Last November, I took an amazing cooking class in Chiang Mai and learned a ton about making curries with all natural ingredients. So I wanted to challenge myself this week to make just that. This means no powders, premade mixtures, or cubes.
The key to any good Thai curry is a good paste. A basic curry paste always has shallots, peppers for that extra kick, ginger, lemongrass, garlic, and vegetable oil. The coloring then comes from other ingredients. The orange color of this paste comes from the fresh turmeric. Turmeric is a key ingredient in many different types of curries in Southeast Asia. All the countries in that region have at least 1 curry dish with turmeric in it. You can usually find fresh turmeric at your local grocery store, but if you can’t, you can also use ground turmeric. For this recipe, you won’t use all of the curry paste, so you can store the rest for later use. The curry paste can keep up to a week.
To round out this curry dish, I added some chicken thighs and broccoli. I like to use chicken thighs because they have so much flavor, and when you leave the meat on the bone, it keeps the moisture in the chicken. The broccoli was a way for me to sneak some veggies in there. Curry dishes are really versatile, so you can use a variety of different ingredients to make this dish your own. You can make it fully vegetarian by adding carrots, green beans, and tofu. Or you can make it pescatarian friendly by adding some fish. You can use almost any fish. The only thing to keep in mind for fish is that I would make sure the fish is not a delicate fish like halibut. Delicate fishes will tend to break down in curries.
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Thai Chicken Curry
- Curry Paste: Combine all ingredients up to vegetable oil in a blender or food processor. Blitz until the mixture is broken down evenly and set aside.
- Add a tablespoon of oil in a nonstick pan with 3 tablespoons of the curry paste.
- Add in the onion and cook for 2 minutes. The onions should look translucent before you add in the chicken.
- Place the chicken into the pan and cook for a minute on each side. Once the chicken is cooked on all sides, add in the bay leaves, coconut milk, chicken stock, and salt. Bring the curry to a boil.
- Add in the broccoli and simmer for 15 minutes. Pierce the broccoli with a fork to test that it is cooked through.
- Serve the curry on a bed of rice or with some bread.