[RECIPE] Ben's Famous Jamaican Curry Chicken

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[RECIPE] Ben's Famous Jamaican Curry Chicken

Post by pinback » Wed Feb 18, 2015 12:20 pm

Five days in a row now, for lunch, and immediately after I'm done all I can think about is the next day's lunch. Possibly the greatest single dish in the entire universe.

There's lots of optional stuff here, so don't get scared. You can make this, and easily, with stuff found in every grocery store in the land.

BEN'S FAMOUS JAMAICAN CURRY CHICKEN
=============================

3 lb chicken (thighs or leg quarters)
4 cloves minced garlic
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 medium onion, diced
1-3 minced habanero chiles and/or 1 diced bell pepper
5 tbsp curry powder (divided)
2 tbsp canola or vegetable oil
1 lb potatoes, peeled, 1 inch dice
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp allspice or cumin (optional)
1 tbps minced ginger (optional)
3 green onions, chopped (optional)
1 tsp habanero hot sauce (optional)
2 cups water

DIRECTIONS
========
1. Prepare the chicken. Now, if you want to go traditional and put in some work, you get leg quarters, pull the skin off, and then cut them up into 2-inch chunks, bones and all. This takes a good, heavy knife and a lot of effort. If you don't feel like all that work, or don't like/care about the bones, just get boneless, skinless chicken thighs and cut 'em up into 2-inch pieces. Place chicken in a large bowl. Add salt, pepper, garlic, and 2 tbsp of the curry powder. Mix it all up with your hands, then cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

2. Heat large pot over medium-high heat. Add oil.

3. Put chicken in pot, and stir for about 3 minutes until chicken starts to brown and the spices are getting toasty.

4. Add onion, habanero/bell pepper, green onions (if using) and ginger (if using), and saute with the chicken for 3 minutes or so until softened.

5. Add remaining 3 tbsp curry powder, thyme, allspice/cumin (if using) and hot sauce (if using). Stir another 2 minutes to toast the spices.

6. Add 2 cups water, bring pot to a boil, cover and reduce heat to simmer for 20 minutes.

7. Remove cover, add potatoes, and return to an aggressive simmer (leaving the cover off) to allow sauce to thicken and potatoes to cook. The sauce will not be thick at all, but should coat the back of a spoon. If you like a thicker sauce, use less water. Once potatoes are tender, you're done.

Serve over steamed rice of your choice.



NOTES
=====
1. As far as curry powder goes, you may find this in your "ethnic foods" section or somewhere. It is a good choice, and is about 1/3 the price of the curry powder you'll find in the spice aisle.

2. As far as the hot sauce goes, something like this is ideal, since it's from Jamaica and made with actual scotch bonnets (a close relative of habanero). But if you can't find that, then any habanero sauce should work. Or any other hot sauce, who cares?
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RealNC
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Post by RealNC » Wed Feb 18, 2015 12:57 pm

I will try that one out. I will probably replace the green onions with leeks for a sweeter taste.

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Post by ChainGangGuy » Wed Feb 18, 2015 6:45 pm

Curry Expert, is there a preference in potato type for this recipe?

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Post by pinback » Wed Feb 18, 2015 8:59 pm

Me, I like a creamy red or yukon gold, but heck, nothing wrong with the ol' russet, if that's what you have on hand.
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Post by pinback » Thu Feb 19, 2015 10:48 am

Oh yeah, I forgot one optional:

1 tbsp ketchup (optional), add with the water.

I dunno, they like ketchup there.
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Post by pinback » Tue Feb 24, 2015 11:56 am

A couple more notes on this, as I just had the last bit of the second batch, and it was maybe the greatest meal of my life. It just gets better the more it sits there, as all great stews do.

1. Forget the ketchup. You see it in maybe 10% of the recipes for this, but it seems generally looked down upon, and there's no real reason for it anyway.

2. REALLY traditional, and the way I'm going to try it next, is just a whole bird, cut up into pieces. I'm afraid of the white meat falling apart or getting dry, but I'm going to give it a go next time.

3. I will thicken with about a tablespoon of cornstarch next time. In making the leftovers, I've added a half teaspoon or so of cornstarch to the liquid and it does "beef it up" a little, which is a poor choice of words for a chicken dish.

4. Our local Publix carries Grace brand curry powder! I am definitely using that. Anything that carries the Grace name, buy it, because that's as close to authentic as a white person can do in North America.

5. If you make this for two or fewer people, you'll have leftovers. I would recommend against microwaving them the next day. If you have the time/patience, I recommend putting a portion in a saucepan and adding 1/4 cup of water or so, and then bringing to a simmer. Once the additional water boils off, you're left with something indistinguishable from when it was fresh.

6. My favorite rice for this dish (and for every other one) is Calrose. If you can't find that (which I'm sure you can), any medium-grain rice works. I like its toothy, chewy bite, and it soaks up the sauce so well without getting mushy.

Thank you. I'm only focusing on this right now because I'm almost officially ready to call it my favorite food ever. Almost.

Awfully close.
Above all else... We shall go on... And continue!

Fatass

Post by Fatass » Tue Mar 03, 2015 8:51 pm

I have now made this recipe twice, because I had 2 different curry blends in my cabinet from a spice store in Mystic, CT. I followed the cooking instructions, which actually gave me some insight into other ways of cooking curry than those on the back of the canned/jarred curry pastes. The first time, it was good, but a little rough. I added a little sugar and a scoop of yogurt, but I just felt it needed something. The second time, I took 5T of an organic brick of creamed coconut about the size of a deck of cards I got from our local snob Natural Foods store which is liquid at room temperature but solid at fridge temperature, so once opened and fridged you have to thaw it in a small cup of hot water and which allows you to BAM! COCONUT anything you cook, and BAM! COCONUTted that shit, and it is now one of the best things I have ever eaten.

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Post by Tdarcos » Thu Mar 05, 2015 8:42 pm

pinback wrote: I'm only focusing on this right now because I'm almost officially ready to call it my favorite food ever.
Like Bullwinkle J. Moose claiming he can pull a rabbit out of a hat, you say that every time.

And then next week you'll claim something else is the best thing you've ever eaten. "Hey, I just tried this plate of shit from Walmart, and not only is it probably the best thing I've ever eaten but it's the cheapest I've ever bought shit."
The lessons of history teach us - if they teach us anything - that no one learns the lessons of history. tdarcos@tdarcos.com

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Post by pinback » Sun Mar 08, 2015 4:54 pm

Tdarcos wrote:
pinback wrote: I'm only focusing on this right now because I'm almost officially ready to call it my favorite food ever.
Like Bullwinkle J. Moose claiming he can pull a rabbit out of a hat, you say that every time.
Yeah, it's called "enjoying life". You might have heard of it, it's the thing people who aren't around you are doing.
Above all else... We shall go on... And continue!

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Post by Tdarcos » Sat Mar 14, 2015 6:18 pm

pinback wrote:
Tdarcos wrote:
pinback wrote: I'm only focusing on this right now because I'm almost officially ready to call it my favorite food ever.
Like Bullwinkle J. Moose claiming he can pull a rabbit out of a hat, you say that every time.
Yeah, it's called "enjoying life". You might have heard of it, it's the thing people who aren't around you are doing.
A balding alcohoiic who has to pick on the crippled for fun has to proceed to tell me what enjoying life is.

At least I have a wheelchair. I don't have to depend on a crutch the way you do. [zing!]
The lessons of history teach us - if they teach us anything - that no one learns the lessons of history. tdarcos@tdarcos.com

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Post by pinback » Thu Jul 07, 2016 7:35 am

I made this again yesterday, and took a note from Fatass and added some coconut cream.

It's still arguably the greatest thing you'll ever eat.
Above all else... We shall go on... And continue!

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Post by pinback » Sat Sep 24, 2016 6:39 am

I'm making this again tomorrow. This is very exciting, because it's my favorite thing ever.
Above all else... We shall go on... And continue!

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Post by pinback » Mon Sep 26, 2016 7:58 am

Still amazing. I've made the following modifications to the recipe, which I will record here because this is my reference point when I make this:

2 cups chicken stock instead of water.
1 cup coconut milk.
Slurry of 2 tbsp cornstarch added at the end.

Thank you.
Above all else... We shall go on... And continue!

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Re: [RECIPE] Ben's Famous Jamaican Curry Chicken

Post by pinback » Mon Jun 10, 2019 7:12 pm

It's my birthday tomorrow, and every year I cook this for my birthday because it's the only day I can get away with it without hearing a bunch of complaints.

Let's hope I don't FUCK THIS ONE UP TOO. :( :( :(
Above all else... We shall go on... And continue!

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