This Katsu Chicken recipe is my take on this dish, inspired by reading the horrid ingredients list on a store-bought ready-meal.
This Katsu Chicken recipe came about when my wife brought home a Katsu ready-meal for herself one evening (I refuse to eat "processed food slop", so I wouldn't even be offered a mouthful to try).
I took a quick look at the cardboard sleeve it came in and counted no less than forty ingredients (more if you count rice and water).
Worse, most of those ingredients are not items you'd find in the average domestic kitchen, definitely not in ours!
So, I set out to come up with a recipe that used less than 15 ingredients (ended up being 17), tasted better and, as a bonus, met my low-carb requirements. This Katsu Chicken recipe is the result.
Better still, on the first outing when I asked about any potential changes, my wife described it as "just right".
It seems that any pre-made, ready-meal Katsu Chicken recipe includes breadcrumbs on the chicken. Apparently, that's the traditional way to cook it too.
Mine doesn't, I just don't see the point of taking a good ingredient and degrading it with something as low-quality as flour or breadcrumbs and then making the matter worse by frying it in seed oils.
Instead, I seal the chicken by cooking it in butter in a pan, then finish it off under the grill.
[A friend, who is a highly regarded chef, once told me that one reason for coating meat in breadcrumbs is to keep the meat from drying out under the grill or in the oven. Sealing it by frying in butter before putting it under the grill seems to do the same.]
Katsu Chicken Recipe
For the meat...
- 3 Chicken breasts
- 200ml Coconut Milk or Natural Yoghurt
- 1 Tbsp Medium Curry Powder
For the sauce...
- 1 large Onion - chopped
- 1 medium Carrot - cubed
- knob of Butter or Ghee
- 2 Garlic Cloves
- inch cube of Ginger - finely chopped
- 1 tsp Medium Curry Powder
- 1 tsp Garam Masala
- 1 tsp Turmeric
- 500ml Chicken Stock
- 2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
- 1 tsp Arrow Root
- Salt and Pepper
Marinade the chicken in a mixture of coconut milk or natural yoghurt and medium curry powder for a few hours (overnight is better).
Cook the onion, carrot, ginger and garlic in butter or ghee with a little salt, until the onions turn translucent and the carrot soften nicely.
Add the spices and cook for another 2 minutes or so. Beware you don't allow it to catch on the bottom of the saucepan and burn.
Sieve in the arrow root and give everything a good stir before adding the soy sauce and chicken stock.
Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 10-15 minutes to allow the mixture to reduce and thicken.
Blend the sauce to a smooth consistency with a stick blender or allow it to cool a little and use a standard blender (I love my Nutribullet for this).
Melt a large knob of butter in a frying pan and cook the chicken for a few minutes each side, until it's sealed all round.
Place the chicken under a medium grill until cooked through.
If the sauce has cooled, gently warm it through.
To serve, slice the meat, place it on top of a pile of rice (or not if you're me) and pour over the sauce.