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DIY Disney: Coconut Curry Chicken Soup from Boma

Today, Chef Big Fat Panda’s DIY Disney Recipes column brings us a savory favorite from Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Boma! Take it away, Panda!

Hello Disney Food People! It feels like I haven’t seen you in forever. You look fantastic? Did you lose weight? I need to feed you something delicious, don’t I? Well, I have just the thing.

Today, I am going to recreate something from Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Boma restaurant called “Coconut Curry Chicken Soup.” Some Disney recipes call it a stew, and it is a hybrid of sorts as I will explain.

Ingredients

I make no secret of my Italian heritage, but what many people don’t know is that among all the pasta and tomato sauce type dishes my mom prepared as I grew up, she also made curry. My mom had an Indian friend (I forgot his name) who taught her how to make all sorts of curries, and she made Beef Curry at least 2 times a month. So, for me, Curry was a taste I grew up with and was introduced to at a very early age. In other words, I absolutely LOVE the taste of curry. If you don’t know what curry tastes like, just try it. It is a mixture of many ancient old herbs and spices that create a Kaleidoscope of flavor on your palate.

As usual, the recipe’s instructions will be bolded for easy reference should you wish to print this out and skip my commentary. It’s just going to make for a bland read, and I think you need some spice in your life. Just sayin’!

You will need:
1 chicken, whole – cut in eight
8 ounces onions, diced chunky
8 ounces red bell peppers, diced chunky
2 jalapeno peppers, sliced
8 ounces potatoes, diced chunky
8 ounce diced tomatoes, drained
8 ounces coconut milk
3 tablespoons curry powder, toasted
1 quart chicken stock
5 ounces honey
4 ounces oil
½ cup cilantro, chopped
To taste cayenne pepper (adjust/add slowly)
To taste salt and pepper
Roux (3 ounces butter and 3 ounces flour)

Now, before we begin, let me say that this recipe feels like it was written by a Chef, for a Chef. It’s vague and simple. It says things like “cook until done” without giving any sort of a timeline or hint as to what the final product should be. I am going to try and clear it up based on my firsthand experience in cooking this dish.

Also, I am not a fan of all chicken parts. I eat white meat chicken breast only, so opted to use Chicken Breasts rather than a whole Chicken. You may decide to do the same based on your preference.

1. Sprinkle chicken with salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon curry powder. Sear chicken in the skillet until golden brown and ¾ done. Set aside.

Simple enough — let’s season our chicken with some salt and pepper and be sure to coat it well with some curry powder. I am not scared of curry (which really is not very hot on its own) so I likely used more than directed.

Searing Seasoned Chicken Breast Tenderloins

You can sear the chicken in a skillet, or as I did in a George Foreman type grill. It’s very difficult to get chicken to a ¾ done status without it either being raw or overcooked.

When you think it is just DONE — or when it is no longer pink, remove it. It will be cooked more in the soup/stew we are going to make.

A word on Curry Powder. You may see many different types of Curry sold in the stores. Even the McCormick Curry powder is fine as are other store brands. They all have a slightly different flavor profile, and it will take time to find the one that might be your favorite.

If you are lucky enough to have an Indian friend or an authentic Indian foods store near you, go in and ask for their own Curry powder, or see what they recommend. They will almost always have a fresh curry powder they are very proud of. It’s a staple in good Indian cuisine.

2. Melt butter and stir in flour to make a roux and set aside.

A roux is basically a thickening agent of flour and fat — in this case, the fat being butter. You simply melt the butter, stir in the flour, and you have this gloppy mixture as seen in the pics.

Making Roux

Why they tell you to set it aside is beyond me, because we are ready to use it right away in the next step.

3. Heat chicken stock, curry powder, coconut milk and roux. Let simmer until thickened.

What detail! ;) I was like — well, how thick do you want it to be?

I simmered it all for about 15 minutes and did not witness any major thickening. Because the recipe said “soup”, I assumed I didn’t really want anything too thick, so I moved on.

Roux With Broth

Had I simmered it more and allowed it to reduce, I am sure it would have become thicker.

4. Add the vegetables (except the cilantro) and seared chicken. Cook until chicken is done.

This next step is really beautiful. I had a moment of enjoying what nature could produce. Really. Don’t laugh AT me. :)

Chopped Veggies

The colors were great. I had this yellowish curry, in which I could see the reddest red bell pepper, the greenest green jalapeno, etc. It was a feast of colors and smelled delicious.

I disagree with the recipe in saying “cook until chicken is done.” The Chicken will be done prior to the potatoes so I would amend that line to “cook until potatoes are done.” This could take between 15-25 minutes depending upon how big your chunks of potatoes are.

Vegetables Added to Broth

5. Add honey and cayenne pepper. Adjust seasoning. Garnish with cilantro.

I added some salt and very little cayenne pepper. You can ruin a meal quickly if you go even slightly overboard on the cayenne. If you do not like spicy foods, SKIP THE CAYENNE!

Cilantro is another herb that most people either love or hate. Skip it if you wish. The smell can be gross but then it can add a fabulous flavor to the recipe. Use your own judgment. Same thing with the honey. I found it was not needed but a little sweetness can do just the trick!

The finished result was definitely a hearty soup and yes, even a little stew like. With a little more flour in the Roux, this could definitely have been a thicker Stew.

Close Up of Final Product

If I had to change anything, I would likely add some more potatoes or even serve it over rice. I wanted a bit more starch to make it a real entree, but that’s just me.

I loved this recipe. The flavors are so distinct and the coconut milk does not overwhelm the soup. It just gives it a creamy subtle offset to the spicy curry.

I just had some for lunch (the day after), and it was thicker and tastier the next day. Like most foods, the next day does wonders for this recipe and I thought it was delicious before.

Chef Mickey is Pleased

It’s not hard to make, and I hope to hear YOUR comments and what you thought/think of it. Please let me know.

I am planning a dessert next time – soon – so thanks again for allowing me into your kitchen and keep wishing upon those stars! BIG HUGS from Chef BigFatPanda!

Chef BigFatPanda
@DisneyWorlds

Thanks again, John! Remember, all, you can watch for Chef BigFatPanda’s column posts right here! Who knows what he’ll make for us next time!

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19 Comments

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Alltop Disney, Betsy Bates. Betsy Bates said: DIY Disney: Coconut Curry Chicken Soup from Boma http://bit.ly/i1DYZV [...]

  2. Alan says:

    Nice work Chef. I’ve never been that curious about curry but this recipe has me checking my pantry and I am going to try it.

    I agree that certain foods do taste better the next day. Do you have any ideas about why this is so, or is it just in our minds?

  3. Alan – I think there really is something to it – I’ve read about the flavors “marrying” and I guess a bad analogy is like when you break in a car to make all the parts run together. It just seems that some flavors bleed and some flavors are influenced by others etc. Ya know, it’s probably all in our heads LOL

  4. Abby says:

    YUM! I can’t wait to try this recipe! The Coconut Curry Chicken Soup is my second favorite at Boma (my first being the Seafood Stew). I tried to recreate the soup a few months ago and miserably failed identifying the ingredients AND the process. Hopefully I can pull off this recipe now that I actually have a recipe. Thanks!

  5. Doug (Photogineer) says:

    We have a Soup Cook off every year for charity during the Supper Bowl (“Soup-in-Bowl”) at work… Looks like I found this years entry. This sounds really good.

  6. Greg says:

    First, I love your column! I am frquently intimidated by recipes that are just a little over my head. Your explanations are so helpful and I’ve learned a lot already.

    I can’t wait to give this recipe a try.

  7. Dana (aka DragynAlly) says:

    Now I’m hungry! Another great job. A little vague but it will make a nice cooking experiment, no? ;-)

  8. Madoka says:

    Thanks, Chef! :) This looks really good. Do you think the dish could benefit from using garam masala in place of or in addition to generic curry powder? DH and I are big Indian food fans and enjoy strong flavors so we will probably “kick it up a notch” with the cayenne and curry powder. :) Serving this over some basmati rice sounds like just the thing! I really enjoy your column. Looking forward to the next installment!

  9. Abby – I am so happy now. Please let me know the results. I think you’ll love it.

    Doug – That is so cool! I expect photos to ChefBigFatPanda@Gmail.com

    Greg – I can’t begin to tell you how much that means to me – Thank You!

    Dana – Yes it was vague but I think I got it. Do you like curry Dana?

    Madoka – I bet it would but my experience with those flavors is very limited. Curry is about the limit in my Indian cuisine experience. Yes to the rice 100% and thank you so much for your comments. More to come. And… I think I about doubled the amount of curry powder they called for ;)

  10. Dana (aka DragynAlly) says:

    “Like” try “LOVE” my friend in elementary school was from Jamaica and I had curry over her house all the time. Now I get it as much as I can and try to cook with it. :-)

  11. Abby says:

    John- My soup turned out fabulous!!! I made it Saturday afternoon and it’s already gone! It was so good, in fact, my fiance took one bite and asked if I wanted him to go get us some Zebra Domes (implying that we were really at Boma. He thinks he’s SOOO funny).
    I made a few substitutions just based on my preferences. I added carrots instead of red peppers, and I had some leftover corn I threw in. My only hold up was that the recipe called for 4 oz. oil, but I had no idea what to do with the oil?? I ended up not using any and my soup turned out fine.
    Thanks again for sharing this recipe– I can’t wait to try what’s next!

  12. Greg says:

    I haven’t gotten to this recipe yet. But I made the Flame Tree BBq sauce and Mom’s Meatloaf last night. I’ve made the meatloaf several times now and have started using ground turkey instead of beef and pork. Still delish. We’ll be havaing the BBQ sauce on chicken tonight. I’m also planning to cook up some asparagus to go with it. After that, I plan on making this soup (already have the ingredients) and the pot roast from 50′s PTC. (If you’re looking for future article ideas, the pot roast is a family favorite!)

    I would never have attempted the soup, BBQ sauce or even the asparagus if I had not found your articles. Thanks again!

  13. Abby – The oil is to be drizzles over it at the end and I did leave that out – AJ’s gonna fire me :) but thanks so much. You actually helped me because I really thought carrots would go well in here and I didn’t want to alter the recipe too much for the Blog. Now, I know! It has such a nice flavor, right? Did you get any real thickening?

    Greg – It is so good to hear when people are really making stuff and using the Disney Food Blog – I Love It! Thanks so much. You are going to go nuts for that sweet, zesty touch of spice BBQ sauce :)

  14. Abby says:

    John- SO glad I didn’t have to drizzle oil over the soup at the end! I probably wouldn’t have attempted the recipe. The flavor was outstanding. I don’t like things too spicy, so I removed all the seeds from the jalapeno. I didn’t get any real thickening, but the consistency was spot on. I just ate at Boma last month, and this recipe really held it’s own. YUM. Thanks again!

  15. Greg says:

    Just to let you know, I did go nuts for the BBQ. I brought in left-overs for lunch today. It’s such a kick brining Flame Tree BBQ to work. I feel like an Orlando local.

    The big surprise was that my girls (1 and 5) went crazy over the asparagus. They have already demanded that I make more.

    I’ve got all the ingredients for this recipe waiting in the wings. It’s just a matter of finding the time to prepare it. Can’t wait!

  16. Greg says:

    Finally made this last night. Wow! A taste explosion!

    My wife didn’t care for it, but she doesn’t like anything with more flavor than mayo on white bread. I have always loved curry, so this was right up my alley. I’ve never been daring enough to try to prepare it myself. So, I’m thrilled to be able to add this to my repertoire!

    Thanks again. What are we making next?

  17. KimM says:

    I’ve been wanting to make this since you first posted it, but between traveling and sickness, today was my first opportunity. It is delicious! Thanks for the warning about the cayenne. I just put in a dash or two and it was just enough – I like spicy but not overly hot. This is my favorite thing on the menu at Boma and I’m thrilled to be able to recreate it at home. Love your blog!

  18. Greg and KimM,
    Thank you SOOOoooo much – I am so happy you made it and I have more stuff coming soon :)

  19. Athalia says:

    I did my externship at All Star Movies as culinary, so it goes without saying I’m a huge Disney food fan. I tried this vegetarian style and it taste awesome!….I had to look out my window to make sure there were no zebra walking by……My husband and I are vegetarian and we love Disney for all the great options they offer, but won’t it be awesome if there was a vegetarian version to this….I used firm tofu and just followed your recipe (or the one in the book). I will be cooking my way back to Disney World this year (for vacation this time, not to work), so going to try many vegetarian versions of the dishes you have posted :)

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