A yellow pot with curry chicken and flames in the background.

100K Yellow Curry Chicken

A tried-and-true recipe from Jamaican-Canadian chef Suzanne Barr.

How can a curry be worth a hundred grand? Well, this one impressed a financier so much that Jamaican-Canadian chef Suzanne Barr was able to open up her first restaurant with the windfall. In My Ackee Tree: A Chef’s Memoir Of Finding Home In The KitchenSuzanne recounts the story from almost a decade ago: a deep-pocketed angel investor tried her curry chicken at a dinner party gig and insisted that she needed to put it on more plates. She’s still doing just that.

This is Suzanne’s tried-and-true recipe, brimming with heat from a homemade yellow curry spice blend and Scotch bonnet pepper. The dark meat from the chicken and potatoes complete this Caribbean comfort food classic. –Bobbe Hayes

A yellow pot with curry chicken and flames in the background.

100K Yellow Curry Chicken

This yellow curry chicken launched Suzanne Barr's career. You'll see why.
Course Main Course
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

Curry Spice Mix

  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp whole allspice
  • 2 tsp yellow mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 whole dried clove
  • tbsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper

Curry Chicken

  • 1.35 kg chicken quarters
  • ½ cup curry spice mix
  • 4 cloves garlic smashed
  • 1 large yellow onion diced
  • 2 tsp 10 mL extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp 30 mL kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp 15 mL canola oil
  • 3 cups 750 mL chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 whole Scotch bonnet pepper any colour
  • 4 Yukon Gold potatoes peeled and diced
  • 2 cups canned coconut milk
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cups steamed white basmati rice, to serve

Garnish (optional)

  • 1 cup toasted cashews
  • ½ cup toasted unsweetened coconut flakes
  • Fresh cilantro leaves and stems
  • Mango chutney

Instructions
 

Curry Spice Mix

  • In a medium dry skillet over high heat, toast the coriander, cumin, allspice, mustard, fenugreek, peppercorns, and clove for 2 to 4 minutes, until fragrant. Remove from the heat and let cool for 2 minutes. Transfer the spice mix to a spice grinder, mortar and pestle, or to a high-speed blender. Grind to a powder. Transfer the powder to a small bowl. Add the turmeric, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cayenne. Stir to combine. Set aside.

Curry Chicken

  • Trim off any excess fat from the chicken. Cut each chicken quarter into 3 equal pieces and place them in a large bowl. (Using a serrated knife can be helpful for this, particularly on the skin.) Add the curry spice mix, garlic, onion, olive oil, and salt. Use your hands to massage the mixture into the chicken pieces until they are evenly coated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place the chicken in the fridge to marinate for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
  • Remove the chicken from the fridge. Place the canola oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add enough of the chicken (and the onions and garlic) to cover the bottom of the pot. Cook until the chicken is browned on all sides, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a clean bowl. Repeat until all of the chicken has been browned.
  • In the same saucepan you used to brown the chicken, add the chicken stock, bay leaves, Scotch bonnet, and chicken pieces. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and let simmer, uncovered, for at least 35 minutes, or until the chicken is completely cooked and beginning to fall off the bone.
  • While the curry is simmering, place the potatoes in a medium stock pot. Fill the pot with water to cover the potatoes by at least 2 inches. Place the pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 15 minutes, until tender. Drain.
  • Add the coconut milk to the saucepan with the chicken and stir to combine. Let simmer for an additional 10 minutes. Add the potatoes. Stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Preheat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cashews and give the skillet a shake to ensure they’re arranged in a single layer. Toast for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until the nuts are golden brown and fragrant. Immediately transfer the nuts to a medium bowl to cool.
  • Just before serving, remove the bay leaves and the Scotch bonnet from the curry chicken and discard. To serve, place ½ cup (125 mL) steamed rice in each bowl. Ladle the curry overtop. Garnish each serving with some toasted cashews, toasted coconut, fresh cilantro, and mango chutney, if desired.
Keyword curry

Suzanne Barr's "My Ackee Tree" cookbook cover in a light frame.

A yellow pot with curry chicken and flames in the background.

100K Yellow Curry Chicken

This yellow curry chicken launched Suzanne Barr's career. You'll see why.
Course Main Course
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

Curry Spice Mix

  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp whole allspice
  • 2 tsp yellow mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 whole dried clove
  • tbsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper

Curry Chicken

  • 1.35 kg chicken quarters
  • ½ cup curry spice mix
  • 4 cloves garlic smashed
  • 1 large yellow onion diced
  • 2 tsp 10 mL extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp 30 mL kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp 15 mL canola oil
  • 3 cups 750 mL chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 whole Scotch bonnet pepper any colour
  • 4 Yukon Gold potatoes peeled and diced
  • 2 cups canned coconut milk
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cups steamed white basmati rice, to serve

Garnish (optional)

  • 1 cup toasted cashews
  • ½ cup toasted unsweetened coconut flakes
  • Fresh cilantro leaves and stems
  • Mango chutney

Instructions
 

Curry Spice Mix

  • In a medium dry skillet over high heat, toast the coriander, cumin, allspice, mustard, fenugreek, peppercorns, and clove for 2 to 4 minutes, until fragrant. Remove from the heat and let cool for 2 minutes. Transfer the spice mix to a spice grinder, mortar and pestle, or to a high-speed blender. Grind to a powder. Transfer the powder to a small bowl. Add the turmeric, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cayenne. Stir to combine. Set aside.

Curry Chicken

  • Trim off any excess fat from the chicken. Cut each chicken quarter into 3 equal pieces and place them in a large bowl. (Using a serrated knife can be helpful for this, particularly on the skin.) Add the curry spice mix, garlic, onion, olive oil, and salt. Use your hands to massage the mixture into the chicken pieces until they are evenly coated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place the chicken in the fridge to marinate for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
  • Remove the chicken from the fridge. Place the canola oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add enough of the chicken (and the onions and garlic) to cover the bottom of the pot. Cook until the chicken is browned on all sides, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a clean bowl. Repeat until all of the chicken has been browned.
  • In the same saucepan you used to brown the chicken, add the chicken stock, bay leaves, Scotch bonnet, and chicken pieces. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and let simmer, uncovered, for at least 35 minutes, or until the chicken is completely cooked and beginning to fall off the bone.
  • While the curry is simmering, place the potatoes in a medium stock pot. Fill the pot with water to cover the potatoes by at least 2 inches. Place the pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 15 minutes, until tender. Drain.
  • Add the coconut milk to the saucepan with the chicken and stir to combine. Let simmer for an additional 10 minutes. Add the potatoes. Stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Preheat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cashews and give the skillet a shake to ensure they’re arranged in a single layer. Toast for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until the nuts are golden brown and fragrant. Immediately transfer the nuts to a medium bowl to cool.
  • Just before serving, remove the bay leaves and the Scotch bonnet from the curry chicken and discard. To serve, place ½ cup (125 mL) steamed rice in each bowl. Ladle the curry overtop. Garnish each serving with some toasted cashews, toasted coconut, fresh cilantro, and mango chutney, if desired.
Keyword curry
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