclassifiable meal. 

So what's with the name of the recipe?  D. did not love this dish.  He is "not a fan of the home curry," and when I asked D. what he'd call it, and if I should blog about it, and he said "if you're going to blog about it, then you must call it the Freaky Chinese-Indian Curry."  Sometimes, I actually listen to my husband and do what he wants.

I'm guessing, but I think that D.'s thought was that the dish is sorta Indian because as a rule, we don't see a lot of potatoes in Chinese cookery.  And the curries we eat are from our favorite Indian places.  But that's more because the Chinese food around here is primarily from places other than Northern China - where they do use potatoes in their cooking.  And the Chinese do do curry as well. 

Nevertheless, whatever its genealogy, this is a slightly sweet, slightly spicy, healthy and interesting meal that will perk up your taste buds on a cold January weeknight.  Enjoy!

Chinese Curry Chicken (Adapted from Bon Appetit)

3 T. peanut oil (I think you could get by with 2, or even 1, but this does add some richness and flavor to the sauce)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 c. chopped tomatoes (I use Pomi in the aseptic box - no BPA)
2 T. curry powder
2 T. low-sodium soy sauce
2 t. minced ginger
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 t. ground turmeric
1 t. chili powder
1 large baking potato, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 1/4 c. low-sodium chicken broth, divided
1 T. vermouth
1.5 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 T. cornstarch


Heat the oil in a wok or large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and stir-fry until translucent.  Add the tomatoes, curry powder, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, turmeric and chili powder and stir until combined.  Mix in the potatoes, 1 c. of the broth, and the vermouth.  Cover and simmer about 10 minutes, until the potatoes are starting to get tender.  Add the chicken, cover and cook until the potatoes are tender and the chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes more.  Meanwhile, combine 1/4 c. of the broth with the cornstarch, shake or whisk to combine and make smooth.  Add this to the pan and stir, bringing the mixture to a boil for 2 minutes.  The sauce will thicken slightly.

Serves 4.

We ate this served over steamed broccoli (again, not Chinese) and it was very tasty.  It would be great atop rice (use brown for added fiber and nutrients), as it's very saucy.  You could easily substitute tofu and vegetable broth for the chicken (I think the pre-fried tofu puffs you can get at Asian markets would be particularly tasty) to make this a vegan meal.