Chicken Curry in a Hurry

I have a thing for “pet” chickens as in the inanimate decorative kind.  Whenever I look at them in my kitchen, they make me smile.

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Roger doesn’t share my love of kitchen chickens although he does indulge me—at least he has up to this point.  When I brought home my latest, his comment was that he hopes the next chicken I bring into the kitchen is one I can cook.


Our daughters, Sara and Amy, came down from Boston to the Cape for a weekend visit as we had tickets to see Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons in Hyannis on Saturday night.  I wasn’t sure that the girls had ever heard of Frankie Valli (they hadn’t…sigh), but they were familiar with a lot of his music as his songs have resurfaced in movies and other media through recent years.  What a great time we had!  It was hard to believe that Frankie is 80 years old and still has a strong voice.  It was a hoot to hear his falsetto in person as I’d never attended one of his concerts before.  To add to the girls’ enjoyment, the “Four Seasons” are now four good-looking young men who had some very good moves on stage.  The original four are probably all either dead or in wheelchairs!  Sara said that she didn’t expect to see “eye candy at a baby boomer conference otherwise known as a Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons concert.”  She is such a brat!

Anyway, I always like to cook something special for any of my kids when they visit; but I wanted to keep things somewhat simple so I wouldn’t be rushed and could enjoy both the concert and their visit.  Chicken Curry in a Hurry to the rescue!

Roger cut the chicken for me and put on the rice while I manned the wok, and we had this chicken curry ready and served in less than 30 minutes.  We all agreed that the recipe is a keeper as it was absolutely delicious.  Quite frantastic actually.

You can’t ask for anything better than a dish being both really quick and really yummy.  Well…if you’re Roger, you’d ask that I confine my chicken purchases to the supermarket from now on.

One year ago:  Gluten Free Cherry Clafoutis

Two years ago:  Homemade Irish Cream

Three years ago:  Almond Tart

Chicken Curry in a Hurry

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  • 1 tsp. oil
  • 1 tbl. grated ginger (I threw mine in the food processor to mince along with the garlic)
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed
  • 2 tsp. curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 can (13.6 oz.) coconut milk (light coconut milk is OK)
  • 1/2 tbl. light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tbl. fish sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne, optional
  • 1 tbl. corn starch, optional
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • Hot, cooked rice or quinoa for serving


In a large, 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium heat until hot.  (I used my nonstick wok.)  Add the ginger and garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for about 30 seconds, until it starts to smell fragrant.

Sprinkle in the curry powder, coriander and cumin.  Cook for another 30 seconds, stirring to prevent burning.

Add the chicken and cook until lightly browned, 2-3 minutes (it doesn’t need to be cooked all the way through quite yet—it will finish cooking in the next step).

Stir in the coconut milk, brown sugar, fish sauce, salt and pepper.  Bring the mixture to a simmer.  Cook for 4-5 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.

If you would like the sauce a bit thicker (I did), whisk together the corn starch with 2 tablespoons cold water in a small bowl.  It will be easier to avoid lumps if you add the corn starch to the bowl first and then add the water while whisking.  Once combined, stir the mixture into the simmering curry.  Simmer, stirring constantly, for a minute or so until the sauce thickens a bit.

Stir in the cilantro.

Season with additional salt and pepper to taste, if needed.  Serve the curry over hot, cooked rice or quinoa.

Fran’s Notes

I used Thai Kitchen’s fish sauce which is gluten free.  Not all fish sauce is gluten free as some contain wheat as an ingredient.  Be sure to check the label of the fish sauce you use.

Source:   Adapted from a recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Café*

*Apologies but my hyperlink is not working properly.  Until I can figure out how to fix it, please copy & paste this url to get to Mel’s original recipe:

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