Chicken Curry Puffs

Chicken Curry Puffs

January 12: National Curried Chicken Day

During our graduate school days, Islander’s “Singapore Sister” AAW introduced her to her country’s quintessential street food—curry puffs. These snacks satisfied her study-buddy when working together on projects late into the night at AAW’s apartment. Islander liked that her classmate had a small but private cooking area, unlike the inconvenience of the shared community kitchen in our dorm.

Curry puffs are delicious dumplings reminiscent of European pasties, Latin empanadas and Indian samosas. Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and China have various versions as well, with different fillings inside a doughy shell.

AAW makes her curry puffs with potatoes, chicken, onions and spices and deep-fries the half circle-shaped parcels. We have adapted her recipe by using store-bought puff pastry, shaping them into triangles and baking them in the oven (although they can be fried, too).

Fried or baked, try cooking a Singaporean snack, chicken curry puffs, on National Curried Chicken Day.

Recipe

(Adapted from AAW)

Ingredients

  • 1 medium potato
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup uncooked chicken breast meat, finely diced
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon korma curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder (or to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 package frozen puff pastry, thawed (we used Pepperidge Farm brand)

Directions

Wash the potato and place in a pot of water. Cover and boil for 20-25 minutes; the potato does not have to be cooked all the way through as it will be sautéed and then baked/fried later in the process. Remove the potato from the pot, cool, peel and dice into small squares. Set aside.

Chicken Curry Puffs

Finely chop the onion and chicken. Set aside. In a skillet or wok, heat the oil. Sauté the onions until they are translucent. Add the curry, chili and turmeric powders and stir well, being careful not to burn the onions.

Chicken Curry Puffs

Mix in the chicken, sugar and salt and pepper and sauté for about five minutes. Stir in the potatoes and blend well. Transfer to a plate and let cool.

Chicken Curry Puffs

Remove the thawed puff pastry from the package and unfold them on a lightly floured surface. Cut each sheet into nine squares for a total of 18 pieces. Place a tablespoonful of filling in the middle of one square. Moisten two adjacent edges of the puff pastry with water. Fold into a triangle and press down on the edges. Use the tines of a fork to mark and seal. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Continue making the rest of the curry puffs.

Chicken Curry Puffs

The curry puffs may be frozen and cooked at a later time. To bake them, line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, then bake the curry puffs for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and serve hot. To deep-fry them, heat the oil until hot. Carefully place the frozen parcels into the oil and fry for about five minutes or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Transfer to a platter and serve hot.

Chicken Curry Puffs

Notes

  • We are still in touch with our “Singapore Sister”. Like us, AAW is in an intermarriage; her husband, Lars, is from Germany. We look forward to seeing them at Islander’s conferences and hope that she and AAW will continue working on special research projects about intermarriage.
  • Korma curry powder may be found in Indian or Asian grocers or in the international foods section of the local supermarket. If this is unavailable, omit it and double up on the regular curry powder.
  • Optional: If baking the curry puffs, brush the tops of the pastry with an egg wash (1 beaten egg with 1 teaspoon water) before baking. This will give a nice, golden brown sheen to the dumplings.
  • We made our curry puffs into triangles to avoid wasting scraps of dough. But they can be made into the traditional half-circle shapes by using a 3-inch round cookie cutter on the puff pastry dough.
  • Check out our other international curried chicken recipes from Sri Lanka and Hawaii by searching our blog.

Curried Chicken Salad

and Sandwich

Curried Chicken Salad 

January 12: National Curried Chicken Day

Highlander has a hearty chicken salad or sandwich sometimes for lunch at work to tide him over till dinnertime. But some salads and sandwiches are bland so he likes his chunky chicken kicked up with curry flavor and slightly sweetened with slices of grapes. Celery and almonds also add a refreshing taste and crunchy texture. Our adaptation of a curried chicken recipe as a salad and sandwich is just as satifsying as a stew, which we have also prepared in the past, for National Curried Chicken Day.

Recipe

(Adapted from Weight Watchers and Wonderful Ways to Prepare Chicken by Jo Ann Shirley)

Ingredients

  • 2 breasts chicken, cooked
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • ½ cup grapes
  • ½ cup onion, chopped
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ cup almonds, blanched and slivered
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • water

Directions

Coarsely chop the cooked chicken. Dice the celery. Cut the grapes in half.

Curried Chicken Salad

Chop the onions. In a mixing bowl, combine the chicken, celery, grapes and onions with the mayonnaise. Stir in the lemon juice. Mix in the almonds. Season with salt and pepper.

Curried Chicken Salad

In a small cup, make a paste with the curry powder and a little water. Mix it in with the chicken salad until well blended. Refrigerate for at least an hour to allow the flavors to mingle. Arrange with fresh lettuce leaves in a chilled bowl and serve as a salad. Or spread between two slices of bread and a lettuce leaf and serve as a sandwich.

Curried Chicken Salad

Notes

Hawaiian Chicken Curry

Hawaiian Chicken Curry

January 12: National Curried Chicken Day

Chicken curry is a college comfort food for Islander. She and her Sri Lankan roommate, Champa S., would eat her kukul mas (see our blog recipe post) during their university days together. When Islander moved to the mainland for an advanced education, she continued to cook chicken curry using a packaged mix in the microwave at the dorm lounge when the cafeterias were closed. She shared her version of the Hawaiian-style stew with other international residents, including hungry Highlander, during study breaks and socials.

Cooking chicken curry from a mix made for an easy microwavable meal when we got married. But the seasoning packets are not always available so Islander has been preparing Hawaiian chicken curry from scratch. For National Curried Chicken Day, our blog recipe post features a local-style stew (not the touristy-type dish containing pineapples!) that is a popular menu item at Hawaii diners, drive-ins and restaurants.

Recipe

(Adapted from The Honolulu Star-Bulletin)

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup (½ stick) butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 5 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 can (13.5 ounces) canned coconut milk
  • 1 – 1 ½ cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped
  • 1 medium potato, cut into small cubes
  • 1 ½ pounds chicken breast, cooked
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

Directions

Boil the chicken for 15-25 minutes. Let cool and chop into bite-sized pieces. Melt the butter with the onion, garlic and ginger in a covered microwave-safe casserole dish for about 3 minutes.

Hawaiian Chicken Curry

Stir in the curry powder, flour and salt. Mix in the coconut milk and broth. Add the carrots and potatoes. Cover and microwave for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened. Check to see if the vegetables are softened and cooked through; if not, microwave for another 5-10 minutes.

Hawaiian Chicken Curry

Add the chicken to the curry sauce. Cover the casserole dish and microwave for another 3-4 minutes. Stir to coat the chicken with the curry sauce. Serve hot with a garnish of chopped cilantro.

Hawaiian Chicken Curry

Notes

  • Serve Hawaiian chicken curry over scoops of steamed white rice with a side of macaroni salad for a perfect plate lunch—local-style!
  • Search our blog for posts on other curried chicken recipes.