A long time ago, in a country far away, a little girl tasted this dish for the first time and loved it.
Sorry, couldn’t resist this. But, it’s true.
Many years ago my older sister had a neighbor who taught her how to make this dish, and I’m sure many others as well, but this is the one my sister taught my mother to make. And it turned out to be one of those dishes that was surprisingly portable in the era before crock pots, and one that we all liked. I remember having this at a picnic once, the pot had been wrapped in a quilt and placed in the trunk of the car. When we got to our picnic spot, it was still hot and yummy. Nowadays, we’d stick it in a crock pot and bring it along, but there weren’t such niceties 30 + years ago.
In the intervening years my sisters have gone on to make many other Indian dishes, but I’ve stuck with this particular one. It’s the one I make when I’m going to be alone for a few days, it’s my go-to curry dish, and one that one of my dogs absolutely loved. Yes, she did, and the hotter the better. And how do I know this? Well, one night many years ago, I was all alone and made up some Curry for dinner. My dog came over and was sniffing at me, and pointedly not begging. So I let her have a taste. I already knew she loved Chile Verde (and I only gave her a bite or two) and she liked spicy food. So I gave her a taste of the chicken, thinking gee, she’ll spit it out and then I can eat the rest of this in peace. No such luck, Mauli ate her bite of chicken, and then begged for more. So we ate Curry Chicken and Rice together. Luckily there were no after effects, other than I had to share. From then on, every time I made it, she and I would eat our curry together. She passed away this spring at the age of 15 1/2, which I consider a venerable age for a large dog.
I brought this to a potluck awhile back, and it all got eaten. It’s really easy, only a few ingredients and it tastes wonderful. You can make it as hot as you like or as mild. Personally, I’m all for hot, but you know that, if you’ve read any of this blog before. I usually only make Curry Chicken and Rice when I’m alone, mainly cause I’m the only one in the household who eats it.
Start by cutting the onions in half, and then slicing them again. I like them cut like this, but you can also make them into rings.
Set aside for a few minutes until you can have a chance to wipe your eyes and stop the tears. (Just kidding).
Put a heavy pot on the stove and place some butter and olive oil into it. The olive oil will keep the butter from burning at a higher temp. If you have some ghee made, you can skip the olive oil, if you like. Ghee is clarified butter, and can withstand a higher heat than regular butter can. It’s the milk solids in the butter that turn brown and can become bitter and taste burnt.
Dump the sliced onions in the pot, and cook until just translucent or a little beyond. I do like a bit that bit of caramelization and the sweetness that the onions produce.
Add the chicken pieces and brown them a little. You do want them to have a nice brown on them, but don’t want them too dark. Add about a tablespoon of curry powder, 1/2 tsp. freshly ground salt and stir together. At this point I put a lid on the pot, and let it cook over low heat, stirring occasionally for about an hour. Check the chicken, and taste a little of the onion, at this point you can add more curry powder and correct the seasonings. I usually add more curry powder and salt here. The chicken should be nice and tender now. The onion will have cooked down to the point that you may not really see it, but it adds a wonderful sweetness which offsets the curry.
Measure out your rice, add it to the pot with enough water to cook it, taking into account that there is some liquid already in the pot. Cover it and let it cook for another 20 minutes or so. Take the lid off, give it a stir and if there is still some liquid, leave the lid off for a few minutes, and let it cook off. Go ahead and taste again at this point, sometimes you need a little more salt and curry, OK, so I always add more curry. Stir it at this point, if some of the chicken has stuck to the bottom of the pot.
Serve and enjoy.
Curry Chicken and Rice.
1 whole chicken, cut into pieces, or package of chicken already cut up.
3-4 onions, cut into slices (I like onions and wouldn’t use less than 2 in this recipe)
butter or ghee and olive oil for browning
1 cup uncooked rice (I like Uncle Ben’s Converted Rice, it holds up well).
1 1/2 – 2 cups water
Curry powder to taste, start with a teaspoon and work up.
Salt to taste.
Heat olive oil and butter and place the sliced onions in the pan, stir until the onion starts to cook a little, add the chicken, and brown it. Turn down the heat, place a lid on the pot and let it simmer for about an hour.
Add rice and enough water to cook the rice. Cover the pot, let cook until rice is tender, about 20 minutes.
Serve and enjoy.