Friday, August 29, 2008

Chicken in Masaman Curry

I no longer have to go to the Thai restaurants down the street every couple of weeks or so. The place is good, but a little over priced and lacking in atmosphere. (Really, that has been my experience with many Thai restaurants.) Now, I simply satisfy my spicy craving by making a pot of curry at home.

I wish I could say that I've found a wonderful, authentic way to make my own curry. But that's not true. And let's be serious. If my method required grinding and toasting a lot of exotic spices, it would still be easier to go out.

Instead I found a brand of curry paste that I really like. It's made by a Thai company called Aroy-D. Right now I'm using the Masaman curry paste, which contains shallots, dried red chilies, garlic, lemon grass, salt, galangal, and coriander seeds. The company also sells red curry, green curry, and panang curry paste.

Here's my easy recipe for chicken in Masaman Curry. I serve it over rice. The whole thing is done in the 32 minutes that it takes to cook one cup of brown rice. If you're in a hurry, you can pull it together in the 17 minutes that a pot of white rice takes.

1/2 onion
1 red pepper
1 carrot
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons curry paste
2 chicken breasts
1 can coconut milk
1 medium-sized potato
1/2 cup bean sprouts
2 scallions or 1/2 cup cilantro*

Thinly slice onion from root to tip. Cut the red pepper into one-inch long slices. Julienne the carrot by making thin slices along the bias, and then thinly slice those pieces.

Use a pan that has at least two or three inch sides. Over a medium high flame cook the onions in olive oil. When the onions begin to turn translucent, add the red pepper and carrots. Sauté for another few minutes. Add curry paste and cook for a few minutes while mixing in the vegetables.

Thinly slice the chicken breasts and add to the pan. Immediately add the coconut milk, plus one can of water. Stir the coconut milk until all of the solids disappear. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.

Peel potato and slice into rounds. Add to the pot.

Simmer until the potatoes are cooked through, approximately 20 minutes. Slice scallions or chop cilantro. Just before serving, stir in the bean spouts. Serve over rice. Garnish with scallions or cilantro.

* Cilantro is more authentic then scallions. If you or someone you're cooking for doesn't like cilantro, use scallions to garnish instead.


C N Heidelberg said...

We made this for lunch today! It was great! Damon already wants to eat the leftovers tonight, haha.

Although the store had the Aloy-D brand for other things, they didn't have that brand of curry paste, so we got a different one instead, Cock. (tee hee)

Also it took me longer because I am a putz in the kitchen!

At first I was afraid I got the wrong size of coconut milk because they had 2 sizes at the store. Most brands were only in the bigger size so that's the size I got and it seemed like sooo much liquid! But that's what it looks like at the restaurant too, so I guess it's ok! I used my skillet because I didn't want to deal with the pasta pot, but I guess next time the pasta pot will be in order! It barely fit. (A lot of our good stuff, including what would have been the perfect pan for this, is sitting in storage in the US.)

Anyway, thanks!

Erin said...

I'm glad to hear that you liked the recipe. I love eating the leftovers of this dish as well. It gets spicier and more flavorful overnight.

I use a 400 ml can of coconut milk. (That's about 1 3/4 cups or 14 ounces. If you have a 12-ounce can, which I think is a more standard U.S. size, that's fine too.)

Also I often will only add a little more then 3/4 of a can of water.

The end result it rather soupy, but if it's too watery for your liking, here are a few options:
•Simmer for a little longer to allow more of the liquid to reduce
•Add another potato, which will release starch and help to thicken the broth