Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Red Curry-Coconut Chicken

“Curry” is simply a generic Western term applied to a variety of dishes popular in India and other southern and southeastern Asian cuisines. While an exact definition is hard to come by, dishes labeled as curries typically include a combination of very fragrant spices and herbs and often warm or hot chiles.

(Don’t confuse these dishes with the term “curry powder,” which, again, is simply a catch-all English term for a commercial mixture of spices that may or may not be of Indian origin.)

Some curries include rich sauces with coconut, yogurt, or meat stock bases, and some dishes are mild while others are fiery. Turmeric, cumin, cardamom, ginger, and coriander are common spices in curries. Some include fish, poultry, or meat and others are vegetarian.

So, again, defining a curry isn’t easy to do. Let’s just say it’s a rich, aromatic dish of bold flavors that usually tastes much more complex than it is. In other words, delicious.

Solids for the Sauce

  • 1 14-oz can coconut milk
  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat
  • 4 red Thai chiles, stemmed and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 medium shallot, chopped
  • 1/2-inch piece of peeled ginger, chopped
  • 1/4 cup canned crushed tomatoes plus 2 tbsp
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tsp chile powder
  • 2 tsp white sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp finely chopped lime zest
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • sea salt
  • 1 tbsp peanut oil
  • steamed white rice and broccoli for serving
Tip: My stovetop was completely covered with a huge skillet for the chicken and pans to cook the rice and warm the sauce. How to fix the broccoli? I cut it into long florets, tossed it with olive oil, salt, and pepper and spread the florets on a foil-lined toaster oven tray. Drizzled them with a little sesame oil and baked (or roasted) the broccoli at 400° F for about 12 minutes, turning once. It worked!

  • Reserve 1/3 cup of the coconut milk.
  • Place the chicken thighs in a large bowl. Pour the remaining coconut milk over them. Cover and refrigerate 4-6 hours.
  • Place the reserved 1/3 cup coconut milk, chiles, garlic, shallot, ginger, and next 8 ingredients (through coriander) in a food processor. Season with salt. Process until a thick, creamy sauce forms.
  • Transfer 1/2 cup to a small bowl. Transfer the remainder to another bowl and rewarm gently over very low heat before using.
Chicken Thighs in Coconut Milk
Ready to Process 
Red Curry-Coconut Sauce
  1. Heat a very large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and add the peanut oil, swirling to coat. Note: I used a 17-inch skillet, so it was large enough to hold all chicken thighs without crowding. With a smaller skillet, work in batches and keep the thighs warm in a low oven until all are cooked.
  2. Remove the chicken from the coconut milk, letting excess drip off. Pat dry as much as possible with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add the chicken to the pan, keeping separated. 
  4. Cook, undisturbed, 6 minutes. Turn the chicken over and cook until browned, 5-6  minutes. 
  5. Turn again and stir in the reserved 1/2 cup curry sauce. Cook, stirring the chicken to coat with sauce, 3 minutes.
Thighs Beginning to Cook 
After Turning 
Sauce Stirred In
Serve the chicken and remaining sauce with rice and broccoli.

Red Curry-Coconut Chicken

No comments:

Post a Comment