Red Curry Coconut Chicken

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As I was looking at my other “Thai” or “curry”recipes,  many of them boast how quickly they come together in the title, “30 Minute Pantry Friendly Panang Curry,” “30 Minute Pineapple Red Curry Chicken Stir Fry,” “20 Minute Thai Red Curry Beef  Tacos” – so apparently Thai food is quick and easy?   

YES IT IS!!!  Thanks to to the magical store bought Thai red curry paste that packs a huge flavor punch.  

The premade red curry paste is comprised of finely ground coriander, peppercorns, Kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, galangal, lime leaves, cilantro, shallot, garlic, and fresh chiles – all combined for you.  No wonder it adds tons of flavor with minimal effort.

The key to bringing the red curry paste alive and for its flavors to permeate the entire dish, is to saute it with plenty of onion, garlic and ginger.  

We also stir fry our chicken, bell peppers and zucchini directly in the simmering red curry paste to infuse it with the dynamic flavors all before we add the coconut milk.  Feel free to change up the vegetables to whatever suits your mood or make Thai Red Curry Chicken – cleaning-out-the-fridge-style with whatever you need to use up. It will be the best use of miscellaneous veggies Ever.
Showing how to make Thai Red Curry Chicken sauteing in a pan.

To further the complexity of flavors, we also add Thai sweet chili sauce, and the classic cast of Thai food characters: soy sauce, fish sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, dried basil and a bay leaf.  Its a somewhat long list of ingredients, but most of them you are just dumping into the sauce. You might notice we are not using Kaffir lime leaves which are responsible for the distinctive earthy lime-lemon flavor in many traditional Thai Red Curry recipes, but this exotic ingredient can be very difficult to find, and I want you to be able to make this Thai Red Curry Chicken recipe AT ALL TIMES.  

While there is no direct substitute for Kaffir lime leaves, it doesn’t mean other ingredients can’t be used to produce otherworldly flavors.  This Thai Red Curry Chicken achieves a wonderfully fresh citrus zing by playing up the fresh lime juice, bright lime zest and simmering the sauce with a bay leaf.  Done.
Close up of a Thai Red Curry Chicken in a black sauce pan.

Finally, my authentically blasphemous key to gorgeously, thick, silky red curry coconut sauce is to whisk our quality coconut milk (I like Chakoah)  with a little cornstarch.  

The end result is a rich, luscious red curry coconut sauce that is soooo creamy, so infused with flavor all cradling your tender chicken and crisp-tender vegetables. All in 30 minutes.  And your house will smell incredible.  This Thai Red Curry Chicken might be as good as it gets.
Thai Red Curry Chicken on a white plate with bread and herb garnish.
©Carlsbad Cravings by CarlsbadCravings.com
Close up of Thai Red Curry Chicken with rice and chop sticks.

 

Thai Red Curry Chicken
This 30 MINUTE Thai Red Curry Chicken with Vegetables is wonderfully coconut creamy, bursting with layers of flavor, incredibly easy and all made in one pot!  Definitely a new favorite at our house and better than any restaurant!
 Prep Time18 minutes
 Cook Time12 minutes
 Servings
 -6 servings
INGREDIENTS
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1 pound chicken breasts sliced into 1/4” slices then 2” pieces**
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced then chopped into 2” pieces
  • 1 orange bell pepper thinly sliced then chopped into 2” pieces
  • 1 small zucchini, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 13.5 oz. can quality coconut milk (I like Chaokoh)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon Asian/Thai Sweet Chili Sauce (like Mae Ploy)
  • 2 tablespoons less sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt more or less to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • sriracha to taste/Asian chili sauce (optional)
Garnish
  • lime zest to taste
  • fresh basil
  • fresh cilantro
  • fresh lime juice
This less than 30 MINUTE Thai Red Curry Chicken tastes straight out of a restaurant! Its wonderfully thick and creamy, bursting with flavor, so easy and all in one pot! Definitely a new fav at our house!
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Heat oil over medium high heat in large nonstick skillet. Add chicken, onion and red curry paste and cook just until chicken is no longer pink. Add bell peppers, zucchini, ginger and garlic and saute 1 minute.
  2. Add half of the coconut milk. Mix remaining coconut milk with 1 tablespoon cornstarch and add to skillet along with all remaining ingredients (expect Garnishes).
  3. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens and the vegetables reach desired crisp-tenderness. If you would like a thinner sauce, thin with water (I don’t do this). Discard bay leaf.
  4. Garnish with additional optional fresh basil, cilantro, lime zest, lime juice and Sriracha to taste. Serve with rice.
RECIPE NOTES
**Chicken is much easier to slice if partially frozen. It will thaw quickly once sliced. You can slice your chicken and red bell peppers in advance for even quicker meal prep.

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