Crispy Curried Chicken

baked in the oven

I feel like I haven’t posted a savory recipe in forever. I got into a bit of a baking craze, I suppose. I’m proud to present this chicken to you today, though. It’s the kind of thing I typically make on a Sunday to have for weekday lunches. I always try to prep lunches for Kramer and myself as best I can for the week ahead. Buying lunch gets really expensive really fast, especially because I have zero self control and always order way too much food. Why do I think I need an appetizer for lunch? I have no idea but I’ll order one unless the force is strong with me on that particular day. That’s one of New York’s biggest problems. You can order absolutely anything for lunch. You can get Vietnamese or Indian or Mexican or Filipino or Russian, not to mention the plethora of delicious deli sandwiches, burgers and fried chicken spots. I work three blocks from a Shake Shack for god’s sake. So I try to pack my lunch every day…except Fridays because Friday is treat day. Today I think Kramer and I are going to try to meet up at Madison Square Eats for lunch. Go ahead and check out what’s being served there. How can I exercise any will power when there is a Roberta’s pizza, freshly fried doughnuts and Japanese style tacos just minutes from my grasp?

Crispy Curried ChickenThe roast beef sandwich from The Meathook Sandwich Shop, walking around Williamsburg, Lily the cat and my favorite breakfast: a pumpernickel bagel with lox and cream cheese.

Anyway, this chicken is good enough to keep you full, happy and away from the fries on any weekday. The key is to bake the chicken with its skin on. Even if you are crazy and take the skin off after its cooked, you need the fat for flavor. Plus you’re never going to get chicken crispy if it doesn’t have skin. The fat crisps up. Just regular old meat can have a crust, sure, but you’re never going to get that lighter than air crispy exterior without skin. The marinade is simple enough, albeit nice and spicy, which is how I like it. If you omit the peppers and just use regular curry powder instead of my preferred vindaloo variety, the heat will decrease significantly, but I like to be smacked in the face with heat, so I made my chicken this way. The skin is almost identical to a piece of deep fried chicken if you are patient and let it get crispy. Don’t worry about overcooking it – dark meat is nearly impossible to overcook, so it will stay nice and juicy on the inside. I recommend serving this alongside a simple salad made with iceberg lettuce to combat the heat, or do as I did and chop it up to eat over a salad for lunch for a few days. It’s a nice change of pass from the turkey and swiss that you no doubt enjoy but may be getting tired of day after day.

Crispy Curried Chicken

I’m really excited for this weekend because Kramer and I are really going all out. We’ve been married for almost 5 years, buy as of this past August we’ve been together for 10, if you can believe it. We wanted to do something special, so we broke open our change jar and made reservations at Blanca in Brooklyn. I am ready to chow down. There are something like 22 courses and there are only around 12 seats in the whole restaurant. I think this kind of place screams 10 year anniversary. And when I say we broke open our change jar, I’m not kidding. We have a change jar we have been filling with both change and loose $1 bills for years. It honestly will be a little painful to clean it out, but it’s meant to be fun money and we plan to enjoy it. I’ll try to take a few photos while I’m there and report back on what I’m sure will be an outstanding meal!

Crispy Curried ChickenYour ingredients.

Crispy Curried ChickenCombine your spices and coconut milk.

Crispy Curried ChickenAdd in your peppers. I like it spicy, but you can adjust to fit your preferences.

Crispy Curried ChickenLine your chicken up on your baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees F for about an hour, flipping every 20 minutes.

Crispy Curried ChickenBake until golden and crispy.

Crispy Curried ChickenServe hot with a garnish of cilantro and sea salt.

Crispy Curried Chicken

Crispy Curried Chicken
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-5
Crispy oven baked curried chicken - so good you won't miss the fryer!
  • 10-12 chicken thighs and/or drumsticks, skin on
  • 1 14.5 ounce can coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder (I like to use vindaloo curry powder for extra spice)
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2-3 hot peppers, finely minced or sliced (I used 1 jalapeño, 1 serrano and 1 cherry pepper)
  • 1 shallot, finely minced
  • juice of 1 lime
  • zest of 1 lime
  • cilantro, for garnish
  • sea salt, for garnish
  1. First, marinate your chicken for at least an hour or two. Combine your coconut milk, curry powder, turmeric, salt, ginger, cardamom, peppers, shallot, lime juice and lime zest in a bowl. Place your chicken pieces in a bag or large, shallow dish and pour the marinade over top. Refrigerate for an hour or two, or as long as overnight. The longer the better, but I let mine sit for about 2 hours and still enjoyed the results.
  2. When you're ready to cook, preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, then place a cooling tray inside the pan, if you have one - this will help the chicken stay dry and, therefore, crispy. If you don't have a tray, it's fine to just put the chicken directly in the pan, but it won't be quite as crispy.
  3. Line the chicken up on the tray, and bake for 20 minutes. Flip the chicken and bake for another 20 minute. Flip the chicken a final time and bake for another 15-20 minutes, until crispy. You can turn the oven up to 425 degrees F for this final step if you want to speed things up a bit. Once golden and crisp, remove from the oven, place in a bowl and garnish with cilantro and sea salt. Serve with a simple salad or some naan.


6 Responses

  1. Love that you have a real, actual change jar. Hope the meal is as wonderful as it sounds. (Oh and this recipe looks amazing.)

  2. molly yeh says:

    ohmygahhhhhh can you tell us EVERYTHING ABOUT BLANCA! I AM SO JEALOUS.

    also this is chicken perfection. total perfection.

  3. Karishma says:

    mmmm curry chicken!

    your dinner sounds amazing. im sure it will be quite memorable, can’t wait to hear about it!

  4. H says:

    This recipe looks and sounds killer – emblematic of your blog in general. What brand vindaloo seasoning is that in the picture? I must mimic it exactly so I can live out my food porn fantasies. Thanks!

  5. Alaina M. says:

    I make crispy chicken thighs for dinner probably every week, but I never thought to marinate in coconut milk with curry! Three of my favorite things. I can’t wait to try this out, thanks!

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