Sunday, May 14, 2017

Japanese Chicken Curry #SundaySupper

Homemade Japanese Curry Chicken WIN! The perfect balance of savoury, sweet, tangy and bitter, packed with umami and 100% from scratch. No roux, no prefab curry powder, and even gluten free to boot!

Oh my Lord what #recipe is this devil magic?? Homemade #Japanese #Curry #Chicken WIN! The perfect balance of savoury, sweet, tangy and bitter, packed with #umami and 100% from scratch. No roux, no prefab curry powder, and even #glutenfree to boot! #yummy

I know I've gone on and on and on about it time and again, but if there's one type of dish my mom can't get enough of, it's curry. I don't just mean your turmeric-stained yellow stuff either - although that is certainly on the "yes" list. Pick any curry-making region you can think of, and you can bet Mom will want a taste.

Our first experience with Japanese curry was actually about a year ago, when we went to a sushi and Japanese cuisine restaurant for my birthday. After ordering what was simply labeled "chicken curry" on the menu, Mom was surprised to receive a huge, steaming bowl of thick, dark and intensely aromatic stew with chunks of carrot, potato and chicken alongside a bowl of rice. A few spoonfuls later and she was sold - but we had no idea how to go about making it at home. After all, curry powder is British-Indian, not even vaguely Japanese in style, right?

It'll cure what ails you! Japanese curry powder I made for a cold-exorcising Japanese chicken curry, made 100%  from scratch. No roux! #yummy #yum #vegetarian #spicy #curry #eeeeeats #spicemix #japanese #food #vegan #glutenfree

Well, it turns out that Japanese curry is actually more or less based in a cube mix rather than an ornate blend of spices. Unfortunately, finding that pre-made roux is all but impossible around me, and I had no idea how to recreate the bouillon-like medley. However, I couldn't leave my dream of recreating one of my mom's favourte meals go cold, so I began Googling right after that fateful dinner, finally landing on No Recipes. There, I found a completely from-scratch formula for what I was looking for, along with a handy hint - the key to a really great Japanese curry is in the caramelized onions. Well, those I can do, and I do a lot.

Of course, I did modify a few things along the way - I didn't have apples at home, so an Asian pear stood in admirably. I made my own Chunou sauce too, because there was no way my "white bread" superstore would have heard of it if I haven't. I also left out the peas (forgot about them on grocery day) and decided to thicken the works with Veloutine instead of a roux (yeah, sacrilege, I know) because I'm lazy and didn't want to babysit and watch another pot. I've provided both methods, so go with your preference.

More #MothersDay treats for #SundaySupper are below. Our host this week is Amy from My Wolrd Simplified

Chocolate Treats

Entrees

Sides and Salads

Sweets

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First up is the "punch" in this curry - a Japanese-style curry powder. What makes this "Japanese" as opposed to Indian, Thai, African, Sri Lankan, Jamaican or British I'm not entirely sure, although I know ingredients like fenugreek, curry leaves and mustard seed are omitted here. Regardless, it is a perfect spicy (not hot-hot), slightly earthy base that melds perfectly with the remaining ingredients. If you really can't be bothered, pick up a real Japanese blend like S & B

Japanese Curry Powder
Makes about ¼ cup
2 tablespoons turmeric
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground fennel

Now, for the good stuff - get out your heavy, big Dutch oven and get to making this treat! I added a Japanese sweet potato for interest, but traditionally you'll only find "regular" potatoes, carrot and onions in this. Next time, I might go extra-crazy and toss in eggplant, since we all love it here. To get a head start on everything, you can caramelize the onions in advance - I do a whole 10 lb bag of them at once and store them in baggies in the freezer. 10 bags = 10 lbs of onions, easy math and easier flavour!

Japanese Chicken Curry
Serves 6
2 tbsp canola oil
550 g boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and chopped into large chunks
2 large onions, thinly sliced (approx. 1 lb)
½ tbsp grated garlic (~2 large cloves)
½ tbsp grated ginger
2 ½ tbsp Japanese curry powder (see above)
3 cups low-sodium chicken stock
2 large carrots, cut into chunks
2 large, red-skinned potatoes, cut into large chunks (no need to peel)
1 medium Japanese sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
1 small Asian pear (or apple), peeled cored and grated
2 tbsp Chunou sauce*
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp kosher salt
3 tbsp
Veloutine (for GF)
-or:-
Roux:
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour 


*Chunou Sauce:
1 tbsp all-natural ketchup
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

  1. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the chicken in a single layer (work in batches if needed) and let the chicken brown undisturbed (about 5 minutes).
  3. Turn chicken and brown the other side. Remove to a bowl using a slotted spoon and set aside.
  4. Turn down the heat to medium-low and add the onions, stirring for 1-2 minutes to coat with the oil.
  5. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are completely caramelized and almost a paste - roughly 30 minutes.
  6. Raise the heat to medium high and add the garlic, ginger, and curry powder. Saute 1-2 minutes, until very fragrant.
  7. Return the chicken to the pot and add the stock, vegetables, pear, Chunou sauce, tomato paste, cocoa powder, and salt.
  8. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer, cover and simmer for 35 minutes.
  9. To thicken, either stir in the Veloutine until thickened or make a roux by melting the butter in a saucepan and adding the flour. Cook, stirring with a spatula, until the roux is a light brown color. Stir into the curry.
  10. Adjust salt to taste.
  11. Serve with hot rice on the side. 

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 298.2
Total Fat: 11.4 g
Cholesterol: 68.7 mg
Sodium: 1,037.6 mg
Total Carbs: 31.4 g
Dietary Fiber: 4.9 g
Protein: 19.5 g