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Madras good as it gets

The Dunbrody House’s star chef, Kevin Dundon, shares his favourite recipes

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Chicken Madras Curry

Chicken Madras Curry

Carrot and Chicken Soup with Parmesan Croutons

Carrot and Chicken Soup with Parmesan Croutons

Jalapeño jelly

Jalapeño jelly

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Chicken Madras Curry

WE ALL love a bowl of soup — it can be as simple or as complicated as you wish, and this week I have a lovely option for you to make. Remember, though, that a soup is only as good as its stock, whether chicken or vegetable. Making your own stock is simple and cheap: save your poultry carcasses, roasted bones and scraps of vegetables in a bag in the freezer; simmer them with some seasoning in a large saucepan for a few hours for a chicken stock, or 30 minutes for vegetable, then strain and you should have a fantastic homemade stock. It freezes well and keeps for ages. My carrot and chicken soup has a lovely, delicate, sweet flavour, and the Parmesan croutons are a perfect topping to make it a delicious, warming supper. The croutons are simple to prepare — just use day-old bread, preferably sourdough for extra texture. Toast them in the oven or in a pan with a drizzle of oil. Next, we have a mouth-watering Madras curry. Curries are just a perfect evening meal, made with chicken or nutritious pulses such as chickpeas or lentils. In my recipe, I use a curry paste rather than a marinade or sauce, as I am looking for the intense flavour of the spice mix. The sauce is created with onion and tomatoes, but you can add a grated courgette, carrots or peppers to bulk it up with extra veggies. I also have a delicious side of curried Brussels sprouts instead of saag aloo. Sprouts are still in season and are full of flavour when sautéed quickly. Enjoy! Happy cooking, Kevin

CHICKEN MADRAS CURRY

Ingredients (serves 4):
■ 1 tbsp vegetable oil or ghee
■ 2 onions, chopped
■ 500g chicken breasts, diced
■ 2 garlic cloves, chopped
■ 2 tbsp Madras paste
■ 2 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
■ 200ml chicken stock
■ 1-2 tsp hot chilli powder (optional)
■ Salt and pepper
Curried Brussels Sprouts
■ 200g Brussels sprouts, chopped or shredded
■ 2 onions, chopped
■ 1 garlic clove, chopped
■ 1cm fresh ginger, chopped
■ 1 red chilli, finely sliced
■ 2 tbsp curry powder
■ Steamed basmati rice, to serve
■ 4 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped, to garnish


Method:
1. Heat the vegetable oil in a sauté pan over medium heat and add the chopped onion. Sauté for 3-4 minutes until coloured.
2. Add the chicken. Stir once and cook over high heat to colour the chicken pieces for a further 2 minutes or so.
3 Add the garlic and Madras paste and stir to coat the chicken and onion.
4. Then stir in the tomatoes and stock. Check the seasoning and add extra chilli powder if desired.
5. Cover and simmer on a low heat for 20 minutes, until the chicken is tender. Check the seasoning.

6. Meanwhile, make the curried sprouts. In a large sauté pan, drizzle some oil and add the chopped onion.
7. Colour for 2-3 minutes, then add the Brussels sprouts, garlic, ginger, red chilli and curry powder. Sauté and stir for a minute, then add 3 tablespoons of water and cover with a lid.
8. Cook for 5-8 minutes until the Brussels sprouts are cooked to your liking. Remove from the heat and keep warm until ready to serve.
9. Serve the curry with steamed basmati rice and a sprinkle of fragrant, fresh coriander, with the curried Brussels sprouts on the side.

TOP TIP: If you want to make your curry vegetarian, simply skip the chicken and use 500g cauliflower and 400g chickpeas instead, and swap the chicken stock for vegetable stock.
Simply add the cauliflower florets and simmer for 10 minutes on low heat, then add the chickpeas and simmer for another 5 minutes.

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Carrot and Chicken Soup with Parmesan Croutons

Carrot and Chicken Soup with Parmesan Croutons

Carrot and Chicken Soup with Parmesan Croutons

CARROT & CHICKEN SOUP WITH PARMESAN CROUTONS

Ingredients (serves 4):
■ 2 tbsp oil
■ 2 onions, chopped
■ 1 potato, chopped
■ 4-5 garlic cloves, crushed
■ 1 stick of celery, chopped
■ 5 carrots, chopped into small pieces
■ 200g cooked roast chicken, chopped
■ 1 litre vegetable stock
■ 2 tbsp crème fraîche
■ 2 tsp A Bit on the Side red jalapeño jelly
■ 100g bread, diced into croutons
■ 2 tbsp Parmesan, grated
■ 2 tbsp fresh herbs, chopped
■ Salt and pepper


Method: 

1. In a large saucepan, over medium heat, add some oil and the onions. Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring once or twice until the onions start to colour.
2. Add the potato, garlic, celery, carrots and chicken pieces, and continue to cook for a further minute, stirring well.
3. Cover with the vegetable stock and bring to the boil.
4. Cover with a lid and simmer over
medium heat for 20-25 minutes until the vegetables are all softened.
5. Remove from the heat and add the crème fraîche. Using a handheld blender, blend the soup until smooth. Season well and stir in the jalapeño jelly. Keep warm until ready to serve.
6. In the meantime, in a sauté pan over medium heat, drizzle the rest of the oil and add the croutons. Sauté for 2 minutes until coloured well on all sides. Add the Parmesan and herbs. Remove from the heat and check the seasoning.
7. Serve the soup in warmed bowls with a few croutons sprinkled on top.

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Jalapeño jelly

Jalapeño jelly

Jalapeño jelly

TOP TIP: FEELING CHILLI? HERE’S HOW TO HEAT
UP EVERYTHING FROM STIR-FRIES TO SAMBOS

This week, you have to look for this great product called ‘ A bit on the side’ it is made by a fantastic new small family business in Ireland which travelled back from Canada a few years back missing their favourite condiment Jalapeno Jelly. Now they produce a delicious addicting jalapeno jelly which can be added today’s carrot soup and madras curries and others like stir fry, sandwiches, cheeses board …

You can purchase their products online at abitontheside.ie

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