Thai Green Curry Chicken
Green Curry Paste Ingredients:
- 4 small green Thai chilies, OR substitute 1 to 2 jalapeno peppers
- ¼ cup shallot OR purple onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 thumb-size piece galangal OR ginger, grated
- 1 stalk fresh minced lemongrass OR 3 Tbsp. frozen or bottled prepared lemongrass
- ½ tsp. ground coriander
- ½ tsp. ground cumin
- ¾ to 1 tsp. shrimp paste
- 1 (loose) cup fresh coriander/cilantro leaves and stems, chopped
- ½ tsp. ground white pepper (can be purchased at some supermarkets, OR at Asian food stores)
- 3 Tbsp. fish sauce
- 1 tsp. brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp. lime juice
- 1 to 1.5 lbs. (about 0.7 kg) boneless chicken thigh or breast, cut into chunks
- 1 can coconut milk
- 4 kaffir lime leaves (can be purchased frozen at most Asian food stores), OR substitute 1 tsp. grated lime zest
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into chunks
- 1 zucchini, sliced lengthwise several times, then cut into chunks
- Generous handful fresh basil
- 2 Tbsp. coconut oil or other vegetable oil
- Place all the “green curry paste” ingredients together in a food processor, and process to a paste. If necessary, add a few Tbsp. of the coconut milk to help blend ingredients. Set aside.
- Prepare the lime leaves by tearing the leaf away from either side of the stem. Discard the central stem. Then, using scissors, cut leaves into thin strips. Set aside.
- Warm a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the oil and swirl around, then add the green curry paste.
- Stir-fry briefly to release the fragrance (30 seconds to 1 minute), then add ¾ of the coconut milk, reserving 2-3 Tbsp. per serving portion for later.
- Add the chicken, stirring to incorporate. When the curry sauce comes to a boil, reduce heat to medium or medium-low, until you get a nice simmer.
- Cover and allow to simmer 3-5 more minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Stir occasionally.
- Add the red bell pepper and zucchini, plus the strips of lime leaf (or lime zest), stirring well to incorporate. Simmer another 2-3 minutes, or until vegetables are softened but still firm and colorful.
- Do a taste-test for salt, adding 1-2 Tbsp. fish sauce if not salty enough. If you’d prefer a sweeter curry, add a little more sugar. If too salty, add a squeeze of lime or lemon juice. If too spicy, add more coconut milk. Note that this curry should be a balance of salty, spicy, sweet and sour, plus bitter (the bitter is found in the fresh basil garnish).
- Serve this curry in bowls with Thai jasmine rice on the side, allowing guests to add their own. Top each portion with fresh basil, then drizzle over 2-3 Tbsp. coconut milk.