Let’s face it, the start of the year can feel like a bit of an anti-climax. After all the festivities, we still have some cold, short days to get through before spring time. This recipe is brilliant because a) everyone I have ever cooked it for has loved it – even my children will eat it with a small amount of the sauce b) it’s quick to get ready and into the oven, then cooks slowly for long enough to allow you to go out and enjoy a long, crisp winter walk and c) when you return home starving hungry, the house is filled with the most delicious curry aroma and all you have left to do is cook the rice. A perfect pick-me-up! I must also include a dedication to my mum who prepared this family favourite countless times for us and passed the original recipe on to me… thanks Mum!
Serves 4-6 people – depending on the size of chicken/appetites!
- 1 whole free range or organic chicken (or thighs and drumsticks if you want a thrifty option)
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- 14g (1/2oz) butter
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 lemon – juice and zest
- 1 piece root ginger (3cm), peeled and grated
- 2 tablespoons mild curry powder
- 570ml/1 pint chicken stock
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 1 dessertspoon muscavado sugar
- 1 tablespoon mango chutney or apricot jam
- Wholegrain or basmati rice (allow 75g per person)
- To garnish: fresh coriander, natural yogurt, toasted almonds, as desired.
- Melt butter in a small saucepan over a gentle heat.
- Add onion and cook, still on a gentle heat for about 10 minutes, until translucent.
- Add garlic and ginger, cook for 1 minute.
- Add curry powder, heat through, stirring for 1 minute.
- Add stock, lemon juice and zest, sugar and mango chutney/jam.
- Simmer for 30 minutes.
- Place chicken, skin side up in a casserole dish and pour over sauce (the chicken skin should be exposed from sauce to allow to crisp).
- Cook on ½ gas mark (130C/250F) for 4-5 hours.
- Half an hour before the curry has finished cooking, sprinkle with garam masala.
- Place rice in a saucepan of boiling water, reduce to simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Use a heavy bottomed pan to prevent burning/sticking.
- Serve with your choice of garnish.