This Apricot Chicken Curry Casserole is comfort food at its best! Rich, hearty, spicy and packed with delicate curry flavour and juicy apricots. This is a dish that hugs you and leaves you feeling good all over.
First up, I just have to say that I love chicken curry. And I love Apricot Chicken. I have been making both for years. But about a year ago, I came across this combination Apricot Chicken Curry Casserole, which I absolutely love.
As my husband says, “Who would of thought apricots would work in a curry?” Oh, and does it work. This dish, along with my Spicy Moroccan Chicken Casserole and Spicy Paprika Baked Chicken really are some of my favourite comfort foods. For times when you need something completely covered in rich luscious saucy goodness, or something crispy, crunchy and resembling a healthy piece of KFC!
Oh, almost forgot. This Slow Cooked Chicken Tikka Masala is not only ridiculously easy, but also so good, you’ll want to eat it with your hands, or at least with some Nan bread! and this sweet little number: Fish Panang Curry – A must try if you're a curry fan, especially if you like your curries sugar free!
But….This Apricot Chicken Curry Casserole is comfort food at its best!
As it usually goes on a Sunday, I headed out early to the market for some fresh veg and meat supplies to prepare my baked spicy chicken curry dinner! It’s a pretty simple recipe to make with only 15 minutes of prep. Brown off the chicken, take it out of the pan, sauté onions and garlic and add the rest of the ingredients to make the sauce. Then pile it all into a big baking dish (chicken, sauce, apricots) making sure the apricots are covered with sauce. Then, its lid on and into the oven and you can forget about it for an hour!
In this recipe I used Korma paste as it has a nice mild flavour that works well with the paprika and doesn’t overpower the apricots. I have to admit I am a bit obsessed with paprika. In my spice cupboard I have 4 different types. I love mixing them with other different herbs and spices to create spice rubs and to give either a firery bang with hot paprika, or a punchy smokiness with smoked paprika. Plus the colour is beautiful and I use paprika on all kinds of meat, from chicken, to beef, to pork, to salmon. I even put it in salads, mixed with nuts. Yeah, and I put it on veges too!
There are so many ways to enjoy this easy, flavour packed, spice laden treasure bomb. If you’ve thought for longer than 5 seconds about this combination of apricot chicken and chicken curry, its time to put it on your dinner list! Here are a few of my favourite ways to devour this rich fruity curry dish!
- With Cous Cous (Pearl/Isralei/Wholemeal/Instant)
- With good old fashioned mashed white potato
- With slightly healthier mashed sweet potato
- With rice (of course)
- With a bunch of greens if you’re feeling so inclined (beans, zucchini, peas, broccoli)
My favourite is mashed sweet potato – nothing added. Boiled and smashed with a fork and dolloped on a plate then chicken on top with saucy goodness spooned over the top. Ok and with a few greens thrown in for good measure and because I like colour!
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Apricot Chicken Curry Casserole
- 600 grams or 1.3 lb. Chicken Thigh (Note 2)
- 2 teaspoons Smoked Paprika
- 2 teaspoons Sweet Paprika
- ¼ cup Plain flour
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 medium brown onion
- 1 tablespoon Garlic (crushed)
- 3 tablespoons Korma curry paste (Note 1)
- 1/3 cup / 70 ml Chicken Stock
- 410 gram can / 14.5 oz. Apricot halves in natural juice (I use the brand Ardona)
- 100 grams / 3.5 oz. Instant Cous Cous
- 2 medium Carrots (sliced)
- 20 Fresh green beans (ends removed)
- Place the chicken thighs, sweet and smoked paprika and plain flour into a plastic bag to coat
- Remove from plastic bag and shake off excess flour
- Heat a frypan to high and add canola oil. Gently brown the chicken thighs and place in large baking dish that has a lid
- In the same frypan, add the onion and garlic and cook until for a minute, stirring with a spatula, then add the curry paste. Stir to mix in together
- Next, add the chicken stock and stir to combine. Take off the heat just before it bubbles.
- Add the curry sauce to the casserole dish and thoroughly coat this chicken.
- Drain the apricots and gently add them into the curry , using a spoon to cover them with the curry sauce in amongst the chicken pieces.
- Cook in a moderate fan oven at 180 degrees C [350 degrees F] for 60 minutes. Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving.
- To make the cous cous, add it to 1 cup of boiling water and let it sit until is absorbs all the water, then stir with a fork to loosen up. Add a pinch of salt if needed.
- Finally, steam the carrots and beans for 5 minutes before serving.
- The amount of curry paste in this recipe makes this what I would consider to be a mild-medium curry. It’s a bit spicy and has a good hit of flavour. Adjust the amount of paste if you like your curry less spicy or more spicy.
- My preference is for chicken thigh in this recipe, rather than chicken breast as the small amount of fat on the thighs help to keep the meat more moist and tender, whereas the chicken may more easily dry out with the long cooking time
- I find steaming the veges helps them to retain more of their crunch and nutritional value. Although if you don’t have a steamer, you can also boil them in water on the stovetop.
- This dish also freezes well and is great to make ahead on the weekend, packaged up into meal sized portions for easy weeknight dinners.
- The sugars in this recipe come from the natural sugars contained in the apricots.
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