Showing posts with label chicken curry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chicken curry. Show all posts

Friday, May 6, 2016

Quick Thai Curry

It has to be spring somewhere, doesn’t it? Things were a lot greener in Maryland, where I spent the past weekend with some of my Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen buddies at the mystery conference Malice Domestic. We had a wonderful time, but to be fair, the weather was kind of lousy, with rain and mist and fog. Then I came home—to more rain and mist and fog. (At least all my flights were on time!)

So I wanted something quick and easy and a little spicy, and I decided on Thai curry. I’ll admit I first met this kind of recipe on the back of a curry jar (with a nudge from my daughter, as I recall), although since then I’ve found a couple of great Thai restaurants not far from my home.

This is a very flexible recipe: I’m giving you the basics, but you can add whatever you have on hand or that sounds appealing to you. We’ve learned to keep a lot of the basic ingredients around, which is easy because they’re usually either found in a can or in a form you need to refrigerate.

One note: in a supermarket, you will most likely find two kinds of paste curry: red and green. I’ll confess I don’t know the subtle differences between them, but you can swap between them. I happened to have the red kind, so that’s what I used.

Quick Thai Curry

Oops--ignore the tomatoes. I was thinking
of an Indian curry recipe, then changed
my mind

1 Tblsp vegetable oil
3/4 cup sliced shallots (you could substitute the same amount of onions, but shallots have a milder flavor)
2 tsp Thai curry paste (or more!)
1 14-oz can of unsweetened coconut milk
2 tsp fish sauce
1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into strips
Optional garnishes: fresh basil, fresh lime juice


Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots and the curry paste and stir until the shallots soften (about 2 minutes).

Add the coconut milk (note: when you open the can it may look kind of like spackle. Just mix it up to combine the solids and liquids) and the fish sauce. 

Add the chicken and stir the mixture until the chicken is just cooked through. (Another note: I’ve often made this recipe with left-over chicken, which works fine. But the uncooked chicken stayed nice and tender.)

Taste and add salt and pepper as needed, plus any spices that suit your fancy.

You can serve this on its own, or over rice or rice noodles. I felt the need for some green/vegetable addition, and we happened to have some fresh pea shoots on hand, so I sprinkled them over the curry. That worked just fine—they added an earthy note and a hint of crunch.

As I said, feel free to improvise. The result is warm and creamy and as spicy as you want to make it—perfect for a cold damp day!

Coming next month! I can't recall if I ever ate Thai food in Philadelphia, but there are Asian vendors at the Reading Terminal Market in Center City, if you're hunting for ingredients (I send my heroine Nell Pratt there whenever possible, including in this book).  They have everything there, including chocolate noses. Just in case you need a few.

You will find Dead End Street available for pre-order at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Chicken Curry

Do you have certain friends you call when you have a yen for a particular kind of food?  Two of my friends love Indian food and are always up for it.  Others not so much.  So when one of them was here for a visit, I eagerly pulled out the curry and tried a new recipe.  I have to admit that I switched it up quite a bit.  I used Pensey's Sweet Curry, so while it had a touch of heat, it wasn't as hot as the original recipe which called for chili peppers. It makes a big pot full, so I'd be inclined to double the peas the next time I make it.  This recipe can also be prepared a day ahead of time which is always handy.

We liked it well enough to eat it twice, once over Forbidden Rice and once over cooked potatoes.  We thought it delicious both ways.  You'll see in the photos that we ate pineapple and broccoli with it.  I thought the pineapple added a nice fresh note to the curry.

Forbidden Rice is one of my new favorites.  How could anyone resist a food that's forbidden?  It has to be special!  Forbidden Rice is an intense dark purple that looks black.  Apparently, it was once reserved for Chinese Emperors.  Also called longevity rice, it's loaded with antioxidants.  So far it has been popular with everyone -- even my picky eaters!  It doesn't taste very different from white rice and is prepared the same way.  I buy it at my health food store.

Chicken Curry

1 chicken, cut up, bone in (I removed the skin)
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons curry
1 teapoon garam masala
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 onions, minced
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 cup water
1 10-ounce package frozen peas
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 tablespoons butter

Salt and pepper the chicken. In a large Dutch oven, heat the olive oil and brown half the chicken pieces.  Save the browned chicken on a platter and brown the other half of the chicken pieces.  Remove when browned.

Add or pour off oil (whichever is necessary) so you have about two tablespoons left in the pan.  (Eyeball it!)  Add curry, garam masala, and ginger and cook over medium until fragrant, then immediately add the onions.  When they begin to soften, add the garlic, water, tomatoes, and a dash of salt.

(Note: you'll get some crusty bits off the bottom, that's okay!)

Return the chicken to the pot, cover and simmer one hour, or until the chicken is cooked through.

Remove the chicken and defat the liquid in a fat separator.  (Or if you want to cook ahead, you could refrigerate everything at this point and remove the fat from the liquid by scooping it off the top on the following day.)

Add the yogurt, frozen peas, and butter and cook about two minutes.  Spoon over chicken to serve.