Curry powder is a versatile spice blend that can add incredible flavor to chicken dishes.
If you're looking for an easy way to infuse your chicken with delicious curry flavor, cooking it with curry powder is a great option.
What is Curry Powder?
Curry powder is a blend of various spices that commonly include turmeric, coriander, cumin, fenugreek, ginger, garlic, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, red pepper, and cardamom. The specific spices and ratios vary between brands, but curry powder always packs a punch of aromatic flavor.
This spice mix originated in India but has become popular worldwide. Today, curry powder can be found in any well-stocked pantry and is used to add depth and warmth to all kinds of dishes. It's extremely versatile and works well with proteins like chicken, beef, lamb, and seafood.
Why Cook Chicken with Curry Powder?
Cooking chicken with curry powder results in tender, flavorful chicken infused with the incredible spices found in this blend. Here are some of the benefits of using curry powder in your chicken recipes:
- Adds complex flavor - Curry powder contains a mix of spices that add wonderful aroma and depth of flavor. This eliminates the need to use many single spices.
- Easy to use - With just one ingredient, curry powder makes it simple to add big flavor fast. No complex steps are needed.
- Budget-friendly - Using curry powder is an affordable way to elevate inexpensive chicken into something restaurant-worthy. A little goes a long way.
- Family-friendly - Chicken curry powder recipes tend to have mass appeal. Kids and adults alike devour the zesty flavor.
- Versatile - Curry chicken dishes pair well with rice, noodles, breads, and veggies. Perfect for weeknight meals or elaborate dinner parties.
So if you're looking for an easy way to spice up boring chicken, cooking it with curry powder is sure to do the trick! The flavor possibilities are endless.
Tips for Cooking Chicken with Curry Powder
To end up with the very best curry chicken, keep these handy tips in mind:
Buy Fresh Curry Powder
To maximize flavor, it's important to use fresh, high-quality curry powder. Spices lose potency over time, so try to avoid old curry powder that's been sitting in your pantry for ages. For the most vibrant flavor, purchase small quantities of curry powder and replenish it often.
Bloom the Curry Powder
Blooming the spices in curry powder before cooking releases their essential oils and aromatics. To bloom, heat the curry powder briefly in oil at the start of cooking. The spices will become fragrant and more flavorful.
Use Enough Curry Powder
Don't be shy with the curry powder! To impart noticeable flavor, you'll need to use ample amounts. For chicken, a good rule of thumb is 1-2 tablespoons of curry powder per pound of meat. Adjust to taste.
Add Other Spices
Feel free to complement the curry powder with other spices like ginger, garlic, cumin, and coriander. This adds extra layers of flavor.
Simmer the Chicken
To allow the chicken time to soak up all that flavorful curry goodness, simmer it in the sauce rather than cooking it through entirely before adding the sauce.
Finish with Herbs
Fresh herbs like cilantro and parsley brighten up curry chicken. Stir them in right at the end for a pop of color and freshness.
Following these useful tips will help you achieve maximum flavor when cooking chicken with curry powder!
Curry Powder Chicken Marinade
Marinating chicken in a mixture of curry powder, oil, and other flavorful ingredients is a great way to infuse it with spice and moisture. The chicken soaks up all that flavorful marinade as it rests.
Here is an easy curry powder chicken marinade recipe to try:
- 2 tbsp curry powder
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 tsp garlic, minced
- 1 tsp ginger, minced
- 1⁄4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 lb chicken pieces
- In a bowl or ziplock bag, combine curry powder, lemon juice, oil, garlic, ginger, and cayenne pepper. Mix well to form a smooth paste.
- Add the chicken pieces and toss to coat in the marinade. Refrigerate for 30 minutes up to overnight.
- Cook as desired, discarding excess marinade.
The acidic lemon juice helps tenderize the chicken, while the oil and aromatics infuse it with lots of flavor. Feel free to adjust the amount of cayenne pepper spiciness to your liking. This easy marinade takes the guesswork out of flavoring chicken with curry powder!
Curry Powder Chicken Casserole
For an easy one-pan meal, a curry powder chicken casserole can't be beaten. Chicken combines with rice, veggies, and a creamy curry powder sauce for a hearty, satisfying dinner.
Try this recipe:
- 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 3 cups cooked rice
- 1 (10.75 oz) can cream of chicken soup
- 1⁄2 cup mayonnaise
- 1-2 tbsp curry powder
- 1⁄2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 cup frozen peas
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a 9x13 baking dish.
- In a large bowl, mix together chicken, onion, carrots, celery, rice, soup, mayonnaise, curry powder, and garlic powder until well combined.
- Transfer the mixture to a prepared baking dish and arrange in an even layer.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until chicken is cooked through and casserole is bubbling at the edges.
- Remove from oven, top with frozen peas, and bake 5 minutes more until peas are warmed through.
- Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
This simple casserole only requires one pan for a meal the whole family will love. The peas add color and freshness to this saucy, comforting dish. Serve it on its own or with a side salad.
Easy Curry Powder Baked Chicken
For a straightforward curry powder chicken recipe, baking is the way to go. Try this simple curry powder baked chicken:
- 1 lb chicken drumsticks and thighs
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1⁄4 tsp each salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with foil.
- Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Brush with oil and sprinkle evenly with curry powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
- Arrange chicken on a prepared baking sheet. Bake for 30-35 minutes until chicken is cooked through and spices are browned.
- Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
The oven does all the hard work, crisping up the chicken skin and cooking the meat through. Feel free to use any chicken pieces you prefer - breasts, thighs, drumsticks all work well. This simple preparation makes it easy to get your curry fix any night of the week.
Curry Powder Chicken Fajitas
For a fun twist on fajitas, spice up the traditional flavors with curry powder chicken fajitas:
- 1 lb chicken breasts, sliced into strips
- 1 bell pepper, sliced
- 1 onion, sliced
- 2 tsp oil
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1⁄2 tsp cumin
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 8 small flour tortillas
- Toppings like salsa, avocado, cilantro
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add chicken and cook 3-5 minutes until no longer pink. Remove chicken to a plate.
- Add bell pepper, onion, curry powder, chili powder, and cumin to skillet. Cook for 5 minutes until vegetables soften.
- Return chicken to skillet and cook 1-2 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper.
- Serve chicken and vegetable mixture stuffed into warm tortillas along with desired toppings.
The blend of spices gives these fajitas incredible depth of flavor. Warm tortillas and fun personalized toppings make for an easy, casual family meal.
Curry Powder Chicken Salad
A curry powder chicken salad transforms boring chicken into something sensational. The spices liven up an otherwise ordinary salad.
- 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
- 1⁄4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 celery stalk, diced
- 2 tbsp golden raisins
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1⁄4 tsp garlic powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a large bowl, combine shredded chicken, mayonnaise, lemon juice, celery, raisins, curry powder, and garlic powder.
- Season with salt and pepper. Mix well until fully incorporated.
- Chill chicken salad for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow flavors to meld.
- Serve on bread, lettuce, crackers, or stuffed in a pita pocket.
The bright flavors of lemon and raisins cut through the richness of the chicken and mayo. A sprinkle of curry powder ties it all together for a salad that really pops!
Curry Powder Chicken Pasta
Transform a package of pasta into a restaurant-worthy meal by adding curry powder chicken. Try this flavorful recipe:
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
- 8 oz pasta like penne or rotini
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tsp curry powder
- 1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1⁄2 cup heavy cream
- Chopped cilantro for garnish
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1⁄2 cup pasta water.
- Meanwhile, cook chicken in a skillet until browned and cooked through, 5-7 minutes. Remove to a plate.
- Add onion to the skillet and cook for 5 minutes until soft. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more.
- Stir in curry powder, then add tomatoes and chicken broth. Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Return chicken to skillet along with cream and reserved pasta water. Cook for 2-3 minutes until warmed through.
- Add drained pasta and toss to coat. Garnish with cilantro.
The creamy, lightly spiced tomato sauce clings nicely to the pasta and chicken. Feel free to use other veggies like spinach or peas in place of some of the tomatoes. Curry powder is the ideal flavor enhancer for an easy, tasty pasta dinner.
What's the best type of chicken to use?
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs work well. Breasts cook faster but thighs have more flavor. Go for thighs for curries, stews, and braises. Use breasts for quicker dishes like stir fries, fajitas, or salads.
Can I use a store-bought curry sauce instead of powder?
Absolutely! Store-bought curry sauces provide maximum convenience and lots of flavor. Popular options like tikka masala or korma sauces make it easy to make chicken curries without much work. Just simmer the chicken in the sauce.
Do I need to add extra spices and aromatics?
It's optional, but highly recommended! Onions, garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, chili powder, garam masala, and other spices complement curry powder nicely in chicken dishes. Play around with spice combinations to find your favorite.
What sides go well with curry powder chicken recipes?
Rice or noodles are classic pairings that work with just about any chicken curry recipe. But you can also serve curry powder chicken over roasted veggies, on a salad, stuffed in a pita, or with bread to sop up the sauce.
Is it necessary to bloom the curry powder in oil first?
While not 100% necessary, blooming the curry powder really enhances the flavor since it draws out the aromatic essential oils. If short on time, you can skip this step, but your curry is likely to have a bolder taste if you bloom the spices.
As you try out different recipes, remember to buy fresh curry powder, bloom it in oil, use enough to add noticeable flavor, simmer the chicken to soak up flavor, and finish with fresh herbs.
The possibilities are endless when cooking chicken with this spice blend! Curries, casseroles, pasta, salads, fajitas - infuse them all with the incredible flavors of curry powder.