Thursday, October 29, 2015

Homemade Chicken Curry

I have been feeling a little uninspired lately and thought I'd turn to my vintage cookbooks for a little spark.  The cookbook that spoke to me was The Virginia Housewife, published in 1836.  I found tons of recipes that looked delicious (more to come), but today I want to try the ".... Curry After The East Indian Manner."  I have always loved curry and would love to introduce it to my family- from scratch and from real ingredients.

The original Virginia Housewife cookbook, cir. 1836

I realize that the instructions leave a bit to be desired- but remember, women were cooking over fires, not modernized, temperature-regulating appliances.  Therefore, specific cook times over different sized fires would cook differently.  I will do my best to "translate" this vintage recipe's instructions into more modern, precise ones.  Here goes!

What I used to make my Curry Chicken dish:

1, 4-5lb hen, cut into pieces (as you would to fry)- I halved the original recipe
3/4 T Celtic sea salt
1/2 c butter (one stick)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed
2 T curry powder

Adding Celtic sea salt to the chicken pot

  • Put the chicken into a medium stock pot and add water enough to just cover the chicken pieces.
  • Add the salt to the water and heat to boil (make sure you skim the foam that rises to the top of the broth)
  • Turn down the heat to low and simmer, covered, until the chicken is tender but not falling off the bone- 30-40 minutes.

Curry Chicken, seasoned and ready to stew
  • Take chicken pieces out of the pot, reserving the broth.  Put the butter into pot and heat until bubbly.
  • Over medium to medium-high heat, cook the onion and garlic until browned- be careful not to burn- stir often.
  • When onion/garlic is browned, put the chicken back into the pot.  Season chicken with curry powder and brown.
  • Pour the broth that was reserved from boiling the chicken into the pot and cook, covered, over med/low heat until everything is tender, about 10 minutes.
  • If you prefer a thicker curry sauce, just add a couple T of arrowroot powder, mixed with just enough water to dissolve.  Bring sauce to a boil and hold for 1 minute.
I just love the simplicity of this recipe!  And the curry sauce is fantastic.  I will serve my Curry Chicken with jasmine rice and a side of veggies.  

Try making this from-scratch, real food recipe with your family!  Enjoy this modernized version of this tried-and-true 1836 recipe... and maybe "translate" a few recipes for your own family from the archived vintage cookbooks on