1. Get your chicken breasts and flatten them with a rolling pin until they are about 1cm thick (or if your chicken breasts are too thick, cut them in half lengthways to end up with two thinner pieces). Rub with 1tsp garam masala to marinade, and place to the side.
2. Next prepare the 3 bowls for the “batter station”. In the first bowl, place the seasoned plain flour. In the second, beat one egg. In the third, pour in 200g Panko breadcrumbs. Now line them up, with your bowl of marinaded chicken at the start: the order should go wet (chicken), dry (flour), wet (egg), dry (breadcrumbs).
Cooking - The Sauce
3. Add the chopped onion to a saucepan with 2 tbsp vegetable oil and gently cook the onion on a medium heat for 2-3 minutes, until softened and gently browned.
4. Now add into the saucepan your garlic and the spices: one bay leaf, mild curry powder, garam masala, paprika and turmeric. Temper them over a medium heat, giving the mixture a light toasting for about 1 minute.
5. Add a dash more oil to the saucepan with the plain flour and corn flour. Stir over a low heat for approximately 2 minutes ( hint: the flour mixture will start to stick to the onion).
6. Next, add your chicken stock bit by bit, stirring as you go to ensure a smooth sauce. Once all the stock is added, season the sauce by adding your brown sugar, tamari and honey with a dash of salt. (Hint: at this point, taste your sauce! You are aiming for a balance of sweet and savoury flavours, so if you require another dash of tamari, salt, or another sprinkling of honey, then go for it!)
7. Bring your sauce to the boil and then leave to simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has reduced by about a third. Add a splash of water if the sauce starts to thicken too much.
Leave simmering over a low heat while you cook your chicken.
Cooking - The Chicken
8. Move back over to your batter station to pané (or breadcrumb) the chicken. Start by dipping the seasoned chicken in the seasoned flour mixture, shaking off any excess flour, before then dipping it into the egg. Make sure the chicken is well-coated, and then lie the piece flat in the Panko breadcrumbs. Turn it over to coat the other side. If you prefer a thicker coating of breadcrumbs, then repeat the pané process again!
9. Get a thick, large saucepan or wok (to prevent the oil form spitting over the side). Pour in your oil, making sure never to fill more than halfway up your pan. Bring it to heat over a medium-high flame.
10. Use a wooden implement (such as chopsticks) to test the temperature of the oil. Place your implement into the oil; if it fizzes, then your oil is around 180C and you are ready to go!
11. Shallow fry the chicken pieces on one side until golden and crispy, then carefully turn over and repeat on the other side. You will know when the pieces are done when they float freely at the top of the oil, and show a golden brown finish.
12. Remove the chicken from the oil using a slotted spoon, and drain the pieces on kitchen paper.
Slice the chicken and serve over Japanese steamed rice, topped with as much sauce as you want!
How To Chicken Katsu Curry
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