Food!: Easy Thai Coconut Curry Chicken

My bf and I are going up to New York to visit my family (briefly), and then head off for some time in Montreal. My mom, who sees me post my dinners on Facebook occasionally, insisted I cook this meal for her while we’re there. (Yeah, I know. You hate those people who are always posting food photos, but how else are you gonna get ideas for dinner?) So when I was solidifying travel plans with my sister, she messaged me, “Teach me how to cook the Thai thing. Send us your recipe so we’ll have the ingredients available.”

So, I thought I might as well write it up, and throw in a few photos that hopefully make it look enticing enough (and simple enough) for you all to want to try.

If you like Thai food, you’ll recognize the flavors. It’s basically a spin off Massamam curry: chicken with potatoes, served in sauce of coconut milk and a red-chili curry paste. Of course, I inevitably end up mixing other things in for variety. So here’s the basic spin, and you can tweak it as you like.

Things you may need to make a special grocery store run for if you don’t normally cook Thai-type food for dinner:

Red curry paste
coconut milk
fish sauce (this stuff is potent. A little goes a long way, and I sometimes skip it. So feel free to omit it if you don’t intend to cook curry very often — or if you have seafood allergies!)

Other than that, take short-cuts when you don’t have the energy after a long day at work or if you don’t happen to keep fresh onions, peppers, and potatoes in your fridge. Sometimes it’s just easier to use the prepared frozen or canned vegetables.

Aside from that, it’s pretty simple.

What you need

• chicken tenders
• 1 cup rice or quinoa (or both). Rice is the usual base, but quinoa has more protein and fiber and works just as well.
• 2 medium potatoes, diced into 1/4 inch cubes (or 1 can of cubed potatos — so much easier)
• 1/2 medium sweet onion, and 1 red bell pepper, sliced into 1-2 inch strips  (or use a frozen mix)
Then the items mentioned earlier:
• 1 12oz can of coconut milk
• 2-3 Tbls red curry paste
• 1-2 tsp fish sauce (it adds depth to the flavor, but you can just skip it)
• 2-3 Tbls brown sugar

Do it

It’s pretty straight forward.

First, get your rice or quinoa cooking. That’ll probably take 15 minutes.

Next, in a skillet with a bit of oil, fry up your chicken tenders until browned on both sides. Remove from your skillet, and cut into bite-sized pieces.

Toss your onions and peppers into the hot skillet. Maybe add a bit more oil if you need to. Just enough to stir fry.

When the vegetables are cooked and browned on the edges, pour in your can of coconut milk. It’ll probably be separated, part water, part paste, so stir until it’s a unified sauce consistency. Spoon in your curry paste, fish sauce, and brown sugar, and stir. Finally, dump in your potatoes.

(At this point, you could stir in whatever other vegetables you might want. Sometimes I add in a chunky California blend of cauliflower, broccoli and carrots. Sometimes just a mix of peas and carrots or green beans. It’s all good!)

Cook on a low simmer until your potatoes are done to the firmness you like. And then slide your chicken into the sauce, and mix all together.

That’s it. Serve over a bed of rice or quinoa (I used a mixture of both this time, just to up the protein count), and top with some chopped cilantro (if your boyfriend doesn’t object). And enjoy!

See? It wasn’t that complicated, right? Any bachelor could do it.