In Memory Of Karen Nicole Smith, 1972 - 2016

Ultimate Curry Chicken?

trinidad curry chickenA few months back I came across a wonderful video online of a fellow Trinbagonian living in the US who created a cooking video called “The Ultimate Curry Chicken” and though his method and ingredients of cooking curry chicken was a bit different than mine, I’m sure it was just as tasty. If you’ve watched my introduction video (click on “About” above) you’ll know that curry is not one of the things we grew up on and only years later when I moved to Canada and lived with my aunt, did I really start eating it. Don’t get me wrong, our mom is an excellent cook when it comes to anything curry, it’s just we didn’t have it as often. I’ve been lucky enough to have my mom close (about 1 hour away) the past few years, so over this time I’ve taken her recipe and made some slight changes to call it my own. BTW if you’re in the Toronto area and you’re looking to have some food catered (Trini dishes), be sure to contact me and I’ll not only get you some amazing food, but I’ll even hook you up with a nice discount. I’m not in the catering business, but my sister is and it seems she’s doing an amazing job with the rate her business is growing.

You’ll Need…

3 Lbs Chicken
3/4 tablespoon salt
dash black pepper
1/4 hot pepper (scotch bonnet, habanero or any hot pepper you like) *Optional.
heaping tablespoon curry powder (madras)
1/4 teaspoon roasted Geera (powder)
1 medium tomato diced
1 medium onion sliced
2 cloves garlic sliced
1 teaspoon green seasoning mix
2 + 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Juice of 1 lime or lemon
1 1/2 cups water
6 tablespoons water (to cook curry)
1 scallion
Shado beni (see note below)

* I usually use dark meat (with bones) when cooking curry as I find that the overall taste of the finished dish is more tasty. However the recipe works just as well with white meat (may be a bit dry though)

* Since shado beni is not readily available to us in the city where I live (and I can’t grow it) I usually get some shipped to me and immediately after I get it, it goes into my freezer. Then whenever I’m cooking I break off a few leaves to add to my dish. So if you can get access to some at your local store, remember that freezing is also an option if you get a large package. I also find that the frozen leaves holds more flavour than if you were to puree the leaves as we do with green seasoning mix.

* If you don’t have the green seasoning the recipe calls for, feel free to use about a tablespoon of each of the following (chopped):
– cilantro
– thyme
– shallots
* Spanish thyme would also be a good addition if you can get access to it.

* In the recipe you notice that I cooked the frozen shado beni with the onions before adding the curry. If you’re using fresh shado beni you’ll get better results if you season the chicken with it, rather than cooking it as I did. If you don’t have any shado beni, you can also substitute cilantro for it (add about 2-3 tablespoon chopped to the seasoned chicken)

I got a package of chicken legs with back attached, so this means I had to cut it into serving size pieces before I could get started. After I cut the chicken into pieces  it was placed in a bowl with some water and the juice of the lime (see ingredients above) to be washed. I then drained out the water and squeezed it as dry as I could.

chicken for curry recipe

seasoned chicken for curry

The next step is to season the chicken and allow it to marinate for a couple hours. Add the salt, black pepper, tomato, green seasoning, and scallion (chopped) to the bowl with the chicken and stir so everything gets coated.

seasoned trini curry chicken recipe

After it’s been marinating for a couple hrs, it’s time to start cooking. In a fairly large pan, heat the oil (2 tablespoon) on high heat and get prepared to add the sliced onions, garlic and hot pepper. Allow this to cook for a few minutes until the onions go soft and start to go a bit brown. I then turn the heat to medium and add a few leaves of the frozen shado beni to the pot followed by the curry and geera (cumin) and stir. You may notice that the pot is “dry”, this is when I add another tablespoon of oil to the pot so nothing sticks. The next step is to add the 6 tablespoons of water, turn the heat down and allow this to cook for a couple minutes. This will bring out the true aroma of the curry.

how to curry chicken

frying curry for chicken recipe

jamaican curry chicken

As the liquid burns off it’s time to start adding the pieces of seasoned chicken to the pot. Turn the heat back up to high and stir each piece so it get’s in contact with the cooked curry. After you’ve added all the seasoned chicken, turn the heat to medium-low and cover the pot.

trini curry chicken

guyana chicken curry

You’ll notice that the chicken will spring it’s own juices, so after 15 minutes remove the lid and turn the heat up to high. We’ll now burn off that liquid. As the liquid burns off from the pot (make sure you keep stirring) you’ll see nothing but a bit of oil at the bottom with a sort of curry paste (this is the good stuff).

In the same bowl you seasoned the chicken add the 1 1/2 cups of water so we can pick up any remaining seasoning that was left behind. Now add the water from the bowl to the pot to continue the cooking process.

ultimate curry chicken

Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a gentle simmer with the pot covered (stir occasionally). After 20 minutes, remove the cover and check the sauce or gravy to see if it’s the consistency you like. Usually I have to turn the heat up a bit to reduce the curry sauce as I like it a bit thick.

trinidad curry chicken

curry chicken recipe

I’m sure many of you may have a different way of making curry chicken or as our friends from Guyana say “chicken curry” , so I encourage you to share you method with us in the comments box below this post. Don’t forget to also join us on facebook below:

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Recipe Name
The Ultimate Curry Chicken Recipe.
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41star1star1star1stargray Based on 49 Review(s)


  1. Ginny
    October 30, 2022 / 6:09 pm

    I never had curry before until my South African friend shared some with me one day and I instantly loved it! I found your recipe completely by accident and it is SO delicious! I have shared it with others and they love it as well, THANK YOU!

  2. Tasha Brown
    September 18, 2020 / 9:56 pm

    I made the Caribbean seasoning from one of your recipes, and added it to this dish. I made My family loved it with red beans and rice. I was a bit worried since I didn’t taste the meat, because I don’t eat chicken lol. Tomorrow I’m trying your vegan potato curry with tofu added. My house smells amazing, I can’t wait to try all of your recipes, brings me back to my childhood in the kitchen with my grandmom.

  3. Sharon R.
    February 11, 2019 / 1:45 pm

    This turned out great! I love a good chicken curry but have mostly relied on my parents to make it. I used 3 lbs of boneless skinless chicken breast cut into small pieces, and added 3 thinly sliced potatoes in the last 20 mins of cooking. I didn’t have green seasoning on hand but used lots of green onion and toned down the pepper because I’m feeding it to my 3 year old son. The meat was really soft and the amount of masala was perfect, not bland and not overwhelming. Will use this recipe again, thanks!!

  4. December 1, 2018 / 12:56 pm

    I am a local Trinidadian that lives in Trinidad. Tried your recipe today. Changed up a couple of things. I did not add any water to the pot, at any time, I covered the pot and allowed the chicken to cook on low heat. I also added one chopped potato. I seasoned the chicken with green seasoning but additionally, I also added a pimento, half a scotch bonnet pepper, fresh rosemary, parsley and Chadon Beni. The dish had enough water and did not require more. Overall, it came out great, perhaps only lacking a little salt. Thank you for your recipe, it was a great guide. I also seasoned the chicken with some ground masala.

  5. Linda
    June 10, 2018 / 8:05 pm

    What was the lime or lemon for?

    • admin
      June 10, 2018 / 10:18 pm

      After I cut the chicken into pieces it was placed in a bowl with some water and the juice of the lime (see ingredients above) to be washed. I then drained out the water and squeezed it as dry as I could.

  6. Kay
    November 23, 2017 / 8:14 pm

    Can I ask which Mandaras curry you use

  7. ann
    October 28, 2016 / 6:21 am

    When making the curry do you have to use green seasoning also what is shado beni

    • Valerie Khan
      August 7, 2017 / 8:39 pm

      It’s also known as recato or culantro in the states. It’s a long leaf using sold in bundles.

  8. March 30, 2016 / 3:08 pm

    Hi again!

    An old trick from our grand-mothers is to add strong tea instead of water, it is amazing the flavours it brings out. Try it! You’ll love it!

  9. March 30, 2016 / 11:14 am


    I noticed you never add coconut milk to the curry recipes you have posted, I know it’s customary to add it into Thai curries but I also add it to the West Indian curries and it is wonderful. It makes for a very smooth sauce and it helps balance out all the spices. Try it nah! Lol…..(I’m married to a Guyanese)!

  10. Isabelle
    October 27, 2015 / 6:46 pm

    This curry chicken is the best I’ve had and made ever. It tasted so authentic, I couldn’t believe I cooked it myself. The whole family enjoyed it! Thanks for sharing your amazing recipes.

  11. Raquel
    July 9, 2015 / 5:05 pm

    Call me crazy but that Shadow Beni looks a lot like Cilantro…

  12. Kristy
    July 8, 2015 / 2:59 pm

    We were able to find shado beni at our Asian store.. They call it NGO GAI.. I hope that’s helpful!

  13. January 31, 2015 / 9:42 pm

    I spent my money a while back going to the Jamaican or of course our Tobago Roti Shops in the U.S.A. Chris you have allowed me to make this food and I am not missing those restaurants. Sometimes their fod had way too much salt. You allow us to cut back on salt if we want of if needed our choice. I can now make curry dishes and represent my adult life. I am a cooking Wife and Mom. This is an amazing recipe.

  14. crystal
    February 26, 2014 / 9:16 am

    we women and men are encouraged by your cooking…ya know chases the laziness out us us…LETS COOK!!!

  15. Linda Pilus
    January 28, 2014 / 7:31 pm

    Thanks for your cooking guidance. You are the best Caribbean chef on you tube.
    What is a replacement for shadow benny here in North America?
    Do you have a recipe for that green sauce? What is your opinion of dried thyme? how much should I use if I use dry ingredient over fresh herb?
    I suggest that you not use metal spoons on metal pans and pots. Recommend u use wooden spoons. I congratulate you for not tapping the edge of pot with your spoon. I believe it is not good for the pot when you use a lid as the seal between pot and lid becomes damaged.
    Additionally, you have my gratitude for not mixing in plastic containers. I fear that plastic containers can leech carcinogenic
    materials into food from either scraping container and from the stronger herbs and spices.

  16. Mary
    January 25, 2014 / 11:21 am

    Good day, Thank you for your informative vids. Just one quick question- Can I add pumpkin and chick peas here or would that impact on the flavor? Thank you.

  17. Shalonda Sanders
    December 3, 2013 / 8:25 am

    Chris OMG!!!!!! II have never been so please to meet someone on line….LOL we’ll I’m a custom to making your delicious recipes..keep it coming

  18. Elle
    October 24, 2013 / 12:12 am

    Hey im a JWU Culinary students and i was actuallt using your website for recipies for a project but i was wondering if you have the portion servings size for your recipes?

  19. Tiffany
    October 7, 2013 / 6:34 pm

    Hey Chris I really look forward to you emails it helps me plan my dinners. I made the curry chicken tonight it was great I left out a couple things but turned out really nice thanks chris was on the menu for tommorrow?

  20. Alex
    June 16, 2013 / 10:42 pm

    Paula your an idiot this is a carribbean curry not a Thai curry I think you have too much curry and its gone to your brain.

    • Anthony R Persaud
      March 28, 2021 / 11:20 am

      Please no name calling on this site. Everyone can make add or remove ingredients when making any dish . We are all here to enjoy what other people are doing with the recipes. Thank you.

  21. Arthy
    November 29, 2012 / 8:27 pm

    I would like to know to make jerk chicken curry without using oven

    • Kevin
      February 9, 2014 / 6:13 am

      You can grill it on the BBQ

  22. Lillian
    November 8, 2012 / 7:35 pm

    I love love love your website how can I get your recipes book ? And is it available in Montreal

  23. Seeta
    September 7, 2012 / 11:09 pm

    Hi Chris, I am new to your site and I am loving it. I am from T'dad too but it is good to see that someone has taken the time to share our dishes with everyone. I have passed on your site to my daughters who also enjoys making dishes from the video.
    Thanks again.
    Trini 2 the bone

  24. BubblingKitty
    July 13, 2012 / 2:58 pm

    Hi Chris
    I have just recently signed up to your site and i love it!! I live in the U.K and today is raining, with grey sky. I cooked your chicken curry tonight and it has left not only a lovely 'homemade' aroma in my house, but my daughters have big smiles on their faces after eating this. Gonna do the 'Ultimate curry goat' next.
    Thanks Chris

  25. tringo_007
    May 20, 2012 / 4:59 pm

    Hi! When making curry or stewed chicken breast (for health reasons), i cut breasts into cubes, then put lime, then wash, then add seasoning and leave overnight. Sauce of coooked end result is great and chicken cooks fine but springs loads of water – more than half pot which is impossible to boil off – as a result i dont add any water. The resulting chicken pieces are always very bland on this inside. I follow your (and other) recipes. I think the problem is that the chicken breast cubes are saturated after washing and therefore cannot absorb any seasonings and absorb too much water. Do you think this as well? What can i do to avoid this? Should I wash and put lime on the whole chicken breast then pat dry with paper towles then cut up and add seasonings maybe? Looking forward to hearing!!!!!

  26. David Reynolds
    April 19, 2012 / 9:37 pm

    Hi, Chris,

    I love your recipes and website. If you have an Hispanic market in you neighborhood or city that carries any Peruvian ingredients [I have one that carries South American, including Peruvian, that opened three years ago.], you can buy a jar of preserved Culantro. This is the same plant as Shado Beni, but that is the Peruvian name for it. If you can find it, try it. I have had good success in replicating what I ate when I was in Peru.


  27. normogi
    January 31, 2012 / 9:26 pm

    I notice that in both the chicken and goat curry dishes you said… "We now need to burn off all those natural juices that were released as it simmered" WHY do this and then add water??????

    • David Reynolds
      April 19, 2012 / 9:45 pm

      …because the dish needs to simmer, and then you need to replace the liquid. If you cooked it at a temp where the liquid didn't burn off, it wouldn't cook properly; it would probably overcook. You then need to replace the liquid to have a little gravy. I would use stock, not water, with, maybe, a dash of red or white wine, depending on the meat involved, and a pince of nutmeg or allspice.

    • David Reynolds
      April 19, 2012 / 9:47 pm

      Also, when you boil off the juices, what's left forms a 'fond' on the bottom of the pan. The browning of the fond adds tremendous flavor when you deglaze it with wine, stock, or water.

  28. Tracie
    October 30, 2011 / 11:34 pm

    I really like that you include step by step pictures and detailed information. I make this dish at home but it was missing that umph, that little something. I used your recipe for curry chicken and had to have seconds. I also added potatoes…My son is 2 and he loves curry also, he too approves! Thanks so much.

  29. Ann C
    July 21, 2011 / 10:52 am

    Hi Chris, I am new to your site and enjoy reading about your recipes and can't wait to try the curry chicken and would add some potatoes. I plan to do that this weekend with some pigeon peas – mind you I am suing the dry pigeon peas as fresh ones are not in season until next year. This means soaking the peas overnight because I like my peas soft. Thanks for the tips.

  30. Molly
    December 6, 2010 / 10:28 am

    Hi Chris,enjoying your recipes.Here's another alternative,your can try ground cumin instead of the curry.
    Cut chicken pieces small and mix in grind seasoning,add the cumin to the very end of the cooking time.Enjoy.

  31. November 10, 2010 / 9:10 pm

    I just made this and it's absolutely delicious. This best curry I've made 🙂

  32. Sharon
    October 17, 2010 / 7:13 am

    I so love this recipe and I am serving it today for my family! Yummy!

  33. Mona
    October 9, 2010 / 5:36 am

    Hello Chris, found your curry goat receipe and really glad i did, tried it and it was perfect the – bomb, doing it again this weekend. ____Thank you.

  34. Sharleen
    July 9, 2010 / 5:12 pm

    Thanks for all these great recipes Chris. They are absolutely delicious.

    • July 14, 2010 / 7:56 pm

      Thanks for stopping by and for your kind words.

  35. Paula
    February 27, 2010 / 12:06 pm

    Chris I’m really enjoying your site. I’ve bookmarked it and passed it on to friends who have also bookmarked it. I’m having a 41-year-old-sedentary-black-woman-comin-to-jeebus year with regards to eating healthier. Your website reminds me how much good cooking I’ve forgotten in favoring fast foods and eating out of cans. Alice Waters (simple cooking) put me back on the path, and your website has reminded me that I knew how to eat healthy greens and vegetables and one point in my life.

    As we speak I have chicken marinating for stew, and will accompany it with your spinach bhaji and rice.

    Thank you so much.

    • admin
      March 4, 2010 / 5:16 pm

      Paula.. great to have you here and commenting. I hope the stew came out perfect 🙂

      happy cooking


  36. Paula
    February 23, 2010 / 9:50 pm

    For a quick and dirty curry, instead of melting curry in hot oil I use a small can of Thai curry paste (red), mix with a can of coconut cream, and then let whatever I’m currying simmer in it until it cooks down.

    • admin
      February 24, 2010 / 6:55 pm

      Paula, thanks for taking the time to share your tip/comment. To be quite honest, I’ve never used or had red curry before. I’ll have to give it a try.

      happy cooking


    • metz
      March 27, 2013 / 11:19 am

      That's sounds crap i would rather his curry chicken any day not ur dirty curry thats thai curry not west indian curry u fool

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