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red curry chicken with green beans and mushrooms

Answering a much-heard request for “something different to do with chicken.” There are lots of Red Curry Chicken recipes out there, but this one is easy as sin, not really authentic, accessible, adaptable, and can be on the table in 30 minutes or less. Switch out the vegetables for the ones you have on hand, remembering to use those that can be cooked in the 10-minute time frame or par-boiling (or microwave briefly in water) them ahead as needed. Example: carrots won’t get done if they’re in big chunks unless you par-boil them, but if you slice them thinly, they’ll probably be tender in 10 minutes. Cooked vegetables from another meal can just be added for the last few minutes of cooking. If you’re making regular white rice, start that first. Brown rice will need a 45-minute head start, but the bags of microwaved brown rice are done in only 90 seconds! I prefer chicken thighs, as always, but use breasts if that’s your druthers, being careful to not overcook them. 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cups green beans-cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 1 medium red onion-sliced thinly
  • 1 yellow or red bell pepper-cored and sliced thinly
  • 8 ounces button or other mushrooms-cut in half or in quarters if large
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • Bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 13.5 ounce can lite coconut milk
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs-cut into ½-inch strips (cut breasts into 2-inch chunks as they’ll cook more quickly)
  • Handful fresh basil or Thai sweet basil leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon each kosher salt and fresh ground pepper or to taste
  • 3 teaspoons Sriracha sauce or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce (I like Red Boat.)
  • 2 limes: 1: zest and juice it for the sauce; 2: cut into fourths and set aside for serving
  • Finely chopped peanuts and chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
  • Cooked rice for serving

Instructions

  • Bring 1 ½ - 2 quarts of well-salted and peppered water to boil in a 3 or 4-quart sauce pan. Add green beans and let cook 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  • Heat oil in a large, deep skillet or sauté pan over medium heat and stir in curry paste. Turn off heat and add the beans, onion, peppers, mushrooms, garlic, ginger, bay leaf, brown sugar, coconut milk and water. Stir.
  • Heat the pan once more over medium flame, add chicken, basil, salt, pepper, and Sriracha sauce and bring to a low simmer. Cover and cook 10 minutes or until everything is tender and done, lowering flame if the curry begins to boil. Stir in lime zest, lime juice, and fish sauce. Taste and adjust seasonings, including Sriracha sauce.
  • Serve hot over rice garnished with cilantro, chopped peanuts, and reserved lime wedges. Whoever gets the bay leaf does the dishes.

Notes

I looked at several recipes before working out my own method and ingredients, but if you’re interested in the real deal, check out PHANAENG CURRY with CHICKEN AND KABOCHA SQUASH from Simple Thai Food by Leela Punyaratabandhu or hop over to her website for more adventures: shesimmers.com. (I don’t know if she’s still writing there, but it’s a fun Thai food blog and authentic!)
Copyright Alyce Morgan, 2020.  All rights reserved