Breaded chicken with a Japanese curry sauce. This is hands down one of the best comfort foods you can get. The sharpness of this cucumber salad on the side is the perfect accompaniment for the rich katsu curry. Recipe below...
4 large chicken breasts
200g panko breadcrumbs
3 tbsp flour
Vegetable oil (for frying)
Brine (optional but recommended):
1 lime (zest and juice of)
4 tbsp rice vinegar (apple cider vinegar is a good alternative)
2 tsp salt
3 cloves of garlic
4 tsp curry powder
2 tsp garam masala
2 tbsp flour
800ml chicken stock
1 tsp sugar or honey
2 tbsp soy sauce
Ginger (thumb sized piece, peeled)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp rice vinegar (apple cider vinegar is a good alternative)
1. Slice each chicken breast in half so they are roughly 1/2 inch thick. If the breasts are small, do not cut in half. Instead, lay the breasts in-between two sheets of parchment paper and flatten with a rolling pin until 1/2 inch thick.
2. To make the brine, add all of the ingredients together in bowl and mix. Add the chicken breast to the bowl, cover and brine for at least 3 hours. If you need more liquid to cover the chicken simply add some more water, a pinch of salt and a splash of vinegar.
3. Time to make the sauce. Finely chop your carrots, onions and garlic. Heat some olive oil in a pan over a medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent. Add the curry powder, garam masala and garlic. Cook for a few more minutes. Add the diced carrots and move to a medium heat. Cook until starting to caramelise.
4. Take off the heat and add in the flour, slowly, stirring at all times. Once the flour is mixed in, add in the chicken stock. Do not rush this - pour in a bit at a time whilst continuously stirring, until all of the stock is incorporated. Add the sugar and soy sauce to the pan and put it back onto the heat. Reduce on a low heat until the sauce is thicker.
5. Once reduced, remove the sauce from heat and blend until smooth. Depending on how thick you would like this, you can either make it thinner by adding some more chicken stock or thicker by reducing it further.
6. Time for the salad. Cut a cucumber in half and use a peeler or mandolin lengthways on the cucumber to get thin strips. For the dressing, grate the ginger into a small bowl, then add the olive oil, rice vinegar and salt. Mix and adjust seasonings to own preference.
7. Remove chicken breasts from the brine and pat dry. Get 3 separate dishes. Add the flour into one, beaten eggs into another and breadcrumbs into the last. Coat the breasts in flour shaking off any excess. Dip into the egg. Finally coat in breadcrumbs - make sure to apply some pressure onto the chicken when in the breadcrumbs to ensure a crisp and uniform outside. Tip: Keep one hand for wet ingredients and the other for dry ingredients. This way you don't end up with a gloopy mess!
8. Heat a 1 cm layer of vegetable oil in a frying pan until it reaches 160-170°C. Slowly add the chicken, cooking in batches. Lay the breast away from you to avoid getting hot oil on you. Cook for 4 minutes on each side until a crisp and golden.
9. Serve the chicken on some rice. Drizzle over the sauce. Add the side salad. Garnish the dish with toasted sesame seeds, chopped coriander and crispy chicken skin. Enjoy!