Baked chicken curry with lemongrass & turmeric

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Ingredients

Serves 6

 

  • 6 large chicken thighs, bone in and skin on (or 12 small ones)
  • Maldon sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

 

For the paste:

  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 7cm fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1/2 red medium chilli, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • 1/2 fennel, roughly chopped
  • 6 small shallots, peeled and roughly chopped (or 3 large ones)
  • 1/2 bunch of coriander stalks only, roughly chopped (save the leaves for garnishing at the end)
  • 4 sticks of lemongrass, end and outer 2 layer removed. Keep the outer layers to one side for the sauce. Roughly slice the stalks that you are using for the paste
  • 2 tablespoons rapeseed oil

 

For the sauce:

  • 400ml light coconut milk
  • 200ml water
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 star anise
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable bouillon
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 bunch coriander leaves only, roughly chopped
  • 3 spring onions, sliced

 

You will need a nutribullet or food processor and an oven baked tray or casserole dish where the chicken things can all sit flat.

Timings

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 55 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Baked chicken curry with lemongrass & turmeric

Oooooof, this curry is so good. You know when you make something so good that you need to hit the applause button because both you, AND the people you have cooked for, are so deliciously satisfied that they can’t stop repeating, wow that was good? Well this is that recipe. And it you’ve never experienced that feeling before, then brace yourself to feel proud about your cooking. It’s also a great first curry if you’ve never made a curry before or feel intimidated by cooking one. The ingredients list may look long, but don’t be scared by it… Most of it will be in your store cupboard already. It’s a non-faffy recipe that takes 15 minutes to prepare and the rest is done in the oven so that you can crack on with other things (or put your feet up!) Either way, get ready to hit that applause button!

Method

Preheat the oven to 180/350/gas 4.

Place all the ingredients for the paste in the nutribullet and blitz.*

Heat the rapeseed oil in a large frying pan or casserole dish over a high heat. Season the chicken thigh skins with Maldon sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, and place them in the hot oil, skin side down.

Brown on both sides until golden. Once browned, place on a plate to one side.

Turn the heat down to low and scrape in the paste. Heat the paste over a gentle heat for 10 minutes, stirring from time to time to stop it from catching.

Add in the coconut milk and water, and stir well to incorporate the curry paste in with the liquid. Next add in the lemon juice, lemongrass outer leaves, cinnamon sticks, star anise, kaffir lime leaves and vegetable bouillon.

Place the chicken thighs on top, skin side up. Place in the oven and cook for 40 minutes.

After 40 minutes add a lid or sheet of aluminium foil to the casserole dish or oven proof dish and continue to cook for a further 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and taste the sauce for seasoning (salt, lemon juice or black pepper).

Sprinkle over the chopped coriander leaves and spring onions and serve with basmati rice and greens. Enjoy!

* If you have a nutribullet then you’ll get the paste super fine. If you’ve got a food processor, (which I’ve used before to make this recipe), then blitz together the spices and oil and finely chop the shallots and fennel. Once the chicken is cooked, remove the chicken pieces to a plate and blitz the sauce with a hand blender, (or back in the food processor), so it’s smooth and creamy.

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This curry paste and coconut milk sauce can be used as a base for a number of varieties, each with their own unique identity. I’ve made it using monkfish and prawns before, substitutingΒ the water for fish stock which was utterly delicious with hints of Thailand and South Africa in there. I think I’ll give you the full recipe for this in the future, but for now, feel free to experiment yourself and let us know how you get on.”

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