Prague fruit market

Prague fruit market

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Chicken katsu curry with cauliflower rice

This is a take on Wagamamma's classic chicken katsu curry- just slightly healthier, gluten-free!

The cauliflower rice is an excellent substitute to normal sticky rice, it adds another vegetable into the dish and lowers the carbohydrate content but is still just as good at mopping up the sauce! I've also swapped the breadcrumbs used to coat the chicken with crushed cornflakes. Usually panko breadcrumbs, a type of Japanese breadcrumb, would be used as they are really crispy, however cornflakes have the same effect and are also cheaper and gluten-free.

This recipe can also be made veggie-friendly! Simply lightly steam chunky slices of vegetables such as aubergine, courgette or sweet potato so they are almost completely cooked and then coat them in the flour, egg and cornflakes as you would with the chicken. Vegetable stock should be then used instead of chicken stock in the sauce.

(Serves about 4 people)

For the katsu sauce:
2 tbsp oil (sesame oil or rapeseed oil work well, but any can be used)
1 onion, finely chopped
3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into small chunks
4 gloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp gluten-free plain flour
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tsp garam masala
3 tbsp curry powder
2 curry leaves
2 bay leaves
800ml chicken stock
Salt and pepper to taste

For the chicken:
6 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (I use thighs as they have a bit more flavour than breasts and are less likely to dry out. Also much cheaper!)
Roughly 150g gluten-free plain flour
2 tsp smoked paprika
Salt and pepper
2 Eggs, beaten
250g cornflakes, crushed

For the cauliflower rice:
1 whole cauliflower, grated (into rice-sized pieces)
Salt and pepper
Squeeze of lemon juice
Coriander to garnish

For the sauce, begin by frying off the onions and carrots in a large frying pan with the oil. Fry on a medium heat for 10-15 minutes until the carrots are beginning to become soft and the onions are translucent, at this point at the chopped garlic and continue to fry for another 5 mins, be careful not to let the vegetables catch and start to brown or the garlic to burn. Then add in the flour, curry powder, garam masala, curry leaves, bay leaves and ensure that all the vegetables are completely coated. Begin gradually adding little bit of stock at a time until all is added and you have a thick sauce. Leave this to simmer for 5-10 minutes to allow the vegetables to completely cook and the flavours to set in. At this point, taste the sauce and season to taste with salt and pepper, also more soy sauce or curry powder can be added at this point if you think it needs it. Finally, blitz the sauce until completely smooth using a food processor.

Start on the chicken by laying out all the thighs on a board and lay a piece of grease proof paper over the top, then flatten with a rolling pin until about 2 cm thick. Season on both sides with salt a pepper.
For the coating of the chicken you will need to set out three plates, one thick the crushed cornflakes on, one with beaten egg on and the third with the flour, smoked paprika and salt and pepper on. Firstly dip the chicken pieces in the flour, dust of the excess, then dip into the egg and then into the cornflakes. Repeat this with all the chicken thighs. In a frying pan heat up about 3tbsp of oil on a high heat, when hot add in the chicken. They should take about 8-10 minutes to cook. Keep turning the chicken to ensure each side is golden brown, but be careful when moving the chicken as you don't want to loose the coating.

While the chicken is cooking, put the grated cauliflower in a bowl, cover with cling film and put in the microwave for 6-8 minutes until tender. When cooked add the salt, pepper and coriander.

To serve, slice the chicken and pour over some of the curry sauce. I also serve the curry with a crisp green salad.