Easy Pan Fried Mango Curry Chicken

Easy Pan Fried Mango Curry Chicken

from Steamy Kitchen food column in Tampa Tribune

Writing and editing more than 100 recipes for a cookbook that I’m doing is no easy task. In fact, it’s quite a bit more intense than I had ever imagined. The more-than-occasional brain farts and writer’s block are tough, and usually I can deal with those moments by distracting myself with a massive, industrial-sized roll of bubble wrap. It’s uniquely satisfying, covering three out of five senses in less than two seconds.

pop! pip! pop!

Sometimes, when the stress of writing turns into a gnarly tumbleweed, the giant roll of bubble wrap finds its place under the desk, propped between my feet. I unroll a nice, perfect, clean sheet onto my lap, I take a deep breath and let my hands wring the shit out of those air pockets.


I succeed in waking up yet another sense because when you release an entire yard of trapped air, your house ends up smelling like the scent of a plastic factory. I think if a manufacturer came up with a scented bubble wrap, like, let’s say warm chocolate lava cake or buttery banana bread, its sales would skyrocket!

So you see how my mind wanders when confronted with the evils of writer’s congestion. Although some of the ideas I come up with are pretty clever and could really be the next big thing, this silliness does absolutely nothing to contribute to the daunting task of scaling the treacherous mountain of 100 recipes. One. Hundred. Recipes.

I’ve discovered that the easiest and quickest way to jump-start my dead battery is to engage myself in an activity that involves all five of my senses. Yes, bubble wrap is fun and addictive, but hardly tasty. So, naturally, I scurry to the kitchen to find something to play with.

But it can’t just be ANY kind of cooking – it has to be a dish with maximum sizzle, crunch, intoxicating aroma, juiciness and boldness. So I turn to Nigel Slater who wrote one of my favorite cookbooks, “Appetite” (Clarkson Potter, $74). It’s a hefty volume of recipes that you’ll turn to when you need that easy yet creative, throw-together cooking. Edit: holy crap! $74???? I got it free from The Good Cook cookbook club.

Mango Curry Chicken

Instead of a standard recipe format, Nigel provides you with sensual cues to guide you in finishing the dish. I’ve adapted his Chicken, Garlic and Herbs recipe into Pan-Fried Mango Curry Chicken. The skin is crispy curry, the mango is fresh, luscious and sweet, and the sauce is buttery garlicky.

This is kitchen therapy at its finest.

Easy Pan Fried Mango Curry Chicken

This is Nigel’s style of recipe writing – instead of a rigid, precise recipe – Nigel prefers give you guidance on what the dish feels, smells, sounds, tastes and looks like. I’ve taken his basic recipe and added mangoes and a curry spice. Enjoy!

Pan-Fried Mango Curry Chicken

Free-range chicken – cut up or 2 chicken pieces per person, skin and bones to remain in place
Olive oil
Sea salt
Curry powder – a big pinch
Freshly ground black pepper
Butter – a thick slice
Garlic cloves, 8 large, sweet cloves
White wine – a large wine glass
Mango – a nice firm, but ripe one, cut up into large chunks
Herbs – a few sprigs of parsley, minced

Place chicken in a large bowl and rub the chicken all over with a drizzle olive oil. Season the chicken with the salt, curry powder and black pepper.

Heat a large skillet or pan (pan can have high sides or be shallow, but it must have a lid) on high heat with enough olive oil to make a small puddle in the bottom, then add the butter. Once the butter starts to froth, add the chicken pieces, skin side down. Keep the heat moderately high heat while they color to a pale and relatively even gold.

In the meantime, smash the garlic cloves with the side of your knife so that they flatten but remain fairly intact, and peel off the skin. Throw the garlic cloves into the pan. Turn down the heat to medium-low so that the fat under the chicken skin is gently fizzing. Cover with tight-fitting lid. You’ll cook about 35-40 minutes, turning the chicken over halfway through cooking.

Once the chicken is cooked, remove the chicken onto a platter and cover loosely with tin foil to keep warm. Tip the pan slightly and spoon out most of the fat. Turn the heat to high and add the white wine and let it bubble. Use a wooden spatula to scrape and loosen the golden bits and the sweet, soft garlic cloves in the pan. Turn the heat down a bit and add the mango chunks and minced parsley. Let simmer for 1 minute. Taste the sauce and adjust seasoning – you may have to add some salt or pepper. Spoon over chicken.

Makes 4 servings

p.s. Did you see THIS??? THE %&!*%&!% COOLEST THING EVVVVEEERRRRRRR….. <–must check out

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Comments 66

  1. Cathlyn A. Pozdol

    Hi. If you need any help with editing, I’m very good. *s*

    Miami, Florida

  2. Rachel

    OMFG, that was good. Just made this, and so, so good. I didn’t have any white wine on hand (that doesn’t last long around here) but I had some mirin and sake that I substituted, about half and half. I added about 1/2 tsp cumin at the end and a few dashes of cayenne pepper. Served over jasmine rice. Totally to die for.

    Thanks for posting that recipe!

  3. Anya

    Thanks Jaden! THIS IS AWESOME! It’s my new favorite way to eat chicken!!! The only thing I did differently was simmer the sauce for more like 5-7 minutes after I put the mangoes in and kept stirring it. It came out as this creamy reduction – sooo yummy! Oh – and I used Sauvingon Blanc for the sauce, which added a little sour taste to the sauce – so good, I was ready to lick the pan!

    I’m making it tonight again – the second night in a row!

  4. cleek

    i tried this but the sauce came out very dark and unpleasant – because, after 30 minutes, the garlic and chicken fat had cooked far too long. guess i needed to turn the heat down…

  5. marion

    I want to try this dish for dinner.
    I’m a little addict to mango so … only one mango for 4 persons ???????????
    Can I put some more ? ;op

  6. Nancy

    Bubble wrap…brings back sweet childhood memories. My Dad brought it home from work occasionally and we (5 other simblings) each got our share to pop. Lots of laughs and pops. Thanks for sharing. Will try your chicken mango recipe this week as it sounds delicious!

  7. Teresa

    I made it twice this week and I loved it! My family loves it too. So delicious. First time I did not have white wine and added red instead, it was really good if not better for my taste:) oh. and i bought cilantro instead of parsley it was good too!


    Living in the land “Down Under” I am extremely lucky to have been given a case of 16 beautiful MANGOES (we are in summer)for Xmas- did you know that MANGOES are one of the few fruits that you can peel and scoop flesh into a container & freeze & 6 months later will taste as great as when you 1st froze it -A BIT OF TRIVIA FOR YOU- TRUST ME I used to promote food in supermarkets & one season had to show our Australians how to slice & “PORCUPINE thecheeks” I make a terrific Mango Chicken Curry – a dish I concocted myself after being constantly let down by the poor versions in the Indian Restaurants in Sydney (except for one restaurant who got sick of making it -anyway to cut to the bloody story I tried & spoke to a few tenants from Bangladesh (near INDIA) I came up with a GREAT version takes time- Back to you (Sorry I have gift of the gab) Now Mangoes are plentiful in my home I will make your Easy but YUMMY dish I am fairly new to the internet so I hope I remember this site (now 12:05am Monday 2009 here) I will come back to you nice people & offer you my recipe to try & you can enjoy my wonderful dish Not up myself am I? Sorry can’t help it _if your good ADMIT it ! Regards Krystyna

  9. faye

    i made this for my husband last week and he LOVED IT. he didn’t say a word throughout dinner (because he was stuffing his face like this was his last meal on earth) and even finished before i did. he never finishes before me! hahah thanks jaden! 🙂

  10. Caroline

    Quite tasty, but I don’t think it should be called a curry, as it doesn’t bear any resemblance to an authentic curry.

  11. Mar

    Could this be frozen and turned into a freezer meal? It looks like all of the individual ingredients are freezable, but I’m wondering how to reheat it and how that would affect it. Thanks.

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