How To Make Chicken 4 Ways: Chicken & Chickpea Curry

PART 1: Michael, the owner of Ancoats bar & kitchen, Elnecot, is showing us how to create 4 different dishes from a whole roast chicken.

By Manchester's Finest | Last updated 17 June 2020

Share this story

So here is the first one. Prior to cooking this, he roasted a large chicken (about 2kg). He sat the chicken on a couple of sliced onions and a whole bulb of garlic sliced in half. He also put a sprig of thyme and a sprig of rosemary in the cavity.

Once the chicken is cooked, remove the legs and use them for this recipe. Keep everything else, including all the mushed up onions, garlic and pan juices, safe in the fridge…

Michael doesn’t get much chance to cook curries at work so he says it’s usually top of his list when he gets to cook at home. When he was young, he used to attempt to make different curries out of a Madhur Jaffrey cookbook on an occasional basis (to extremely varying degrees of success), and the aromas and tastes were of a constant amazement to him.

This particular one is a favourite of his and pretty easy to put together. I can’t think of many things that coconut milk doesn’t make taste better and this South Indian style of curry is delicious.

Easily made vegan by swapping out the chicken, the flavour comes from building up the layers. Take the time to stir fry the onions over a medium heat until they are golden, it is integral to the final taste.

The cashews can be switched out for ground almonds if you have any. If not, leave the nuts out, the resulting dish will still be super tasty.

This isn’t a very spicy dish so feel free to bump up the chilli if that’s your bag. Rice optional, flatbreads compulsory. It’s quite fun to make little flatbreads. There is a staggering variety of them and some are incredibly quick and easy to make. And the satisfaction of making them makes the curry taste all the better!

Ingredients (serves 4 people)

2 legs from a roasted chicken, meat and skin stripped from the bones

2 white onions, finely sliced
1 stick cinnamon
2 bay leaves
4 cloves

4 cloves garlic, finely grated
2.5 inches ginger, finely grated

1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp chilli flakes
2 tsp tomato puree

1 tin coconut milk
1 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed with cold water
1 large handful baby spinach, washed
2 salad tomatoes, diced
1 handful cashew nuts, roasted, ground, and mixed with a little water to make a paste (optional)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 large handful coriander, chopped


Heat 2 tbsp of ghee or vegetable oil in a large frying pan and add the onions, cinnamon, bay leaves and cloves. Cook over a medium high heat until the onions are golden brown.

Add the garlic and ginger and cook out for a couple of minutes. Be careful not to burn the garlic, add a drop of water to cool the pan down if needs be.

Add the turmeric, ground coriander, garam masala, chilli flakes and tomato puree. Mix well, then cook over a low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the tin of coconut milk and 100ml of water. Combine these into the other ingredients and then add the chickpeas and spinach. Add 1 1/2 tsp table salt. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 mins.

Add all of the chicken meat and skin, the tomatoes and the nut paste. Stir to combine and cook over a medium heat for a couple of minutes.

Sprinkle in the chopped coriander and stir to combine.

Serve with rice, flatbreads and poppadum.

Part 2: Chicken & Noodle Omelette with Sexy Greens

Part 3: Warm Chicken & Bread Salad

Part 4: Leftover Chicken & Coconut Laksa

Follow Elnecot