Curry Braised Chicken Thighs

4.60 from 328 votes
1 hour
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Curry Braised Chicken Thighs is a delicious Indian-inspired dinner for two.  Spicy, flavorful and budget-friendly, it’s sure to spice up the night with your loved one! You’ll also love my Chicken and Potato Curry!

Photo of Curry Braised Chicken Thighs in pan garnished with cilantro on yellow striped towel.

What is braising?

One of my absolute favorite cooking methods is a slow braise; it’s almost magical!

Braising uses both moist and dry heat.  A tough cut of protein that has lots of connective tissue, is first seared at a high temperature.  Then, it simmers at a low temperature for up to several hours.  During this process, the connective tissue breaks down and the tough cut of protein is transformed into something buttery and fall-off-the-bone tender.

For this recipe, I used budget-friendly chicken thighs which lend themselves well to the braising method.  However, chicken thighs don’t take hours to become tender.

Indian cuisine may seem intimidating at first because of all the exotic spices.  However, this recipe for Curry Braised Chicken Thighs uses ingredients found at any local grocery store or international market like Madras curry powder.

Photo of Madras curry powder blend in copper bowl on gray background.
 

What is Madras curry powder?

Madras curry powder isn’t authentically Indian.  It was created by the British to try and mimic the amazing curry flavors of India which they fell in love with when India was one of their territories.

A word of warning: Madras curry powder can be very hot.  In addition to ground chilies, it also has spices such as turmeric, coriander, cumin, cloves, cinnamon and fenugreek.  If you enjoy curry but don’t like the heat, substitute a mild curry powder here or blend your own.  (Affiliate link.)


Photo of Curry Braised Chicken Thighs in skillet with carrots garnished with cilantro sprigs.

Vary the vegetables and use cubed sweet potato, cauliflower florets, broccoli florets or spinach instead of carrots.  Chickpeas would also make a nice addition.  Serve with plenty of brown basmati rice to soak up this flavor-packed sauce.  If desired, a dollop of plain yogurt will help cool it down.

For more great bone-in chicken thigh recipes, check out: 30 Best Bone-In Chicken Thigh Recipes.

Serve Curry Braised Chicken Thighs with:

Want more amazing Indian-inspired curry recipes?  Be sure to check these out!

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Curry Braised Chicken Thighs hero shot in pan garnished with cilantro on dark wood surface with yellow striped towel.

Curry Braised Chicken Thighs

4.60 from 328 votes

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By: Carol | From A Chef’s Kitchen
Spice up the night with your loved one with this Indian-inspired dinner for two! Serve with plenty of brown basmati rice to soak up this flavorful sauce.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Chicken and Turkey
Cuisine Indian
Servings 2
Calories 891 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 4 chicken thighs on the bone - skin removed if desired
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil - or as needed
  • 1 small onion - halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 medium carrots - quartered lengthwise, then cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder - such as Madras
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1 can (14.5-ounce) diced tomatoes - undrained
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream - or canned unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro - plus sprigs for garnish
  • Cooked brown basmati rice
  • Plain yogurt - optional

Instructions
 

  • Season chicken thighs generously with salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper.
  • Heat oil in a deep skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken, skin side down, and brown 2-3 minutes per side, or until browned. Transfer to a plate.
  • Add more oil if necessary. Add the onion then reduce heat to medium-low and cook 4-5 minutes or until beginning to soften.
  • Add carrot and cook 2-3 minutes or until lightly browned in places.
  • Add curry powder, ginger and garlic and cook very briefly, about 15 seconds.
  • Add tomatoes, chicken broth and cream or coconut milk. Return chicken thighs to the pan.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover slightly and simmer 25-30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through to 165 degrees.
  • Adjust seasoning if desired. Stir in cilantro.
  • Serve with brown basmati rice. Garnish with cilantro sprigs and plain yogurt if desired.

VIDEO

Notes

SUBSTITUTIONS:  Use boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs in place of the thighs on the bone.  Reduce cooking time by 5-10 minutes.  You can also use leg quarters but may need additional time.  Cook all chicken to 165 degrees in the thickest part.
MAKE AHEAD: This can be made one day ahead.  Cool and refrigerate until needed.  Place in an oven-safe dish and reheat uncovered at 350 degrees until heated through to 165 degrees in the thickest part of the thigh.
FREEZER-FRIENDLY:  Cool thoroughly.  Place in an airtight container and freeze for up to 2 months.  Thaw in the refrigerator.  Reheat uncovered at 350 degrees until heated through to 165 degrees in the thickest part of the thigh.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 891kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 40g | Fat: 74g | Saturated Fat: 25g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 13g | Monounsaturated Fat: 31g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 303mg | Sodium: 674mg | Potassium: 944mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 11410IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 119mg | Iron: 3mg

These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

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Recipe Rating




233 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I love this recipe! I’ve made it as is as well as altered it to what I had on hand and have experimented with it. I use a mix of Penzy’s ‘Curry Now’ (spicier) and oriental Curry (mild). It’s so easy to throw together and comes out great. Thanks!
    Beth C

  2. 3 stars
    I tried this recipe and used a bit less liquid than asked for and I found that the curry sauce was more soup then sauce, and it had a weak flavour. How can I make the flavour richer/stronger? My curries always smell wonderful but the taste is always weak in flavour and I’m so frustrated by this. I’d appreciate any suggestions for making this recipe richer and more flavourful.

    1. Hi, Duncan, I like plenty of sauce to serve with rice and it’s a small-scale recipe. If curries are not flavorful enough for you in general, make sure you’re using GOOD spices. I always get my Indian spices directly from an Indian grocery store. You can always blend your own and use more. Add more ginger. Thank you for your feedback.

    1. Hi, Lorraine, Thanks so very much for your question. The only thing about using milk is I would be afraid of it curdling. You might need to use a little bit of flour or other thickener and “temper” the milk by placing the milk in a small bowl then add some of the hot braising liquid to it in small amounts to bring the temperature of the milk up. As far as fresh, diced tomatoes, I’d go with about 2 cups plus any accumulated juice from chopping them. A can of diced tomatoes is generally 14.5 ounces which is close to 2 cups. Thanks again and hope you enjoy!!

    1. Hi, Crystal, Thanks so much for your question. I would be careful using buttermilk as it has a tendency to curdle. You might get away with it if you add it if you’ve cooled the dish down, but I’m not sure how that would reheat.

    2. 5 stars
      It came out delicious! I like spice so I added two whole serrano chiles sliced and it gave it the perfect heat. I took off the skin.

  3. 5 stars
    Hi there. The cooked meal is sitting in my fridge ready for lunch tomorrow; curries tend to taste better the next day. All looks well…it is delicious.

    I simply could not bring myself to add heavy cream, and substituted Greek Yoghurt. Similarly, and for the same health reasons, I discarded the chicken skin. The recipe is simplicity itself and the preface gave an insight to the finished article. Many thanks. Regards from sunny Spain.

    1. Hi, Stewart, Thanks so very much!! Looks like you’re going to enjoy! This recipe is definitely versatile so very cool that you made it your own! Thanks again!

  4. 5 stars
    Great dinner recipe! This recipe turned out very good. It was easy to make and smelled wonderful while cooking. I would add a couple more pieces of chicken the next time because of all the sauce. I will use this recipe again. Thank you!

  5. 5 stars
    This recipe turned out very good. It was easy to make & smelled wonderful while cooking. I would add a couple more pieces of chicken the next time because of all the sauce. I will use this recipe again. Thank you

  6. 5 stars
    Yummy!! Easy and oh so good. Followed exactly until the end. I wanted it to be creamier (and wasn’t at all when I had finished) so first took out thighs and cooked sauce for another 10 min or so uncovered to reduce then added maybe 1/3 of can coconut milk. So good. May make in future as vegetarian. That sauce is fantastic.

  7. 5 stars
    Easy and oh so good. Followed exactly until the end. I wanted it to be creamier (and wasn’t at all when I had finished) so first took out thighs and cooked sauce for another 10 min or so uncovered to reduce then added maybe 1/3 of can coconut milk. So good. May make in future as vegetarian. That sauce is fantastic.

  8. 5 stars
    Delicious! I made this today for lunch and it was fabulous! The sauce is delicious. I added cauliflower but otherwise made according to directions. Thank you for sharing!

  9. 5 stars
    I made this today for lunch and it was fabulous! The sauce is delicious. I added cauliflower but otherwise made according to directions. Thank you for sharing!

  10. 5 stars
    Amazing curry! What I like about this curry is I have all the ingredients in my kitchen at all times. This is now becoming a staple dish. I just changed the diced tomatoes to a tomato purée.

  11. 5 stars
    What I like about this curry is I have all the ingredients in my kitchen at all times. This is now becoming a staple dish. I just changed the diced tomatoes to a tomato purée

  12. 5 stars
    My husband is on a keto diet. We both love this curry. It is easy to make and tastes amazing, My husband is Indian so I am very happy that this meets his high standards for curry. Very grateful to find this recipe.