Least Woke Curried Chicken and Rice

I don’t know where this recipe came from. An Instagram video of a panfried Turkish chicken dish with cream inspired me to attempt it, but I failed to search for sources pointing me to a particular culture for this recipe. I called this the least woke curried chicken and rice recipe, because I probably stole ideas from sources I’ve not bothered to trace.

Lots of Asian cuisines use corn starch to stir fry chicken and other meats for a crisp coating. The curry comes from a hot Jamaican spice mix bought in Florida. The rice is Indian basmati. The peppers and spinach? Who knows? The dish appropriates across cultures.

Judge if you want, but this spicy, golden concoction of questionable pedigree satisfies like a curried chicken from a Cantonese diner on a rainy night in Hong Kong.

A crisp lager makes a great pairing for this one skillet meal.

Least Woke Curried Chicken and Rice

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


  • 2 full boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 3-4 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 orange or yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • Cracked black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp hot Jamaican curry
  • 1 bunch spinach, stemmed, we’ll rinsed and drained, and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1-2 scallions, diagonally sliced
  • 1 cup basmati or other long grain rice


  1. Season chicken with kosher salt and black pepper and toss in about 3-4 Tbsp of corn starch to coat.
  2. Pour oil into a wide hot skillet. Add half the chicken in a single layer. Loosen and turn chicken with a wooden spatula after 3-4 minutes. Don’t turn too early. You want a golden brown crust. Cook chicken on other side for another 3-4 minutes. Remove to plate to cool with a slotted spoon and repeat above with other half of chicken.
  3. Add onion and peppers with a pinch of kosher salt. As vegetables begin to wilt, loosen the chicken starch fond from the bottom of the skillet with the wooden spatula.
  4. After sautéing onion and peppers, stir garlic into skillet for about a minute until fragrant. Stir in spinach. As the spinach wilts, stir in curry powder until fragrant.
  5. Return chicken to skillet with broth and cream. Bring to a strong simmer, stir, turn heat to low, and cover for ten minutes.
  6. Give the chicken curry a final stir. Serve over rice and garnish with chopped scallions.

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