Chicken Curry

When we were stationed in Okinawa there was a curry place that we always went to after a night of drinking and goodness me was it delicious! Just about everything we ate over there was delicious! We are lucky in having an Asian market in town and I have been able to find several things we enjoyed from our time there. One of them being the curry seasonings from CoCo’s!! It is House Food Vermont Curry and it comes in 3 heat levels. We aren’t much for the burn so I use the mild version but I use a little more than what the directions call for.

CoCo serves her chicken as a cutlet over rice and topped with the sauce but I am lazy and don’t want to take the time to pound the chicken so I get a package of tenderloin strips and chop them into bite-sized pieces. I do use Jasmine rice and I cook it on the stove instead of in the rice cooker because my rice cooker is older and tends to make all rice into sticky rice and that isn’t what I want for this dish.

Since I get my mix at the Asian market the directions are in Japanese for the most part, there is a very brief translation but it isn’t exactly helpful so the first time I used it I didn’t do it correctly and the finished product was only OK so this time I went to YouTube for guidance. Isn’t YouTube the best? You can learn how to do everything there!! Back to the curry, I searched for the specific Vermont Curry in the hopes that there would be an exact match and there was! The video is 4 minutes and some seconds, in English and with excellent visuals. Super simple and only 4 ingredients plus the spice cubes!

Potatoes, carrots, white or yellow onion, chicken and the cubes of love. I watched the video and then went my own way. I cooked the chicken in a bit of olive oil and one full seasoning cube grated over for the seasonings until it was no longer pink, I did not fully cook the chicken since it gets simmered in the last step. I got a little bit of a sautee on the veggies before I added chicken stock to boil them in, the video has you boil in water but we don’t do that unless we just have to. With the sautee giving a little layer of flavor and the using of broth giving a layer of flavor we should be able to make a dish that tastes like it cooked all day when it really took about 30 minutes.

According to the directions we par-cook the chicken, boil the veg and add the chicken back to the veg to finish cooking with the seasoning cubes added. I did all that with my own twists and since I used one cube to season the chicken I took a cube from another brick to add to the sauce. Let me clarify, a package holds 2 bricks consisting of 6 cubes each and there were 2 packages in my box giving me 24 cubes. One brick with its 6 cubes is one batch, from what I understand. The box with its 4 bricks should be 4 uses. Or 24 servings as the box says. Like I mentioned, very sparse English translation.

Upon following the direction for the final push I gave it a taste and was a bit underwhelmed so I added 3 more cubes, a pinch of salt, about 1 tablespoon of tomato paste and 3 teaspoons of carrot powder. Yes carrot powder is a thing! As is tomato powder! is the place to go for all of your spice needs! Just about everything comes in a powder and I feel like they are all wonderful and should be staples in the the spice army.

The addition of the extra spices got the dish where it needed to be so I set it on a low simmer while the rice finished up. I did absolutely nothing to the rice, Jasmine rice is beautiful all on its own!

For plating I dished some rice and topped it with some of the juice from the sauce and let it sort of soak in before I added a spoonful of the chicken, onion, potato and carrot with sauce stuff. CoCo never garnished so I didn’t garnish but some cilantro or dill would be OK additions in my opinion, probably more dill than cilantro to be honest.

If  you don’t have an Asian grocer your local Wal-Mart might carry this brand and if all else fails Amazon has some that can be delivered, you might can order it from Wal-Mart I am not sure because I haven’t tried.

If you want to try or relive the CoCo’s Curry House experience I suggest you give this a go! If you want to get fancy and make a cutlet then don’t be afraid! You can bread a cutlet to give another layer of flavor plus crunch if you so desire. I suppose you could bread and fry the nuggets but that seems like a lot of frippery to me. It is really up to you, you could even use beef if you fancy, a cube steak would be perfect here. If you are using a cutlet or small steak then the cooking will be different. You will want to season the breading with the curry cubes and maybe if you have some curry powder add some of that to the eggs, it’s always good to add in flavors where you can. The slabs will need to be breaded and fried or pan seared with seasonings if you don’t want to use breading. These cuts of meat don’t lend themselves well to being boiled with veg. They can be simmered in a skillet with the veg and seasonings, so cook the meat and veg separate and combined in the skillet that the meat is cooked in, the broth can be used as a deglazing liquid as well as a having the starch from the potatoes to be a thickener so don’t drain the veg and add fresh water. Is that as clear as mud? Hopefully we aren’t all wondering what is going on! What I really recommend is to watch the video and make choices based on that but the dish isn’t rocket surgery and you shouldn’t be scared to try and maybe try twice!

Thanks ya’ll!! Happy cooking!


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