Sep 16, 2008

Oriental Express

Let’s crank up the colors in your kitchen a nudge. Another one of my ‘standard repertoire‘ recipes is a simple chicken & vegetable curry. But unlike my Creamy Chicken Casserole, I serve this one often. It’s fast, flavorful, healthy and colorful, which (believe it or not) is a big plus for me. I just really take to colorful food. Don’t mind me, it’s just another one of my many abnormalities.

Giving you the ‘naked’ recipe so you can work from there. In my kitchen this dish has lots of variations. You can replace half the chicken broth with coconut milk, add some fresh coriander (yikes), thinly sliced red chili pepper, a handful of crunchy snap beans, or even pineapple chunks, it just creates a whole new dimension. The sky is the limit.

Make the recipe your own!


2 chicken fillets
2 medium carrots
1/2 red bell pepper
1/2 medium onion
3 spring onions
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
3 tbsp flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp oil
1 tbsp butter


Cut the vegetables any way you like. I cut the carrots in little match sticks, same for the bell pepper, I quartered the onions, separated the layers and coarsely chopped the cabbage. I cut the spring onions in diagonals (diamond shape), or better said; I tried to. My spring onions were too ittibitty for them to come out the way they should have.


Put 3 tbsp flour in a bowl and add 1/2 tsp turmeric and 1/2 tsp curry powder. Mix it all up. You can also do this with just turmeric or curry powder but I like to combine them. You can also add a little mustard or ginger powder if you like.


Cut the chicken fillets in small slices, sprinkle a little salt, pepper and curry powder on top. I happened to have 2 fillets thawed out that I had to use that day, but this also works fine with just 1.


Heat up 1 tbsp oil and cook the chicken over high heat until properly cooked – make sure you keep moving the chicken around constantly so it won’t brown. Brown = bad in this dish.

Transfer the chicken to a bowl, add the remaining oil and the butter to the pan and stir-fry the vegetables over high heat. Combining oil and butter will give you all the benefits of oil, but with the flavor of butter. I simply love stir-frying. It’s fast (minutes work), and I really like the tender-crisp texture of the vegetables. You keep the bright colors and at the same time prevent the minerals, vitamins and proteins from fleeing the scene.

I keep a very steady time line with this dish (while continuing to move the vegetables) so everything comes out the exact way I want it to. I first throw in the carrots, give them 30 seconds, add the bell pepper and give it another 30 seconds, add the onion (30 more seconds) and, last but not least, the spring onions and cabbage. Cook everything for 1 or 2 more minutes.


Now add the flour/curry mix and combine well.


You want to coat all the vegetables with the flour. Cook for 2 minutes over low heat to neutralize the rawness of the flour. Stir occasionally. Aren’t these colors just wild? I know, I know. I’ll shut up about color now!


After 2 minutes slowly add the broth. Pour in a little broth and stir.

Keep repeating this process until you have a consistency you like. I usually stop just a little under 2 cups and keep the remaining broth on the counter top next to me to thin the sauce (if need be) with during simmering. Make sure you don’t make the sauce too thin – the vegetables should still be crispy so you can’t simmer the sauce for too long.

Season the sauce. I used 1/4 tsp salt and a good pinch of pepper, but just add a little bit and taste. Always keep tasting what you do.

Plunge in the chicken and simmer everything for 5 minutes over low heat. 5 minutes should be plenty, the chicken was already cooked so this is just to give the sauce some time and to give the vegetables a little extra push.


A great variation on this dish is replacing the chicken with thinly sliced (white) fish. Just add the fish during the simmering stage. Simmer for roughly 7 to 10 minutes and the fish should come out perfect.

I serve this with plain steamed rice (gives a gorgeous contrast) and garnish with just a little parsley. It really doesn’t need much adornment because it’s beautiful as is, don’t you think?


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    1. 1

      This looks so delicious. I will try it. You seem to cook a lot like I do. It must be the Dutch in me then, although it isn’t really Dutch type of foods either! I love lots of color in my food too, it’s the healthy way to eat!! Thanks for sharing!

      Hannah on Sep 17, 2008 @ 2:19 am Reply
    2. 2

      I’m just addicted to color. Somehow everything just tastes better when it also looks bright and cheerful.

      Kay on Sep 18, 2008 @ 7:28 pm Reply
    3. 3

      I wanted to research this subject and write a paper. Your post what a thousand words would not. Nice job.


      Apply food stamp on Sep 24, 2008 @ 12:59 am Reply
    4. 4

      i just wanted to let you know, I made this tonight with fish and it was exactly the bright, fast, veggie-full dinner I needed after a dreary day. Thanks!

      elisheva on Oct 8, 2008 @ 2:21 am Reply
    5. 5

      Thanks for the recipe. It was great! Just the smell alone of the curry gave me fits. It reminded me of travels to the Netherlands in the past and what I’ve been missing since!

      Maria B. on Jan 2, 2009 @ 7:22 pm Reply
    6. 6

      I made this today for dinner with rice,,, and it is a success….my hubby and my son finds it delicious,,, thank’s for sharing and im really learning a lot on your site trying new recipes,,,, cheers for you!!!

      Jonee Cullens on Jan 14, 2009 @ 6:41 pm Reply
    7. 7

      Love you suggestions to make it your own. Also love the colour :)

      Stephanie Kuntz on Mar 20, 2009 @ 9:38 pm Reply
    8. 8

      I just made this and it was soooo good. My onion & spring onion went bad, so I omitted those. It was still very good.. Definitely a keeper!

      My hubby wants it spicier though, what would you recommend?

      Maxime on Feb 15, 2010 @ 3:37 am Reply
      1. When I want to spice things up I usually add dried chili flakes.

        Kay on Mar 18, 2013 @ 5:07 pm Reply

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