Whenever there is a large family gathering, my mom will make a giant pot of her famous cà ri gà or chicken curry stew. It is a very simple dish to make and a favorite meal for all my cousins. Vietnamese curry is more like a soup than the Indian and Japanese versions. The stew is hearty and aromatic. The taste is surprising mild due to the coconut cream, and the sweetness of the broth makes this stew addicting. You can eat the chicken curry stew with toasted bread or with rice vermicelli noodles.
This recipe serves approximately 4 people and takes approximately 1 hour to prepare.
4 Golden Yukon potatoes
2 large carrots
1 large yellow onion
3 stalks of celery
3 stalks of scallion
2 large chicken legs (approx. 2 lb)
2 (14 oz.) cans of low sodium chicken broth
1 (13.5 oz.)can of coconut cream
8 oz. jar of Madras curry paste
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
1 teaspoon of chicken bouillon powder (CBP)
Prepare the vegetables as follows:
Peel the carrots and potatoes. Cut the carrot on a diagonal. Turn the carrot a quarter of the way and cut another slice on a diagonal. The slice should be approximately 1 inch in length each.
Cut the potato into quarters on a diagonal.
Cut the celery into 1 inch segments.
Cut half of an onion into quarters and diced the remaining half.
Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add the carrots and let them boil for 15 minutes. Next add the potatoes and let them boil for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside. (The potatoes should be cooked but have not yet fallen apart.)
While the vegetables are cooking, prepare the chicken. Cut each chicken leg into quarters. (You can also have the butcher do this for you.)
Marinate the chicken for 15 minutes with the following seasoning:
- 2 tablespoons of diced onions
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- ½ teaspoon of ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon of CBP
In a large wide bottom pot (like a dutch oven), heat 2 tablespoons of oil and brown 1 tablespoon of diced onions. When the onions become transparent, add the chicken parts and sear all the sides. (I used a 4.5 quarts dutch oven for this stew.)
Add ½ cup of Madras curry paste to the chicken and stir. Turn the heat to medium.
Add ½ cup of coconut cream and stir. Simmer the chicken for 10 minutes.
Add 2 cans of chicken broth to the pot and stir. Simmer for an additional 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked. You should be able to poke a piece of chicken with a fork and there should be only clear liquid (i.e. no blood) coming out.
Add the potatoes, carrots and the vegetable liquid to the curry pot. Mix well to incorporate the ingredients. Turn the heat on high to a boil and skim any foam.
Add ½ cup of the coconut cream and stir.
Season the curry with 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and 1 teaspoon of sugar.
Add the celery and the onion quarters to cook for 5 minutes.
Cut the scallions into 3 segments and throw out the bottom green part.
Turn off the heat and garnish with the green onions.
Serve this stew with a side of toasted bread or with vermicelli noodles.