Chicken Curry Sauce with Spring Onion Flatbread

This recipe reminds me of the comforting curry from my local Chinese takeout. Mild and sweet, it’s great on a Friday night with some Chinese beers, a good DVD and your loved one to share it with. I had to experiment a few times to get the flavors right. The secret is adding star anise – it gives the curry a gorgeous aroma. If you’re feeling lazy, forget the flatbread, and serve it with some rice or try my easy Cilantro Couscous recipe. I do, however, like to cook the chicken separately as I think that way it has more flavor, and adding it to the curry at the last moment ensures that its flavor isn’t lost in the sauce. Then again, if you’re pushed for time, just throw in the chicken pieces after the ginger in step 2 below. Who says only Indians do good curries?

Preparation time: 12 minutes
Cooking time: 50 minutes

Ingredients

For the Chicken

  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 14 oz skinless chicken breast
  • 2 pinches of salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

For the Curry Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 green chili, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 onion, sliced into crescent moon shapes
  • 1 small carrot, sliced diagonally
  • 1 handful broccoli florets
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 star anise, whole
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ½–1 teaspoon Madras hot curry powder (according to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch blended with 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 spring onion, finely chopped

For the Flatbread (makes 4 large ones)

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour plus extra for kneading
  • 2 pinches of salt
  • ½ cup hot water
  • dab of olive oil
  • tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 spring onion, finely chopped

Method

  1. Heat a wok over high heat and add the oil. Season the chicken breasts with the salt, pepper and cornstarch. Throw into the wok and stir fry until golden brown, about 6 minutes. Remove and set aside.

  2. Rinse out the wok and reheat (or use a separate small pan). Add the oil then throw in the garlic, ginger and chili and stir fry for less than 1 minute. Then add the onion and stir fry for less than 1 minute until browned. Throw in the carrot and broccoli florets and stir fry for less than 1 minute.
  3. Add the chicken stock, star anise, turmeric, curry powder and brown sugar and bring to the boil. Add the blended cornstarch and stir well. Transfer the curry sauce to a heatproof dish, cover with foil and place in the oven at 150°C/300°F/Gas Mark 3 while you make the flatbread.
  4. For the flatbread, combine the flour and salt in a bowl, stir in the hot water and work into a dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. Oil the surface with a little olive oil. Place in a floured bowl and cover with a damp tea towel and let it rest at room temperature for 20 minutes.
  5. Take the dough, roll into a long sausage then divide into 4 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball using the palm of your hand and then flatten out with a rolling pin into a small disk. Brush with sesame oil and sprinkle some finely chopped spring onion onto each disk. Reform them into balls again then roll into flat disks about ¼ in thick.
  6. Heat a wok or pan over high heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil (no need to use any oil if you have a non-stick pan, just dry heat it). Heat the disks until golden brown, turning them over to cook them on both sides. Keep each one warm, covered with foil, while you make the rest.
  7. When ready to serve, add the chicken pieces to the curry sauce and allow to heat through, garnish with spring onion and serve with the flatbread.

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