Easy Curry Chicken

Close up of bowl of curry
John Lund/Tom Penpark / Getty Images
  • 35 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 25 mins
  • Yield: serves 2-4
Ratings (15)

Curry chicken is a nice recipe for busy weeknights, with chicken breasts, onion, potatoes, and carrots all cooked together in one dish. Instead of curry powder, a traditional Indian yellow curry paste is used, giving this dish an authentic flavor and color. The chicken and vegetables are stir-fried along with the curry paste and then simmered in chicken broth until a thick sauce develops.

What You'll Need

  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil for stir-frying
  • 1 red onion (peeled and chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons curry paste
  • 3/4 to 1 pound chicken boneless and skinless breasts (cut into chunks about 1 1/2 inches)
  • 10 baby carrots (washed, drained, and cut in half)
  • 2 potatoes (peeled and chopped into chunks)
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground black or white pepper, to taste
  • Optional: Ground coriander

How to Make It

  1. Heat a wok or deep-sided frying pan over medium-high heat. Add oil to the heated wok, and when the oil is hot, add the onion. Stir-fry until the onion is softened and translucent. Add the curry paste and stir-fry until fragrant.
  2. Add the chicken and stir-fry for about 5 minutes until the chicken is browned and coated with the curry paste.
  3. Add the carrots and potatoes. Stir for a minute and add the chicken broth, sugar, salt, and pepper. Cover and simmer over low heat for about 15 to 20 minutes, making sure the chicken is cooked.
  1. Taste the curried chicken and adjust the seasoning if needed. Sprinkle the ground coriander over the top if desired.

Tips and Variations

Feel free to use chicken thighs instead of breasts, and to replace the curry paste with 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons curry powder if needed. If using curry powder, add a small amount of water to form a paste.

Curry Paste Vs. Curry Powder

Although it is easy to assume these two seasonings are made of the same ingredients (just processed in different ways), that is actually incorrect. Curry paste and curry powder are each a combination of spices, but those spices differ between the two. Curry powder contains turmeric, which gives it its yellow hue; this particular spice distinguishes the powder from the paste as curry paste does not contain turmeric at all. The other standard ingredients in curry powder are red pepper, cumin, and coriander. Curry paste, on the other hand, is made by crushing ingredients such as ginger, garlic, red chilis, Kaffir lime, and lemongrass, creating a potent mixture that is then combined with oil to make a paste. 

Whereas curry powder is mainly sold in one variety, there are different color curry pastes available, from red to green to yellow. The color is determined by a certain ingredient added; the yellow curry paste called for in this recipe gets its color from yellow peppers.

Adding oil to curry powder will turn it into a paste, but it will not taste the same as real curry paste. Also, if you are using curry powder to a recipe, it will be added toward the end of cooking, while curry paste is a crucial ingredient included at the beginning of the recipe.

Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
Calories 449
Total Fat 16 g
Saturated Fat 4 g
Unsaturated Fat 6 g
Cholesterol 95 mg
Sodium 608 mg
Carbohydrates 41 g
Dietary Fiber 7 g
Protein 35 g
(The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)