Curry chicken is primarily a South Asian, curry-flavored dish that also has Chinese, Thai, and Jamaican variations. Although some versions are mild, often this dish contains a multitude of spices or a curry spice paste. Regardless of the version, curry chicken is normally pan-fried and usually contains few ingredients other than a well-seasoned curry sauce and chicken.
Authentic Indian versions of curry chicken use large amounts of curry powder in the dish's creation. Many other spices, such as Indian chili powder, cinnamon, paprika, and ginger, are used as well. Other flavorings include garlic, black pepper, lemon juice, and salt. The sauce is also made with coconut milk, tomato paste, and yogurt. Onions and sugar are also usually included.
Alternatively, an Indian curry paste can be used in lieu of the plethora of spices. The paste also replaces the milk, yogurt, and tomato product as well. Sugar, onion, salt, and pepper are included, however. Some recipes may still add ginger. Chicken broth is also often included in versions using the paste.
Chinese and Thai curry chicken use ingredients similar to the Indian version. Both versions usually add turmeric as well. Soy sauce and dry white wine are popular additions to Chinese curry chicken, and Thai versions adds seasonings such as cumin, coriander, and white pepper. A Thai curry paste is also used.
Jamaican curry chicken includes a Jamaican style curry paste. This paste is made up of mustard, coriander, anise, and fenugreek seeds, as well as cumin and allspice berries. In addition to the paste, thyme, hot peppers, and scallions are often used. Tomatoes may or may not be included.
Nontraditional variations of curry chicken may add little more than chicken, onion, curry powder, and yogurt. Cilantro or parsley may also be included, and sour cream is sometimes used instead of plain yogurt. Raisins are an additional option. Some versions will add vegetables as well, such as potatoes and carrots, and mincemeat is even included in the occasional recipe.
Regardless of the version used, preparation is basically the same. The onions are normally first sauteed in oil. Then, the spices or spice paste is added. The chicken, usually cut into bite sized pieces, is included after the spices with all or most of the additional ingredients. The dish is then simmered until the chicken is done.
Curry chicken is often served with rice. It can be garnished with toasted coconut, scallions, cilantro, or chopped almonds. Often, however, it is served without garnish.