Chicken katsu curry

Ingredients to serve 4

100g flour, seasoned with lots of salt and
pepper
1 free-range egg, beaten lightly
200g Japanese panko breadcrumbs
4 boneless chicken breasts
100ml groundnut or vegetable oil
steamed rice and salad to serve

For the curry sauce

1 tablespoon groundnut or vegetable oil
1 onion, peeled and chopped
5 whole garlic cloves, peeled
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons plain flour
1 tablespoon medium curry powder
600ml chicken stock
2 teaspoons honey
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 bay leaf
half a teaspoon garam masala

Anyone who is into Japanese food knows that katsu curry is wickedly wonderful. What makes it stand out from other curries is that the meat is breaded and fried before having a luxurious silky curry sauce slathered all over it.

To make the sauce, heat the oil in a small pan. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes, then throw in the carrots and sweat slowly for 10 minutes with the lid on, giving the odd stir, until softened and starting to caramelise. Stir in the flour and curry powder and cook for a minute. Slowly pour in the stock until combined (do this gradually to avoid getting lumps). Add the honey, soy sauce and bay leaf and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, so the sauce thickens but is still of pouring consistency. Add the garam masala, then pass the sauce through a sieve (unless you prefer a chunky sauce).

Now prepare the chicken. Lay the seasoned flour, egg and breadcrumbs on separate plates. Coat the chicken in the flour, then dip into the egg and fi nally into the breadcrumbs.

Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the breaded chicken breasts for 5 minutes on each side, or until golden and cooked through. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and leave to drain on kitchen paper. Slice the chicken diagonally and serve with the sauce drizzled over, steamed rice and salad.

From 'Gizzi's Magic Kitchen' by Gizzi Erskine (Virgin Books, £20). Picture by David Loftus

Sommelier's choice

Anakena Doma Viognier 2009, Chile

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Marks and Spencer, £53.95 for six, Marksandspencer.com

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