‘Orange’ chicken curry

As I started typing this yesterday there was a wonderful smell filling the house from my latest slow cooker experiment: a thick, sweet chicken curry. The orange in the name comes from the first three ingredients in my list. My hope was that these three would soften as they cooked and (possibly with the help of a potato masher) become a thick, flavourful sauce for the chicken, and they have. I tend to cook the chicken breasts whole in a dish like this and then shred them once the meal is cooked as it makes it appear as though there is more meat than there actually is! I have even managed to deceive my carnivorous husband with this trick! He is one of those who feels a main meal isn’t complete without a decent quantity of meat (125g minimum!), he has eaten meals with half this and not realised.

Ingredients:
'Orange' chicken curry

  • half a butternut squash – peeled and cut into ~1 inch dice £1
  • 4 sweet potatoes – also peeled and diced 1.05
  • 250g dried red lentils 55p
  • Chicken stock – I used a large teaspoon of Bovril in just over half a litre of water ~10p
  • Curry powder – I use korma powder as I don’t like hot curries, but you can add whichever variant suits you and your family ~5p
  • Mango chutney ~50p
  • Chicken pieces – I used 4 chicken breasts as that was what I had in the freezer £3.33 (from a 3 for £10 deal)

While the slowcooker heated up I chopped the vegetables. I used the slow cooker to heat the water for the stock to save putting the kettle on as well. Once the slowcooker and water were warm I stirred in a very heaped teaspoon of korma powder, three heaped teaspoons of mango chutney and the chicken Bovril. I then layered up half the squash and sweet potato followed by the chicken breasts, the lentils and the rest of the squash and potato. I wanted to make sure the chicken didn’t stick to the bottom of the slowcooker and that the lentils would be covered by the cooking sauce (no one wants to eat crunchy lentils in their curry!). I turned the slowcooker down to low to cook through the day. 6 hours later the chicken was cooked but a few of the lentils were still a little on the crunchy side so I removed the chicken, shreded it and covered it to return to the slowcooker an hour later to heat through properly before serving (you can’t be too careful with chicken!). When you remove the chicken you may wish to add some extra spice or chutney depending on your preferences.

This isn’t the most attractive plate to look at, but the thick sweet sauce is lovely and a good introduction to curry for my spice resistant son! I served mine last night with an  extra drizzle of mango chutney on the top.

This made 11 ~200g portions at ~60p per portion.

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