Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Peanut Red Curry Chicken

When we were on our honeymoon in New Zealand, we ate our weight in Thai and Indian food. You may be asking yourself why we would travel half way around the world to eat cuisine from another region. Good question and one I asked myself. The answer is that in most of the towns we visited, the Thai and Indian food restaurants were highly recommended. New Zealanders must love their Thai and Indian food. Who were Blake and I to disagree, as both happen to be two of our favorite regional cuisines. New Zealanders also love wine, vegemite (yes, they really do), savory hand pies, garlic bread, and ice cream. We agreed with them on most counts, expect for the vegemite. Vegemite, in my opinion, is still pretty gross. But Thai food, well Thai food is wonderful in so many ways.

I committed myself long ago to exploring and cooking all the Thai food recipes I could get my hands on. Some Thai dishes are more challenging to make than others. Perfect stir fried noodles are an art, a very delicious art. It's hard to attain the prefect chewy yet slightly crispy texture in the noodles but you can and even if you don't, odds are good the food will still taste wonderful. Curry on the other hand is usually simple. This peanut red curry chicken is particularly easy, as you essentially simmer everything together. Also, I think you will find this dish delightfully creamy, a little bit spicy, and generally soul warming.

Peanut Red Curry Chicken 
Adapted from Everyday Thai Cooking by Katie Chin, serves 4

2 cups coconut milk
1 medium carrot, sliced
2 tbs red curry paste (can be found in the Asian aisle of most grocery stores)
2 chicken breasts, cubed
1 large head of broccoli, chopped
1 hot red or green chili, diced (I used a serrano)
2 tbs fish sauce
1 tbs peanut butter
1 tsp brown sugar
1/2 cup basil leaves
2 cups cooked rice to serve over

In a large skillet over medium high heat, bring the coconut milk and carrots to a medium boil. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the curry paste and stir until combined. Add the chicken and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook chicken for 5 minutes.

Add the broccoli, diced chili pepper, fish sauce, peanut butter, sugar, and basil and simmer for 5 minutes. Make sure the chicken has cooked through. Serve over rice.

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