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Jul 28, 2007 04:04 PM

UK Pub-style Chicken Curry???

I have looked high and low and I cannot find a recipe for what I am looking for. Can anyone help me?

I would love to replicate a chicken curry that is like the ones served in pubs all over England and Ireland, but I cannot find a recipe.

I can find a million recipes for Indian, Thai, and Japanese curries all over the internet, but I'm not looking for that.

The pub-style curry recipe I'm looking for is really saucy, creamy (no yogurt or coconut milk - this style uses cream), sweet and maybe a bit fruity??? I had some with the addition of apples and mango or was it a fruit chutney that was added to the sauce...?

I hope someone out there can help me! Please?

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  1. You might check this one out....I googled "British chicken curry"...

    6 Replies
    1. re: ccbweb

      Thanks for replying and I did see that one, but what I'm looking for doesn't have mushrooms or parsley (as an ingredient) in it. I highly doubt it uses bouillon as well. This dish is basically chicken breast pieces in a smooth yellow curry cream sauce – I know that sautéed onions are used to flavor the sauce (among other things), but there are no real discernable veggies. This dish is pretty common and standard in the UK....I don't know why I can't find a recipe…? Weird.

      I can come up with a curry sauce, but I’m clueless on how to make it sweet…I don’t know if pureed fruit (apples, apricots, mango???) or chutney is used to sweeten it. I’ve tried making it with diced apples and another time with diced mango, but both times, the sweetness level just wasn’t there. I tried adding sugar, but it just didn’t quite do it. That’s the part I’m totally clueless about.

      The recipe I’ve seen that looks like it is closest to what I am looking for is “Coronation Chicken,” but that’s a chicken salad.

      Coronation Chicken

      2.3kg (5lb) chicken
      1 tbsp vegetable oil
      1 small, finely chopped onion
      1 tbsp curry paste
      1 tbsp tomato puree
      100ml red wine
      1 bay leaf
      1/2 lemon juice
      4 finely chopped apricot halves
      300ml (1/2 pint) Mayonnaise
      100ml (4 fl oz) whipping cream
      Salt and pepper
      Watercress to garnish

      1. re: Workalot

        I dread to put this on a chowhound home cooking board but...

        if you can find in the British section of your supermarket (Publix in Florida has this) you need a jar of Homepride or any other curry sauce preferable a Korma or other mild sauce. You might also be able to get Patak or another make and I think I saw curry sauces in Wholefoods.

        approx 2lbs of chicken, 1 onion, chop onion and fry till translucent, add chicken in bite size pieces till brown but not cooked through. Add the jar of sauce and simmer for about an hour. Add a handful of ground almonds (almond flour) some spices like cumin, coriander and maybe some curry powder to taste, s and p.
        Add banana chunks and we like mango pieces (canned is fine) or lychees, cook for a bit longer till banana is soft. Add some heavy cream - obviously don't boil it now and if you want some coconut milk, taste and adjust curry spices and seasoning, you may want to up the almonds or coconut milk. you can also add raisins but not too many.

        serve on basmati rice.

        I am English and cannot get good curry here in my part of Florida so when we get a craving for a curry this is the best I can come up with at short notice without doing a whole homemade curry paste. I am not Indian so apologise to real curry conoisseurs.

        1. re: Workalot

          Yeah, it sounds like what you're looking for is the stuff they sell in the spice section of supermarkets called "curry powder." It's yellow and has a very distinct aroma. I'd think you would have to experiment with the other ingredients and cream.

          I used to work in a sandwich shop here in England. Our Coronation Chicken was made from Patak's Madras curry paste, mango chutney, and mayonnaise.

          Come to think of it, the pub probably used a paste like Patak's. If I were in your shoes, and I had the contact info for the pub, I'd get in touch and ask them. Heck, I'll call them for you if you remember which pub it was.

          1. re: Kagey

            By chance, did you work at Pret? They have a recipe posted online that includes tomato puree, and I was wondering if tomato puree in the UK is the same as tomato paste in the States. ( The reason I'm asking is because I used tomato paste in the original cooked version (posted by Workalot above), and the reduction became very dry. Also, is thick cream the same as heavy cream? I used Patak's Hot Curry Paste--that could have been the wrong one to use, too. It looked more like Russian dressing rather than curry dressing.

            1. re: grubcrawl

              I'm pretty sure tomato puree = tomato sauce.

              1. re: cackalackie

                Tomato puree is tomato paste in the US.

      2. Major Grey's chutney of some sort? That might do the sweet bit...beyond that, sounds like a basic yellow curry powder sauce. Onions, lots of curry powder (Penzey's sells a "sweet curry powder") and cream...I'm betting that's about it aside from salt and pepper and, if I'm on target, the chutney.

        4 Replies
        1. re: ccbweb

          Chutney on the side, maybe. But you don't cook it into a curry.

          1. re: k_d

            Normally, I'd agree...but the OP is describing a particular thing that doesn't sound like it comes from any one traditional source but is something people whipped together in pubs. My guess at it was to actually put the chutney in the sauce because it seemed to fit the parameters.

          2. re: ccbweb

            From having been to England with British co-workers and our company owner, I remember a number of pub curries.
            I was surprised at the blandness compared to some Houston Indian restaurant curries.
            My guess follows ccbweb's in fry the onions, then fry the curry powder in the oil, then add the meat, then liquids and simmer. It's up to each eater to add coconut flackes, raisins, toasted nuts, fresh blanched veggies....whatever.

            1. re: ccbweb

              I LOVE Penzey's Maharajah Curry (1% saffron.) It's ridiculously good! To add sweetness try a sprinkling of golden raisins to the curry.

            2. I'm not English, nor Indian, but I feel like this is similar to what my family in NEngland makes. I make it quite often myself - here's the basics:
              butter, add chopped onions and cook on low until soft.
              then add cut up pieces of chicken breast. salt, pepper, and yellow curry powder. now the type of curry powder seems like it would be impt here - given the situation I would steer away from traditional spice mixes and perhaps chose a Carribbean store or Chinese even. There is also some kind of curry mix in a yellow can? that I think is British-inspired. anyway look for yellow curry -
              after adding curry, add soaked raisins and sliced almonds, then add heavy cream. you may need to add some sugar depending on your taste, or more curry powder. this will give you a bland, sweet curry.

              i make this sometimes with no raisins or almonds, and sub some fresh tomato towards the end. it is also good with cilantro and/or ginger.

              1. When I first learned to cook I tried to replicate a similar sounding one we had in Canada - canned fruit cocktail did the trick. I did use sour cream and cream to get a tiny bit of contrasting tartness, but syrup that clung to the canned fruit was the prominent sweet against the "exotic" of the curry powder.

                1. these sounded kind of right when i googled it. but since it's the irish heart association's attempt to make these healthy they have no cream. might be easy to add.