Chicken Curry (in a pinch)

by Scott Bell

Habanero chicken curry

Habanero chicken curry

Since I’m not in my main kitchen, I often find myself keeping fewer ingredients on hand. So when I have a couple key ingredients and an idea for a dish, I typically have to make some compromises with the rest. For this curry dish, I used frozen chicken breasts instead of something tasty like thighs, standard supermarket curry powder, and no cream or coconut milk. Not ideal, but it was quite tasty!


  • 2 chicken breasts (thawed)
  • 1/3 head of cauliflower
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 1-2 habanero peppers
  • 2-3t of curry powder
  • 1-2t chili powder
  • 2t cumin
  • 2t olive oil
  • 2T butter
  • 2-3t flour


  1. Dice the onion and cook in a large pan on medium heat with olive oil and salt until translucent
  2. Add chopped tomatoes, finely diced habaneros, and spices, continue to cook
  3. In a separate pot, steam the cauliflower until almost fork-tender
  4. Add butter to the onions and tomatoes
  5. When the butter is melted, add the flour and continue to cook for a couple of minutes
  6. Cut the chicken breasts into even cubes
  7. Add the chicken, salt
  8. Adjust for liquid level: the chicken will release liquid while it’s cooking, but if the pan is too dry you can add a tablespoon or so of water at a time
  9. When the chicken is cooked and the desired thickness is reached, mix in the cauliflower and some chopped cilantro
  10. Taste and adjust for salt before serving