Compared to other types of curry dishes, this Filipino Style Chicken Curry recipe is milder in flavor. You get a blend of umami goodness perfectly balanced with coconut milk's richness and creaminess, further enhanced with the exotic flavors of aromatics like ginger, garlic, and onions. But wait, would you believe that the complexity of flavors is orchestrated together in just 30 minutes? Keep scrolling, and you'll learn how to make this delicious curry recipe using store-bought curry powder.
Origin and History of Chicken Curry Filipino Style
Filipino Chicken Curry is rooted in Indian cuisine, which was introduced to the Philippines during ancient trade routes. Spices such as turmeric, cumin, coriander, and cardamom entered the local culinary scene. These aromatic ingredients formed the foundation for what would eventually become one of Filipinos' favorite comfort foods.
As with any traditional dish, Filipino cooks have always put their unique spin on recipes passed down through generations. To adapt curry to local palates, Filipinos added coconut milk for creaminess and sweetness while reducing the spice levels slightly compared to its Indian counterparts. This resulted in a milder yet equally flavorful version loved by all.
Throughout history, various cultural influences have shaped Filipino Chicken Curry as we know it today. Spanish colonization introduced additional ingredients like potatoes and bell peppers, further enhancing its flavor profile. Other Southeast Asian influences brought about additions such as fish sauce or patis for that unmistakable umami kick!
Why You Would Love This Dish
First off, it's incredibly easy to make. You don't need any fancy culinary skills or hard-to-find ingredients. Gather some chicken pieces (preferably bone-in for added richness), coconut milk, curry powder, and a medley of aromatic veggies like onions, garlic, and ginger. Voila! You're well on your way to creating something truly special.
What sets this curry recipe apart is its unique blend of flavors that are both comforting and exotic at the same time. The rich coconut milk forms a creamy base that perfectly balances out the warm notes from the curry powder. Every spoonful is packed with tantalizing hints of turmeric, coriander, cumin, and other traditional Filipino spices, leaving your taste buds dancing for joy.
You'll love this flavorful curry dish for its versatility. This curry recipe can be enjoyed in various ways depending on your preferences. Serve it over steaming white rice for a classic experience, or pair it with crusty bread for an innovative twist. Want some extra heat? Feel free to use green chili peppers, red chili flakes, chili powder, or hot sauce for that extra kick.
One word: leftovers! This curry tastes even better after spending a night in the fridge as the flavors meld together beautifully overnight. So go ahead and make a big batch because you'll definitely want seconds (and thirds).
Lastly, let's not forget about the pure comfort factor of this dish. The intoxicating aroma that fills your kitchen as the curry simmers away is enough to make anyone's heart skip a beat. Whether you're cooking for yourself or your family or hosting a dinner party, this delicious curry dish will impress and create lasting memories.
- Cooking oil: You can use any oil. My preference is olive oil. Coconut oil will be a great alternative and lend to its rich flavors.
- Chicken: I used cut-up boneless chicken breast for this curry recipe. You can use bone-in chicken pieces like chicken thighs or chicken drumsticks for an extra flavorful curry. The juicy and tender meat will soak up all those aromatic spices, making each bite more delightful than the last.
- Aromatics: Filipino Chicken Curry is known for its unique blend of flavors that combines influences from Indian and Southeast Asian cuisines. You'll need some garlic, onion, and ginger.
- Yellow Curry Powder: I used a ready-made store-bought curry powder for this recipe. The taste is almost authentic and a time-saver!
- Seasonings: Bay leaves, salt, and black pepper. These ingredients add subtle notes that perfectly complement the other flavors in this hearty meal.
- Coconut milk: No Filipino Chicken Curry would be complete without one essential component – coconut milk! This creamy addition adds richness to the sauce while balancing out the spiciness of the chili peppers or curry powder you choose to include. It creates a velvety texture that coats every piece of chicken beautifully.
- Vegetables: Yellow Potatoes, Celery, Carrots, Red Bell Peppers, and Green Bell Peppers. These colorful additions enhance the visual appeal and provide an additional burst of flavor and nutrients.
- Chicken broth: (not pictured) You can use boxed organic chicken broth, either regular or low sodium. I prefer using homemade chicken stock.
And don't forget about rice! A plateful of hot steamed rice is the perfect companion to soak up all those luscious flavors from your Filipino Chicken Curry. Whether you prefer jasmine rice or long-grain varieties like basmati rice, enjoy the wonderful flavor and satisfying combination of curry-soaked rice and succulent chicken.
*See the recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full written instructions on making this dish.
Why Use Coconut Milk
First and foremost, coconut milk brings an irresistible, velvety texture to your Filipino Chicken Curry. As it simmers away with all those aromatic spices and tender chicken pieces, it effortlessly blends everything together into a harmonious symphony of flavors. Each spoonful becomes a luxurious experience for your taste buds.
But that's not all – coconut milk also adds a hint of natural sweetness to balance out the spiciness in the curry. It's like having your own personal flavor referee, ensuring every bite is perfectly balanced and delightful. So whether you prefer mild or bold flavors, coconut milk has got you covered.
Now let's talk about how coconut milk transforms the overall taste profile of your Filipino Chicken Curry. Its subtle tropical essence adds depth and complexity to the dish, giving it that distinct Filipino touch. The combination of fragrant spices mingling with creamy coconut creates an explosion of flavors that will make your mouth water in anticipation.
And here's another reason why using coconut milk is fantastic – it makes your curry incredibly versatile! Whether you're cooking for yourself or hosting a gathering with friends and family, coconut milk adapts effortlessly to various dietary preferences. It caters to both vegans and non-vegans alike by providing a dairy-free alternative.
How to Make This Dish
STEP 1: Add aromatics in a skillet with olive oil on medium-high heat.
STEP 2: Add and toast the curry powder with garlic, ginger, and onion.
STEP 3: Sauté chicken pieces until light brown on both sides.
STEP 4: Add coconut milk and broth while scraping the bottom of the skillet. Bring it to a boil, then turn to low heat. Add the bay leaves cover, and let the curry come to a gentle simmer. Cook the chicken curry for 15 minutes.
STEP 5: Add the vegetables, giving them a couple of minutes in between to allow them to cook.
STEP 6: Cook until all vegetables are tender, and add more salt and black pepper to taste.
*See the recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full written instructions on making this dish.
Variations and Substitutions
Here are a few suggestions for adding your unique twist to this classic recipe!
Veggie Lover's Delight: Want to make your Chicken Curry more veggie-centric? No problem! Add an array of colorful vegetables like bell peppers, carrots, potatoes, or even broccoli. Not only will they enhance the nutritional value, but they'll also give your curry a delightful crunch.
The Fiery Kick: For those who love a spicy kick in their dishes, why not experiment with adding green chili peppers, red chili flakes, chili powder, or hot sauce? Just be sure to adjust the amount according to your heat tolerance level. This variation will definitely give your Chicken Curry that extra zing!
Creamy Peanut Twist: Take Thai cuisine's inspiration and incorporate peanut butter into your curry paste! This unique combination adds an irresistible nutty flavor and velvety texture, leaving everyone craving more.
Seafood Surprise: Who said chicken has to be the star of the show? Swap out chicken for shrimp or fish fillets in your curry for a delectable seafood twist! The delicate flavors of seafood blend wonderfully with the aromatic spices used in Filipino curries.
A Touch of Sweetness: Looking for something different yet familiar? Try adding pineapple chunks or raisins to your Chicken Curry for a subtle touch of sweetness amidst all those savory flavors. It's like bringing tropical vibes straight into your kitchen!
Remember, these variations are just suggestions to get your creative juices flowing. Feel free to mix and match ingredients according to your personal preferences. This chicken curry recipe is a versatile dish that allows you to experiment and make it uniquely yours.
Here's a handy solution for your chicken curry leftover – storage tips to keep your delicious curry fresh and flavorful!
Optimal Containers: Say goodbye to leaky messes! When storing chicken curry, using airtight containers or resealable bags is a good idea. These will not only prevent any spills but also help maintain the curry's taste and texture.
Portion Control: If you often cook larger batches of chicken curry, dividing them into smaller portions before storing them is key. This allows for easier reheating and avoids unnecessary waste when you're craving a quick fix of this delightful dish.
Cool It Down: Before transferring your chicken curry into storage containers, make sure it has cooled down completely. Placing hot food directly in the fridge can raise its internal temperature, potentially spoiling other items and affecting its own quality.
Label Your Treasure: To avoid confusion later on (because, let's face it - we all have that moment), label each container with the date of preparation using sticky notes or waterproof markers. This way, you'll know exactly when the chicken curry was made and how long it has been stored.
Choose Your Spot Wisely: Once ready for refrigeration or freezing, find an appropriate spot where your Filipino Chicken Curry can rest undisturbed—preferably in the back of your fridge or freezer where temperatures remain more stable.
Fridge vs. Freezer: Now comes the decision-making time! If you plan to consume it within 2-3 days, pop your chicken curry in the refrigerator; however, if you want to keep it beyond that timeframe—freezing is your best bet.
Defrosting Delicately: When thawing frozen Filipino Chicken Curry for future enjoyment (Yay!), gradually transfer it from the freezer to the refrigerator overnight. This ensures a safe and even thawing process, preserving taste and texture.
Reheating Magic: When it's finally time to savor your stored Filipino Chicken Curry, gently reheat it in a pot or microwave until piping hot. Feel free to add a splash of coconut milk or broth if needed, ensuring each spoonful remains as rich and flavorful as ever.
Filipino Chicken Curry is a delightful twist on the classic curry dish, with flavors uniquely tailored to the Filipino palate. It consists of tender chicken pieces cooked in a creamy coconut milk-based sauce infused with rich spices like turmeric, ginger, and garlic.
The level of spiciness in Filipino Chicken Curry can vary depending on personal preference. However, traditionally, it is not too spicy and tends to lean towards milder flavors than other Asian curries. Of course, feel free to adjust the spice level according to your taste buds!
Absolutely! One of the best things about cooking is that you can customize recipes according to your preferences. While traditional versions of this Filipino Chicken Curry typically include potatoes and bell pepper as vegetables of choice, feel free to experiment with other options such as carrots, eggplant, bokchoy, or green peas.
Pairing this flavorful dish with warm white rice is an absolute winner – they complement each other perfectly! You can also serve it alongside warm crusty bread, naan, or roti to soak up all that creamy goodness.
Definitely! In fact, curries often taste even better the next day as the flavors have a chance to meld together. You can store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days and simply reheat them whenever you're ready to enjoy them again.
Chicken Curry dish will work well with other types of curry made from scratch, like garam masala or ready-made paste. My favorites are Maesri pastries: Red curry, Green curry, Panang curry, Prik Khing curry, and Masaman curry.
Other types of meat, like beef, pork, seafood, or shellfish, can be used to make curry.
Other Chicken Recipes You May Like
- 1 tablespoon olive oil substitute coconut oil if desired
- 1 medium onion ½ sliced and ½ quartered
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 inch fresh ginger peeled and sliced
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 4 boneless chicken breasts halved: cut 1"
- 1 13.5 ounces coconut milk
- 1 cup chicken broth see homemade recipe on this site
- 2 medium carrots cut ¼" thick on a bias
- 2 stalks celery cut ¼" thick on a bias
- ½ medium green bell peppers cut 1"
- ½ medium red bell peppers cut 1"
- salt and pepper to taste substitute fish sauce if desired
- In a medium-sized skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the aromatics (sliced onions, garlic, and ginger). Sautè for 2 minutes until they are softened.
- Add curry powder to the skillet and stir until fragrant. This will take about 2 minutes.
- Add cut-up chicken breast and sauté until no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
- Add broth and coconut milk. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.
- Add quartered onions, carrots, celery, green and red bell peppers. Simmer for 4 minutes. Stir frequently.
- Stir and fold all ingredients gently. Enjoy! Serve with steamed jasmine rice.
- For a more pungent flavoring, substitute fish sauce for salt.
- For a toasted coconut flavor, use unrefined coconut oil in place of olive oil.
- To prevent from scorching, be sure to stir frequently once you've added the coconut milk.
- Cut the vegetables the same size so they all cook evenly.
- Storage for ginger: keep the whole ginger root in a sealed plastic bag, and store in the freezer. This will keep for six months.
- To peel ginger: scrape the skin off by using the side of the spoon.