You’re about to CHANGE your Curry Chicken game FOREVER! It’s ridiculous how simply adding roasted Butternut Squash (any squash will work) changes everyday curry chicken to something even more comforting and tasty. No, there’s no need to add coconut to this dish IMHO (I know there will be people asking).
3-4 lbs chicken
2 medium butternut squash (5-6 cups)
2 tablespoon Caribbean Green Seasoning
4 tablespoon olive oil (divided)
3 tablespoon curry powder (divided)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 3/4 tablespoon salt (divided)
1/3 cup water for cooking curry
1 tomato (diced)
1 tablespoon black pepper (divided)
10 cloves garlic (divided)
1 small onion (diced)
1 scotch bonnet pepper (sliced)
1 teaspoon ground roasted cumin (geera)
1 teaspoon anchar masala
1 1/2 cups water
1-2 tablespoon shado beni (chopped)
Note: use cilantro if you cannot get shado beni (culantro) and adjust the salt to your liking. Also (important) – if doing this recipe gluten free, please go through the full list of ingredients to make sure they meet with your specific gluten free dietary requirements. Especially the Curry Powder you decide on using.
Peel, wash and cube the squash into 1 inch pieces. Then in a bowl, toss them with 2 tablespoon olive oil, 3/4 tablespoon salt, 1/2 the black pepper, 1 tablespoon curry powder, 4 cloves garlic smashed and brown sugar. Then onto a roasting tray (single layer) and into the oven at 400 F.
As the squash roast off it’s time to marinate the chicken (cut, trim off excess fat and skin – wash with lemon juice and cool water – if you wash your chicken). With the chicken in a large bowl, add the remaining salt and black pepper, Caribbean Green Seasoning and tomato, then give it a good toss. Allow to marinate for an hour or 2 for best results.
Heat the remaining oil on a medium flame (heavy pot), followed by the onion, remaining garlic (smashed) and Scotch Bonnet pepper (use as much as you can handle, I like curry spicy). As you start seeing brown edges on the garlic and onion, add the remaining curry powder to the pan and mix well.
It will go darker (normal thing), add the 1/3 cup of water after 3-4 minutes and stir and scrape the bottom of the pot. This step cooks out the ‘rawness’ of the curry. Here’s where we’ll add the Anchar Masala and Roasted Cumin (geera) – stir well.
The goal now is to burn off that liquid we added, until we see the oil at the bottom of the pot that we started with. Can take 3-5 minutes.
It will be a thick paste! Now add the seasoned chicken to the pot (heat high) and stir well to coat each piece with that curry goodness.
Put the lid on, heat to medium and cook. (watch the video below if the descriptive text is a bit confusing)
35 minutes in the oven and the squash is good to come out. Set aside. (watch the video below to know why we roasted the squash)
6 minutes later, remove the lid off the pot and crank up the heat to high. We again want to burn off that natural liquid that sprouted. As its gone, add the water to the bowl you marinated the chicken in and move around to get any remaining marinade. Pour that 1 1/2 cups of water into the pot and bring back to a boil.
After cooking on medium for 4-5 minutes, it’s time to add the roasted squash to the pot. Be gentle as we don’t want to crush it.
Gently stir and cook for 4-5 minutes or until you have a gravy consistency you like. The squash will suck-up some of that gravy! Taste for salt and adjust, toss in the chopped Shado Beni (or cilantro). Turn off the heat as the residual heat in the pot will further thicken the gravy as it cools.
Absolutely one of the best curry dishes you’ll ever make/enjoy – guaranteed! Serve with Rice, Roti or if all fails… even basic sliced bread (smile).
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