This golden-hued, easy creamy chicken curry comes together fast. You can have Indian-inspired chicken curry on the dinner table in about 20-30 minutes. Seriously, who needs take out when you can do this? This is fast (and healthy) food.
Easy Creamy Chicken Curry
This quick chicken curry really is easy and fast using a few simple ingredients from your pantry. You need canned coconut milk, chicken broth, ginger, garlic, curry powder and oil. Just pick up your chicken. I've listed few optional things, like lime juice and saffron. If you don't have them, no worries. It's still good. The coconut milk makes it creamy and rich tasting.
Pull the chicken out of the fridge and unwrap for 30-45 minutes if you can (I know it takes more time). This gets the chill off and helps the chicken cook more quickly and evenly.
Bone-in chicken thighs are my choice for this recipe because bones provide moisture and flavor. Buy around 2 ½ 3 pounds for 4 people. Leftovers make a good lunch. If you can't stand bones, use boneless breasts or thighs. It still works. Buy 6-8 ounces per person by weight. They will cook at a different rate so watch your time and temperature.
Prep And Cook
Choose a pan that holds the chicken skin side down in a single layer. Sear chicken skin side down in oil until golden. Pour off the extra fat in the pan, turn chicken over and pour the coconut curry mixture in the pan around the chicken. Cover and simmer about 15 minutes until chicken reaches 165°F.
Serving and Sauce
If you want to thicken the pan juices, remove the chicken to a warm plate and cover to keep warm. Whisk together the arrowroot starch and a tablespoon of water until smooth. Add to the juice in the pan and cook stirring one minute. If the sauce chunks up on you and you want it smoother, pulse for a few seconds in a blender.
Make it Ahead - How to Reheat
A great way to streamline meal preparation during the busy week is to make a few dishes ahead on Sunday afternoon, cool, wrap well, date and refrigerate. This chicken curry reheats well.
To reheat, place chicken and sauce in a sauté pan in a flat layer and cover with a lid. Turn heat to low. Allow the chicken to heat up slowly and get back to 165°. It will take awhile cold out of the fridge but you can be off doing other things while dinner warms up or making side dishes. Alternatively re-heat the chicken in a 350°F oven covered for about 30 minutes. Timing depends on how cold it is to start.
A Note on Curry Powder
Curry powder is a blend of spices, usually turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, anise, fenugreek, dry mustard and others. You can buy it at any grocery store. Different brands vary in their taste and blend, so if you like curry, experiment to find your favorite.
For another terrific chicken recipe try my braised chicken with cashew gravy.
- 8 bone-in chicken thighs about 2 ½-3 pounds
- ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon granulated garlic
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil
- ¾ cup canned coconut milk
- ½ cup chicken broth
- 3 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 2-3 teaspoons jarred ginger puree or finely grated fresh ginger
- Juice of ½ a lime
- Pinch of saffron threads optional if you have it
- 2 teaspoons arrowroot starch optional to thicken pan juices
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro for garnish optional
- Turn thighs skin side down and trim chicken thighs of extra skin and fat. See post photo for help.Turn over, skin side up and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic.
- In a medium bowl stir or whisk together coconut milk, broth, garlic, curry powder, ginger, lime juice, and saffron. Set it near the stove as you cook the chicken.
- Place a medium saute or fry pan large enough to hold chicken in a single layer over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the oil, then add the chicken thighs skin side down. Turn heat down to medium low. Cook chicken until the skin side is golden, 5-7 minutes. Remove chicken to a plate or rimmed baking sheet and pour off fat. Add chicken back to the pan top side up.
- Pour the milk-broth mixture around the pieces. Bring the pan to a simmer, cover and turn to heat to low. Cook the chicken for approximately another 7-10 minutes, or until they reach 165°F internally. They cook pretty quickly.
- You can serve the chicken right away with the pan juices.
- If you want to thicken the juices into more of a sauce, remove the thighs to a plate and keep warm. Whisk the arrowroot starch with 1 tablespoon of water until smooth and add to the pan, stirring until smooth and thickened, about 1 minute. Put the chicken back into the pan and serve family style sprinkled with cilantro.