Total prep time: about 20 minutes
Total cook time: 20 minutes
Over the past 2 years I have recently gotten addicted to cooking and eating curry dishes. We’ve tried so many and we have loved them all. This one came out of my “chicken cookbook” from a food and wine magazine cookbook. And I have to say it is definitely on par with the curry dishes I’ve tried at restaurants. This one has more of an “island” taste to it due in large part to the banana being the front and center ingredient. Don’t let that fool you though, it’s not a sweet dish – the banana gives it a nice gentle flavor that matches perfectly with the chicken. I always pair this dish with jasmine or basmati rice. It is a fairly simple yet filling dish that yields about 4-5 large servings.
Here is what you will need:
2 large bananas (nice, yellow ones), cut into pieces
2 tablespoons of red curry powder
2 teaspoons of ground coriander
1 teaspoon of dry mustard
3 tablespoons butter
Grated zest of 1 lime
4 teaspoons of lime juice (from the lime you used to grate the zest)
1 ¼ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
¾ cup water
4-5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley (optional)
Preheat your oven to 450. If you own a rice cooker, now is the time to put your rice on so that it has time to cook and steam. If you don’t have a rice cooker, you can wait and put your rice on after you put the chicken in the oven. That way your chicken and your rice finish about the same time.
First you want to make your sauce. Using your food processor or a blender, add the bananas, curry powder, coriander, dry mustard, butter, lime zest, lime juice, salt pepper and ¼ cup of the water. Puree it thoroughly and when you’re finished, you should have a nice brownish-orange sauce.
Using a sharp knife, make about 2 deep cuts in each chicken breast. This will allow the curry sauce to seep into the chicken better. Place the chicken into a roasting pan or dish. I often use a large corning ware casserole dish. Pour the curry sauce over the chicken and make sure each piece is evenly coated. Cook it uncovered in the bottom third of your oven for about 20 minutes or until your chicken is done – don’t overcook it. I usually slice into one to make sure it is done but 20 minutes is usually adequate time to roast a chicken breast, especially when a sauce is involved.
Take it out of the oven and take the chicken out of the pan. You should have quite a bit of sauce left in the bottom. If it is extra thick, you can pour it into a saucepan and add your last ½ cup of water and whisk it until it is the consistency you want. Add more water if you like a thinner sauce, cut back on the ½ cup of water if you like a thicker sauce. I’ve found that my sauce is actually still quite thin when I pull the pan out of the oven so I usually omit this step.
Last, if you want to make it really pretty you can spoon up some fresh rice in a bowl, place a chicken breast on top, and ladle some sauce on and then sprinkle with chopped parsley.
For our resident vegetarian, I used a “soy chicken breast” and baked it with the sauce in the oven in a separate dish. I served it the same way over rice with a sprinkle of parsley. It got very good reviews.
A note about the ingredients:
Jasmine or Basmati Rice can be found in the Asian food section (not with the rice) at Wal-Mart and most grocery stores. The curry powder, ground coriander and dry mustard can all be found in the spice section at your local grocery store. Many people like to use a “curry paste” but I’ve found making my own curry sauce is just as easy and the paste will go bad in the fridge if you don’t use it within a certain amount of time after you open it. The spices keep in the pantry and you can use them for other recipes. Besides, your typical Thai red curry paste wouldn’t really work in this recipe because we’re going for a milder flavor. Take the few extra minutes to make your own curry sauce – you will be glad you did.