Sunday, January 20, 2019

Ruth Reichl's Food Cart Curry Chicken

"The entire city smells like curry. Passing the fourth halal chicken cart, I can't resist. Spicy, tangy, irresistible. The taste of now."_Ruth Reichl

I love New York City. It's full of inspiration. The sights, the sounds, the smells. It's a place where anything is possible. You can feel the excitement in the air. I'd even say you can feel the excitement pulsing through you.

I love everything about the city, but naturally, I am drawn to all the food possibilities. It seems as though NYC is the food mecca of the world and every type of cuisine is at your fingertips.

A quick walk through the city will reveal food cart upon food cart selling fragrant and aromatic curry chicken. Tempting you at every turn, it is likely you will have to pass several before you arrive at your destination. I can't tell you how many carts I passed without ever getting a taste, but I can tell you it was pretty much torture.

For some reason, we were just too busy or too full or in a hurry and we never got a chance to give it a try. So, I was very pleased when I saw a recipe for the Food Cart Curry Chicken in Ruth's My Kitchen Year because now I would finally be able to try it!

Clearly, I have been missing out because Food Cart Curry Chicken is delicious. Marinated in a fragrant spice paste with onions, curry chicken is oh so tender and flavorful. I wasn't sure what to expect, but it was mildly spiced and just plain delightful over rice. I can totally see the appeal and after taking one bite I can see why it's sold at every corner.

Bottom line is....Food Cart Curry Chicken is something I think just about anyone would love, very family friendly, and this recipe is perfection. I highly recommend giving it a try!

Food Cart Curry Chicken
Adapted from My Kitchen Year
by Ruth Reichl
Serves 4

1 pound chicken thighs (boneless, skinless)*
1 tablespoon curry powder
fresh oregano
1/2 onion
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 lemon
1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
salt and pepper, to taste
vegetable oil

Note: I used boneless skinless chicken breast because it was what I had on hand it worked perfectly.

Cut the chicken into bite-sized chunks, and slice the onion into thin rings/slices.  

Make a paste by combining the olive oil with 1-1/2 tablespoons lemon juice, the coriander seeds, the garlic, the curry powder, a sprig of oregano, the paprika, the cumin, and a teaspoon of salt in a spice grinder or a blender. Give it a whirl, then grind in copious amounts of black pepper.

Put the onions and chicken into a plastic bag, pour in the marinade, and squish it all round so the onions and chicken are thoroughly coated. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight. (Note: I marinated mine for 4 hours exactly and it was extremely tender).

Sprinkle with more salt and pepper. Slick a heavy pan or wok with 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and cook the onions and chicken for about 5 minutes, tossing every minute or so. It will splutter a bit, and it will smell so delicious you'll be snatching pieces from the pan.

Serve over white rice. I always asked for my chicken without the white sauce they have at the carts, but if you must have it, combine equal parts of mayonnaise and Greek yogurt, then add a dollop of sugar, salt and pepper, and a splash of vinegar. Personally, I think a righteous red hot sauce is far more delicious.


  1. I love this dish. I flaked out this week on IHCC. I could not find any recipes. You hit it out of the park with this one. (I would have used chicken breasts, too.)

  2. I make my own vegetarian version of this and it's so good! You've got me craving it now.

  3. I'm missing that smell of curry on the streets of New York and I have some chicken. So that's become my dinner plan for tonight. Thanks, Kim for writing such a delicious and convincing post.

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