One of my favourite Japanese meals is Chicken Katsu Kare. A breaded chicken (or sometimes eve pork) cutlet with a lovely thick, mild curry sauce and sticky rice, topped with lightly pickled red pepper.
Its absolute rainy day comfort food for me. I had a real craving for it the other week but didn’t have any of my usual short cuts in stock. (In Japan I’d always make the curry with shop bought roux cubes as would everyone else!) So I set to and made it all from scratch. I didn’t even have any curry powder!
Its actually not hard at all, it just takes a bit of organisation in a small kitchen like mine as there are a lot of little stages you need to pull together. I’m very happy I took the time and did a big batch though, this recipe will serve 4 so for singletons like myself I suggest you freeze ready prepped portions for the next rainy day craving!
For the curry roux:
4 tbsp flour
1 tbsp curry powder
1tbsp Garam masala
1/2 tsp five spice
1/4 tap cayenne pepper
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp chilli powder)
For the curry:
1 clove garlic
1 carrot, diced
1 medium floury potato,diced
500ml chicken stock
For the cutlets:
2 chicken breasts
2 tbsp flour + salt and pepper
1 beaten egg
4 tbsp bread crumbs
3 tbsp rapeseed oil
Sticky Japanese rice and chopped pickled pepper* to serve (*I love Lidl’s jars of roasted peppers!)
- First things first, make up your curry powder if you’re making that from scratch, just give it all a good mix. There will be some spare so pop it in a small jar for later use.
- Then prep your roux. Melt the butter in a small saucepan and once it is all bubbly add the flour and spices. Give it a good stir for 30 seconds or so and it will turn a golden brown. Set aside off the heat.
- In a larger saucepan heat a splash of oil and sautee the onion and garlic until soft.
- Add the carrot, potato and chicken stock and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add the curry roux to the saucepan gradually, stirring well to avoid lumps.
- Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally as it thickens to avoid sticking.
- Take your chicken breasts and lay them on a large chopping board, with plenty of room between them. Cover them with cling wrap.
- Take a rolling pin and whack the chicken breasts to flatten them. You will find you can slightly direct how the meat spreads, you want to get it all to a thickness of ~1cm.
- Remove the cling wrap. Cut each chicken breast in half to make approximately equal portions.
- Place the flour on one plate, the egg in a shallow dish and the breadcrumbs on a final plate.
- Coat the chicken in the flour, then dip it in the egg and finally cover with breadcrumbs. Then set aside and continue with the remaining pieces.
- Heat 3 tbsp rapeseed oil in a large frying pan (you may have to do this in 2 batches, or with 2 pans depending on size).
- Place the cutlets in the oil and cook for 3-5 minutes, until you can see them cooked halfway up, then flip and cook for another 3-5 minutes until cooked through.
- Serve the cutlet sliced into strips, with a heap of sticky rice, curry sauce and pickled red pepper on top.