Thai Red Curry Chicken Recipe
With all the great recipes on our hands to define our culture and life style, there are still some exotic dishes that urge us to visit the local restaurant. One such is Thai chicken curry. The appearance of the beautiful fall colors and the attraction of the rich aromas encourage you to try this dish even if you are hardly a lover of curry. Finding exotic ingredients to make this cold-weather comfort food would be difficult sometimes. But with minimal effort and available ingredients you can achieve the desired quality of richness. This recipe is flexible; allows modifications. Try it once. It might become once a week dish at your dining table.
1 pound boneless skinless chicken (breasts or thighs)
1 can coconut milk
1 medium red bell pepper (thinly sliced 2 inch pieces)
1 medium yellow bell pepper(thinly sliced 2 in pieces)
2 tablespoons curry paste
Salt to your taste
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 large onion (chopped)
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 garlic cloves (minced)
¼ cup water/chicken stock/vegetable stock
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
¼ cup lemon grass (sliced)
2 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh basil leaves (optional – Thai basil is preferred)
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro (optional)
Rinse the chicken under running water; pat it dry with a paper towel. Cut into 2 inch pieces or bite size pieces (go with your preference).
Season the chicken pieces with salt and ½ teaspoon pepper.
In a small bowl add 1 can of coconut milk, ½ cup water, 1 tablespoon brown sugar and 1 tablespoon fish sauce. Mix it well. Set aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium flame. Put seasoned chicken pieces in the hot oil; sauté chicken for 4 minutes or until the chicken is light golden brown. Transfer the chicken to a large plate and set aside.
Add finely chopped onions, red and yellow bell peppers and sliced lemon grass with remaining olive oil to the skillet.
Stir with a wooden spoon and scrap up any brown bits carefully; cook it about 3 minutes until peppers and onions completely softened. Add 2 tablespoons of curry paste, 1 teaspoon of grated ginger, 1 tablespoon of cayenne pepper, minced garlic and salt (bearing in mind that chicken has already seasoned & sauce has some in it too) to the vegetables; stir it continuously for 30 sec or until ginger/garlic becomes fragrant.
Return the chicken back to the skillet; stir it once. Now pour coconut milk mixture over the chicken; bring to a boil. Adjust the heat to simmer. While stirring occasionally cook it for 15-20 minutes until sauce thickens and chicken cooks through. Remove from the heat when it’s done. Transfer into a serving bowl. Garnish it with thinly sliced fresh basil leaves and cilantro. And sprinkle 1 teaspoon of lemon juice on it. Though it is optional lemon juice really helps to brighten up the flavor. Or you can use lime zest. Serve it hot over flavored rice with roasted peanuts and toasted coconut.
Notes & Tips:
You may use leftover chicken or turkey. Skip frying if you are using leftovers.
For vegetarian version skip chicken and add lots of your favorite vegetables to the curry.
If you want thick sauce use coconut cream instead of milk. Or add a piece of butternut pumpkin to the vegetables. Another way is adding 1 tablespoon of cornstarch to the coconut milk mixture.
Milk cream can be used in the place of coconut milk.
Olive oil can be replaced with coconut oil.
Add as many vegetables as you like to the curry. But make sure to adjust cooking time. Some vegetables may take longer to cook.
Basil really makes this dish. Don’t skip it unless you are sensitive to it.
Adjust spices according to your requirements.