Chicken Katsu Curry is one of those dishes that once discovered is hard to forget and frequently returned to. This variation adds an extra chilli punch and aromatic quality of Malaysian cuisine. An excellent dinner party special.
4 Large Chicken Breasts
100g Plain Flour, heavily seasoned with salt and pepper
200g Panko Breadcrumbs
1 Large Free Range Egg, whisked
A Small Ripe Banana, sliced
2 Fresh Bay Leaves
1 Large Onion, diced
2 Small Carrots, diced
5 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 Thumb Sized Piece of Ginger, minced
A Small Red Chilli, diced
1 tbsp Smooth Peanut Butter
1 tbsp Soy Sauce
2 tsp Honey
¼ tsp Ground Cumin
600ml Chicken Stock
¼ tsp Ground Coriander
¼ tsp Ground Turmeric
2 Cardamom Pods, split open
¼ tsp Garam Masala
¼ tsp Paprika
1 Generous Pinch of Salt and Pepper
Ground Nut Oil
1. First, place a large pan over a medium heat with a generous splash of groundnut oil. I like to use equal quantities of peanut, sesame and coconut oil. Of course, you can use what you have at hand too.
2. Into the pan, add the bay leaves and diced onion and fry gently for 2-3 minutes. Then, add in the carrots, ginger, garlic and chilli. sweat for ten minutes or until softened and beginning to caramelise. Afterwards, add in the ground spices and cardamom pods and cook for a further two minutes.
3. Once the spices have cooked out, add the sliced banana and stir in the peanut butter, soy sauce and honey. Then, turn the heat up and then gradually add the chicken stock, stirring so as to get an even consistency. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer allow to reduce for 20 minutes or until the sauce has thickened to a heavy pouring consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
4. Remove the bay leaves and then, using either a food processor or a blender, blitz the sauce until you achieve a smooth and glossy sauce. Alternatively, you can pass the sauce through a sieve. If the sauce is too thick after this, simply add a splash of hot water until the desired consistency is achieved.
5. For the chicken, place the flour, beaten egg and bread crumbs on separate plates. After that, place the chicken breasts between two sheets of greaseproof paper and bash the chicken to a thickness of about 10mm with a rolling pin or meat hammer.
6. Dredge the chicken in the flour mix, followed by the egg and lastly the breadcrumbs until completely coated. For extra crispness, you can double dip the chicken but you may require extra egg and breadcrumbs.
7. Place a large frying pan over a medium heat and fill with ground nut oil until you have a depth of 3-4mm of oil in the pan. Once the oil is hot, carefully lay the chicken into the pan and cook for 3 minutes on each side until completely golden and crisp. Then, lift out the chicken and drain any remaining oil on kitchen paper.
8. Finally, slice the chicken diagonally and serve immediately with the warm Katsu sauce, steamed rice and salad. I like to serve my chicken katsu curry with an extra pot of sauce for dipping and fresh red chili.