Chicken Curry

Thai Curry

Well, I am a bit of a wimp when it comes to curry. Sorry, I am just not a five pint and vindaloo man. Firstly, because I can’t take the heat, except in the kitchen, and secondly because I like to the taste the curry flavours and the meat, fish or vegetables in the thing.  This can be a little on the warm side, but taking the seeds out of the chillies helps, and you can reduce their number too. I love this curry. The creamy coconut milk, infused with the basil and the background of coriander wafting up before you taste it always leaves me wanting more. A full vegetarian version is here. Serve with rice.

For the curry paste

  • 4 lemongrass stalks, tougher outer leaves discarded
  • 6 medium-hot green chillies, seeded and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 5cm/2in piece of galangal or ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chopped lime zest
  • 1 tbsp nam pla (Thai fish sauce)
  • ½ tsp ground black peppercorns

For the curry

  • 750g/1lb 10oz free-range chicken breasts or thighs, bones removed
  • 3 tbsp groundnut oil 200g/7oz chestnut mushrooms, quartered
  • 400ml/14fl oz tin coconut milk 400ml/14 fl oz homemade or ready-made chicken stock
  • 8 lime leaves
  • 1 tbsp nam pla (Thai fish sauce)
  • 1 tbsp bottled green peppercorns,
  • drained leaves from a large bunch (about 20g/0.7oz) basil, shredded
  • 15g/½oz fresh coriander (leaves and stalks,) roughly chopped

Preparation method

  1. For the curry paste: slice the lemongrass finely,  put it in a food processor with all the remaining curry paste ingredients and whiz it into a thick paste, making sure you push the it down from time to time with a spatula. Put into  a glass or china dish, cover it (otherwise it will taint everything in the fridge) and refrigerate.
  2. For the curry itself, cut the chicken into finger-thick strips. Heat the oil in a casserole dish, when it’s sizzling add the chicken strips and letting them colour on all sides. Don’t  crowd the pan or they will steam. Remove the cooked chicken from the casserole..
  3. Add the quartered mushrooms  and fry until golden-brown, add some more oil if you need to.
  4. Pour in the coconut milk and stock, then add the lime leaves, four heaped tablespoons of the curry paste, the fish sauce, peppercorns and half of the chopped herbs. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring from time to time.
  5.  Return the chicken to the casserole with a further tablespoon of the paste and simmer for five to six minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Stir in the last of the herbs and serve

About Cooking At Zero Degrees

This is a blog (it also works on an ipad and now has a Facebook page) about what we eat at home. Starters, mains, sauces, side dishes, cocktails and links to local shops. It’s all here. Food is fun, it should be fun to make and fun to eat. For some people making a meal is a chore. If it is then don’t do it; but please, it’s better to eat something, anything, that you make at home from scratch, because prepared, packaged supermarket dinners and food have about as much flavour as the plastic or cardboard package they come in. Food cultivation and husbandry is not just a moral argument. Eggs that don’t come from battery hens do taste better, cattle properly reared have more flavour - and just think about it: at its most simple, if they’re not being pumped full of chemicals then you’re not being pumped full of chemicals. How good is that? If you can buy local, use your neighbourhood shops, you will miss them when they are gone. Most of all, have fun making a meal of it! Oh, and why at zero degrees? Because that’s where we live – in Greenwich, London.
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One Response to Chicken Curry

  1. Mark says:

    Sounds very tasty! Can’t wait to try it.


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