Curried Kale with Pan-Seared Chicken Breast

Digby Stridiron

Ama at Cane Bay and Braata, St Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

"This dish is all about preference of ingredients and is a great twist on a West Indian classic." — Chefs Boot Camp alum Digby Stridiron


  • 1/2 cup olive oil, divided 
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas, drained
  • 1/4 cup currants 
  • Salt and pepper to taste 
  • 1 yellow onion, diced small 
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 6 sprigs thyme 
  • 3 bay leaves 
  • 1 cup chicken stock 
  • 4 to 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 Serrano chile, thinly sliced
  • 4 chicken breasts, airline cut with drumsticks attached (or skin on chicken chicken breasts)
  • 2 tablespoons flour for dusting 
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk  
  • 1 large bunch kale, cut into thin strips
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, cut lengthwise
  • 1 stalk green onion, cut on a bias


Toast the chickpeas: preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat the chickpeas in 2 tablespoons olive oil and season them with salt. Place them on a sheet pan and toast them in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes.

Soak the currants: place the currants in a bowl and cover them with warm water. Allow them to soak for 10 minutes until they have rehydrated and are plump. Drain the bowl and reserve the currants.

Raise the oven to 375°F. Heat a saucepan over medium heat. Once it’s hot, add 3 tablespoons olive oil and the onions. Allow the onions to caramelize, making sure to stir often. This should take about 10 minutes. Add the curry powder in the last 2 minutes of cooking.

While the onion mixture sautés, make the bouquet garni: place the bay leaves and thyme in cheesecloth and tie it together tightly. 

Once the onions are caramelized, add the chicken stock, garlic, Serrano chiles, and the bouquet garni to the pan and let it simmer.

Reduce heat to low and cover with a lid. While the sauce is simmering, season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper on both sides. Dust the skin side of the breast with flour. Add the remaining oil to a sauté pan large enough to fit all of the chicken. Heat the oil over high heat and place the chicken breasts skin side down in the pan. Once the breasts start to brown, about 4 minutes, reduce the heat to medium and allow the breasts to finish searing for another 2 minutes. Place the pan in the oven to finish cooking, another 7 to 9 minutes. 

Add the toasted chickpeas, coconut milk, and soaked currants to the sauce. Simmer uncovered until the sauce thickens, about 3 to 4 minutes. Once the sauce has thickened, remove the pan from the heat. Add the kale, tomatoes, and green onions. Toss together and check for seasoning. Remove the bouquet garni.

Once the chicken breasts have finished cooking, allow them to rest for 4 to 5 minutes. Cut the chicken on the bias. Serve the breast on top of a bed of the curried kale.


4 servings