Fall Bounty Chicken Curry

It's the middle of November and that means it's time to plot and plan for Thanksgiving. And while this year is likely to be different than year's past (please keep it small and keep it at home), there's still an opportunity to share good food together and be grateful for what we have. My own family will be having several zoom calls with close friends and family on and around the day, but dinner will be for the three of us (four, if you count the dog - which we do!). So I'll be sharing a few ideas for a festive, if smaller, Thanksgiving meal over the next week. This time, we're offering another, different main course option.

This fragrant, hearty curry is chock full of seasonal vegetables and either chicken or turkey in a complex curry sauce that has depth to its flavor. Like many curries, stews, and soups, it's actually better the next day, so either make it a day in advance or make enough (the recipe is easily multiplied) for lots of leftovers. The ingredient list is long, but a great many of the items are kitchen staples like onions and cinnamon and that remaining items can be substituted with other, similar ingredients or, in some cases (like fresh ginger or red pepper) omitted. Curries are generally quite forgiving.

I like serving this curry over steamed rice and you will be happy to know that traditional Thanksgiving sides will play well with it. So you can opt to look for Indian-inspired side dishes or look to green bean casserole and roasted yams. Happy Thanksgiving.

Fall Bounty Chicken Curry

  • 2 T. coconut oil
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken thighs or 1 turkey tenderloin, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
  • 2 T. sweet curry powder (hot is also fine)
  • 1 T. ground coriander
  • ½ T. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • 2 T. tomato paste
  • 1 c. pumpkin or butternut squash puree
  • 2 c. chopped summer squash or cubed turnips
  • 1 chopped red pepper
  • 1 c. chicken stock
  • 1 can (14 oz.) full fat coconut milk
  • 1 T. corn starch mixed with 2 T. cold water to make a slurry
  • 2 c. spinach spinach leaves or turnip greens
  • Steamed rice, for serving

Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

Add the chicken or turkey and cook for 5 minutes, turning occasionally, until seared.

Add the onion to the pan (along with the chicken or turkey still there) and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often, until softened.

Add the garlic, ginger, curry powder, ground coriander, cumin, smoked paprika, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Stir and cook for another minute.

Add the tomato paste, pumpkin or butternut squash puree, summer squash or turnips, red pepper, chicken stock, and coconut milk (shake the can vigorously before opening it to loosen the contents).

Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat to simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until the chicken or turkey is cooked through.

Stir in the cornstarch slurry and stir until the curry is thickened. Stir in the spinach (it should wilt quickly) and turn off the heat.

Serve the curry with steamed rice.

  • Yields: 4-6 servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes

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