Curry Braised Chicken Legs are an easy, flavorful main dish made in an hour. Whole chicken legs quickly braised in coconut milk, Indian spices, and garlic.
These Indian Curry Chicken Legs have all the spicy, warm flavors you love in Indian Recipes like Chicken Tikka Masala and Chicken Korma. You’ll love this new dinner recipe that is faster, cheaper, and better than take out!
CURRY BRAISED CHICKEN LEGS
Curry Braised Chicken Legs is an inexpensive dinner that tastes like you ordered it from a fancy restaurant. The braising makes the chicken so tender and juicy, you won’t believe it only took an hour to make! Get whatever chicken pieces are on sale for this recipe and use pantry ingredients you have on hand to make a fast, affordable meal that is better than takeout!
Usually when you braise meats, you sear them at a high heat and then cook in the oven for a longer time to get them fall off the bone tender. This quicker method for Curry Braised Chicken Legs gets all the flavor infused in at least half the time as oven braising. If you want to finish this dish off in the oven, we’ve included instructions below as well as slow cooker instructions.
Curried chicken is a popular dish in Asian, Indian, and Jamaican cultures. While all of them are delicious in their own way, you will love this easy Indian Curry Braised Chicken for its simplicity. No fancy, expensive, or exotic ingredients, not even garam masala spice blend. The most “exotic” ingredient is coconut milk, and you can pick that up at any grocery store for less than $2.
Curry Braised Chicken Legs have just the right amount of warmth and spice without being overly hot. They are a family friendly Indian dish that goes great with White Rice or Mashed Potatoes, and anything else to soak up the sauce. Serve them with a side of naan bread and vegetables like Roasted Broccoli for an easy dinner. Be sure to top with some cool Indian Raita!
Types of Curry Spices
If you want different curry spices in your Curry Braised Chicken Legs, you can always add garam masala, five spice blend, or even spicy Madras Curry Powder. Be careful with the Madras, it packs a lot of heat in a little amount! There are so many different kinds of curry, check out this list of 19 Different Curry Types Around the World to get inspired on what kind of spices to add!
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VARIATIONS ON CURRY BRAISED CHICKEN LEGS
- Chicken: You can use either bone-in or boneless chicken thighs, chicken breast, or chicken quarters in this recipe, as well as pork cutlets or boneless pork chops.
- Thai Curry: To turn this into Thai Curry Braised Chicken Legs, replace the dried spices with Thai green or red curry paste, lemongrass, and fresh ginger. Garnish with finely chopped cilantro or Thai basil.
- Jamaican Curry: Make Jamaican Curry Braised Chicken Legs by replacing the spices with Jamaican curry powder. You can also leave the spices and add cayenne pepper, ground anise, mustard seed, and a splash of Worcestershire sauce.
- Veggies: Stir in cooked or steamed vegetables during the last 10 minutes of cooking. Try veggies like cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, carrots, or peas.
- Potatoes: Make this a one-pot complete dinner by simmering with diced sweet potatoes, chickpeas, or golden potatoes. Dice potatoes small and add with sauce ingredients so they cook along with the chicken.
Oven Braised Curry Chicken Legs
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.
- Season chicken legs in salt and pepper, and sear in butter a few minutes on each side. Set aside.
- Sauté onion and garlic 2-3 minutes. Add to baking dish.
- Add remaining ingredients, except chicken legs, to baking dish. Stir to combine.
- Nestle chicken legs in sauce, spooning a little sauce over the legs.
- Bake for 45-60 minutes, occasionally basting with sauce, until chicken is cooked through.
Slow Cooker Curry Braised Chicken Legs
- Season chicken legs and sear on both sides in butter in a large skillet for 4-5 minutes on each side.
- Transfer to a slow cooker and add onions and garlic to skillet.
- Cook until soft, about 2-3 minutes, then add to slow cooker.
- Add remaining ingredients to the crock pot except the coconut milk.
- Cover with lid and cook on low for 4-5 hours on low, or 2-3 hours on high.
- Uncover, stir in coconut milk and cook on high for an additional 30 minutes.
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HOW TO STORE CURRY BRAISED CHICKEN LEGS
- Serve: You can keep Curry Braised Chicken Legs at room temperature for up to 2 hours before they need to be refrigerated.
- Store: Once cooled, refrigerate Curry Braised Chicken Legs in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat in sauce in a skillet over low-medium heat to keep chicken from drying out.
- Freeze: Place cooled Curry Braised Chicken Legs in a sealed container or freezer safe bag. Freeze for up to 3 months and thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating on the stove top.
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 6 chicken legs
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 1/2 large yellow onion , diced
- 4 cloves garlic , minced
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 14 ounces diced tomatoes , undrained
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 can coconut milk
- Add butter to a dutch oven on medium heat.
- Season the chicken legs with half the salt and pepper and sear on both sides, 4-5 minutes on each side.
- Remove chicken from the pan, then add in the onions and garlic.
- Reduce heat to medium and stir, cooking for 2-3 minutes until softened.
- Add in the curry powder, cumin, paprika, turmeric, and ginger, then stir well.
- Add the chicken legs back into the pot, top with diced tomatoes, chicken broth and coconut milk.
- Bring to a simmer then reduce heat to medium low and cook for 25-30 minutes.
I had whole chicken legs and needed to find the best way to cook them in a curry. Your recipe was perfect to guide the chicken cooking (when you were vegetarian for so long, there is a lot of learning like do I need to cook chicken first etc..!! Lol). I didn’t need chicken broth as the tomatoes and the coconut milk covered the chicken well. I adjusted flavours per see and it was an excellent dinner.
Can this be done stovetop? Looks delicious
I have tested this recipe in the oven and a slow cooker (Instructions are in the blog). I’ll have to put this recipe on the list to try stove top sometime!
The sauce was thin which diluted the spices. Should have been cooked down more.
I followed the recipe expect I added 1 tablespoon of freshly ground ginger vs 1 teaspoon of ground gingery . And I 2-4 tablespoons of flour. For thicker broth
Fantastic flavour and very straightforward to prepare. My family loved it! The sauce was abundant, which allowed for sopping it up with pieces of naan bread. The second day I added more chicken and some chickpeas… the leftovers were even better than the first sitting. I’m assuming the sauce could be prepared ahead of time, frozen, then thawed out, and add some chicken for a quick supper on those crazy ‘gotta go’ somewhere kind of nights.
Such a tasty dish and seriously took zero time to get everything ready while the chicken seared! Will make this again for as it was a hit with everyone, the picky teenager included haha!
I love curry & this chicken looks so good! It’s loaded with so much flavor!
I’m glad to know it was such a hit, Kristyn.
I loved this dinner! The chicken is favorful and turned out do so juicy! Totally fabulous!
These were absolutely fantastic and had the perfect amount of curry in it!
I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Stephanie.
Do you cook this uncovered?
Hi Melonie, yes it would be uncovered.
I have made this recipe and it was fantastic I will make this many more times a is. I have someone in my family that will only eat chicken breasts could I also make this recipe using chicken breasts?
Of course 🙂
This is amazing! My hubs is not an adventurous eater. He works nights so I make things like this when he’s gone for myself and our kids. They love curry! So I came across this recipe and knew I was trying it. Tonight was the night! I made it exactly like your recipe except I added more chicken legs for a total of about 15 which worked out perfectly. Kids were a little turned off by chicken legs but only cuz we usually only have them roasted or fried but they were delicious! They prefer no bones and fat on their chicken. I told them next time I’ll use boneless skinless chicken thighs and add a lil cayenne for heat. I love when I make curry and everyone comes into kitchen to see what smells so good and if it’s done yet ?? Thanks for a great recipe!!
I’m so glad you had the chance to give this recipe a try and that it was a hit, Dawn. Thanks for the 5 star rating.
Alternatives to a dutch oven? Would a cast iron skillet or regular soup pot be fine?
Yes, those would work as well. Enjoy!
Could I use chicken thighs instead of chicken legs?