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Old 01-15-2013, 07:55 PM   #1
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Help with a "Chinese" Dish

It's Americanized Chinese. But I still can't figure out what I'm doing...

Almost every time my roommate and I order Chinese, I get Curry Chicken. I don't know if it's the same everywhere... but here, it's basically chicken, onion, green pepper, and some other vegetables depending on where it comes from. But the spices, and the way the chicken is cut and cooked, are always the same no matter what restaurant I get it from.

So tonight, I tried my hand at making it myself. I looked for a recipe online, and didn't find one I liked, so I just tried to make things up as I went along. Basically, I cut up the chicken into small pieces, seasoned it with some curry powder and baked it. Then I made some chicken broth and cooked the vegetables in it, adding some garlic, salt, and a little more curry powder, and then I added the chicken to the pot when it was done cooking.

What I made isn't terrible, but it's not what I wanted. And I think the major issue is the baked chicken. I had a feeling it was wrong in the first place, but I didn't know what else to do and thought I'd give it a try. Also, the vegetables aren't bad, but I get the feeling chicken broth might not have been the right choice. The "sauce" from the restaurants is usually thicker. Mine was completely liquid.

Anyways, I was wondering if anyone could give me an idea as to what I should do differently next time. Thanks!

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Old 01-15-2013, 08:07 PM   #2
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my guess is the biggest difference was with the way you made your version of the chicken.

your's wasn't "velveted" then stir fried.

also, did you thicken your sauce with a cornstarch or arrowroot slurry?

additionally, chinese american joints usually have fantastic chicken stock. one which starts with a lot of roasted carcasses with garlic and ginger added, then more chicken parts, water, ginger and garlic, and more carcasses added as the stock gets used up so it's sort of a generational stock.
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Old 01-15-2013, 08:49 PM   #3
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Try this recipe:
Curry and Comfort: Chinese Chicken Curry

I've made it before and it's very close to the restaurant version. One of the secrets is using "oriental" curry powder, which is different from the Indian style powder you find in most supermarkets. Coconut milk is also typically used in addition to (or sometime instead of) stock.
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:21 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kroll View Post
Try this recipe:
Curry and Comfort: Chinese Chicken Curry

I've made it before and it's very close to the restaurant version. One of the secrets is using "oriental" curry powder, which is different from the Indian style powder you find in most supermarkets. Coconut milk is also typically used in addition to (or sometime instead of) stock.
I looked at the recipe and was surprised to see potatoes in it. I've never had Asian food with potatoes. Also, I like BT's recomendation to velvet the chicken. I would add chinese curry spice to the cornstarch, soy sauce, and vinager in the velveting slurry to add flavor to the chicken before it's cooked.

WildOrchid10, if you've never heard of velveting meat, there are a host of sites that tell you how to do it, including past posts on DC. There are great YouTube tutorials on the method as well. Velveting the chicken will make it rediculously tender, and will help flavor the meat for whatever dish you wish to put it in. The technique works with poultry, beef, pork, etc. Don't think I'd do it with fish. I might try it with shrimp, clams, or scallops though.

Seeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:47 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Chief Longwind Of The North View Post
I looked at the recipe and was surprised to see potatoes in it. I've never had Asian food with potatoes.
Chief, potatoes (as well as sweet potatoes) are eaten in China, but almost always as a vegetable ingredient in dishes rather than as a standalone starch. Surprisingly, they also eat dishes containing potatoes with rice.
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:49 AM   #6
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Oh Chief! If you haven't had 'Bombay Potatoes' you haven't lived! check it out. You can buy SCHWARTZ recipe mix or make your own. A great change from rice now and again.
Happy new Year by the way
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Old 01-16-2013, 11:02 AM   #7
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Use this kind of curry powder. You can buy it in any asian market.

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Old 01-16-2013, 11:07 AM   #8
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Use this kind of curry powder. You can buy it in any asian market.
That's the one I have in my cupboard. Walmart even sells it.
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:14 PM   #9
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I have a good recipe for chinese chippy type chicken curry I will type it up here. Its well worth a try.

Its the type we get in chip shops over here, you might like it.
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Old 01-16-2013, 12:18 PM   #10
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Here is the one I have tried: Chinese Chicken Curry

Sauce can be doubled and frozen, it can be made with beef, pork and prawns too.

Chinese Chicken Curry - Serves 2 (fairly generously)

For the Gravy.

6 Tbs Oil
3 onions, finely chopped
thumb sized piece of fresh ginger peeled and sliced.
4 cloves of garlic, sliced.
2-4 red chillies, deseeded and chopped (depending on taste - less is sometimes more)
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp ground coriander7
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chilli powder (strength upto you )
2 1/2 tsp curry powder (strength upto you )
125ml water - plus some extra
2 1/2 tbsp plain flour
2 1/2 tbsp self raising flour
450ml chicken stock (or veg stock)

for the chicken

4 tbsp cornflour
s & p (preferably ground white pepper)
2 chicken breast fillets
2 tbsp oil
1/2 an onion thinly thinly thinly sliced
a handful of button mushrooms, quarted or halved depending on size (optional)
a good handful of frozen peas (optional)

Begin by heating oil and frying the onions, till soft but NOT Brown/Caramelised, then add ginger garlic and fresh chillies, and cook gently stirring for 10 mins, not letting the onions or anything burn at all.

Add all the dried spices, and stir in for about 5 mins, not allowing the mix to catch on the bottom of your pan - if this looks like happening add a few splashes of water, and keep stirring.

The put your 125ml of water into a food processor/blender and add the onion spice mixture and blend until relatively smooth, add the 2 flours and pulse again - DO NOT be tempted to use a stick blender - it goes everywhere! then add the mixture back to your pan. and simmer very gently for 20 mins until the sauce has thickened.

then add the stock, stirring occasionally.

while the gravy is now reducing and thickening set to with the chicken.

cut into nice thin strips, and put into a bowl with the cornflour and the s & p, and mix till well coated.

heat the oil in a fry pan, and then fry the chicken until it goes white on the outside, then add your thinly sliced onions and stir not allowing onions to brown, but cooked, then add mushrooms if using and fry till almost cooked, then add the peas, stir.

then add the chicken onion (mushroom)and peas to the gravy, and then put your rice on, once rice is cooked your chicken will be cooked through and the curry ready to serve,
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