A chicken curry sandwich may sound like a strange creation but this dish is a little more subtle. The chicken is cooked separately from the homemade curry sauce before they are combined between two mini Indian naan breads. You could serve mini Indian poppadoms (available from many supermarkets or Asian groceries in foil packs) as an accompaniment to your sandwich, or even some potato chips or fries. I decided in this instance that these incredibly quick and easy to make onion rings would make a refreshing and tasty alternative.
Ingredients (Serves 2)
- 4 small chicken drumsticks
- 1 medium white onion
- 1 tablespoon mixed bell pepper slices
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 large clove of garlic
- Small (8 ounce) can of chopped tomatoes in tomato juice
- 1 tablespoon freshly chopped cilantro (coriander leaf) plus extra to garnish
- 2 tablespoons all purpose (plain) flour
- 1 small egg
- Milk as required
- 4 mini naan breads
Peel the onion and cut it in half across the way that half of it may later be sliced and separated in to rings. If you accidentally cut it down through the center, this will not be possible. Sit half of it to the side and moderately finely slice the remaining half.
Put the chicken drumsticks in to a large saucepan and add half the onion slices (effectively quarter of the onion), the bell pepper slices, one teaspoon of the curry powder and some salt.
Pour enough cold water in to the pot to ensure all the solids are comfortably covered. Put the pot on to a high heat until the water starts to simmer. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for ten minutes only. Turn off the heat, cover the pot and let it sit for half an hour for the drumsticks to complete cooking in the residual heat. This makes them all the more succulent and tender later on. (Note that if you are using larger drumsticks, you will need to up both these timescales slightly).
When the allotted sitting time is up, use a slotted spoon to remove the drumsticks to a plate, cover and leave to cool enough that they may be handled. They will still be fairly hot at this stage, as will the poaching liquid.
Pour the tablespoon of vegetable oil in to a saucepan and bring it up to a medium heat. Peel and finely dice the garlic clove before adding to the pan with the remaining onion slices and teaspoon of curry powder. Saute fairly gently for a couple of minutes, stirring everything around with a wooden spoon, until the onion slices are nicely softened.
Pour the tomatoes in to the saucepan and stir well. Turn up the heat until you achieve a very gentle simmer. Reduce the heat again, cover and leave to cook like this for ten minutes.
Put the flour in to a small, flat bottomed bowl and break in the egg. Season with a little salt. Pour in a little milk and whisk lightly with a fork. Continue adding milk in very small quantities as you whisk until you have a batter the consistency of very thick cream. Put the batter in the fridge for ten to fifteen minutes to rest until required.
Add the tablespoon of chopped cilantro to the curry sauce. Stir it through, cover the pot again and continue to simmer for two to three more minutes. Put your deep fat fryer or a deep pan of oil on to reach a fairly high heat.
The chicken drumsticks should by now have cooled enough that they can comfortably be handled. Peel off the skin and discard. Pick the meat from the bones in largish clumps and return to the plate. Discard the cleaned bones.
Slice the reserved onion half from earlier to a thickness of around a quarter inch. Separate each slice in to rings. Note that you will have to make the onion rings in batches to avoid overloading the pan.
Remove the batter from the fridge and dredge one onion ring at a time through it, allowing any excess to briefly drip off, before carefully lowering them in to the hot oil. Fry for a few minutes, turning occasionally with a deep frying spider or metal slotted spoon, until the batter is evenly golden and crispy.
Remove the curry sauce from the heat and give it a final stir. It's now ready to serve.
Lift the cooked onion rings to a plate covered with kitchen paper to drain. Check the pack of naan breads and follow the re-heating instructions. This usually only takes a minute or at most two.
Lay one naan bread, flat side up, on each of two serving plates. At this stage, you have a choice. What you could do if you wish is add the chicken drumstick meat to the saucepan with the curry sauce and stir it through before dividing the combination between the two naan breads. What I decided to do instead was begin by dividing the chicken meat only between the two naan breads.
Spoon the curry sauce over the two servings of chicken. Lay a second naan on top of each creation, flat sides down.
Divide the onion rings between the two plates. You may want to season them with a little salt before you garnish them for service with the last of the cilantro.
Whether you wish to eat your meal with your hands or with a knife and fork is purely down to personal preference.