Thursday, July 21, 2011

Green Chicken Curry with Zucchini

I'm still here!  I've made lots of tasty new dishes, but haven't had time to post until now.  I've been camped out on my couch reading the newest installment in my favorite book series, A Song of Ice and Fire.  A Dance with Dragons came out almost six years after the last book in the series; I've been waiting for a long time!  I'm finished reading it now, and can get back to writing about food. 

It's been a long time since I made a curry with coconut milk.  It's not the healthiest thing on earth, but it's soooo good.  This is a green curry with zucchini and chicken thigh meat from Quick & Easy Thai.  Normally, I use boneless skinless chicken breast, even when thigh meat is called for, but this time I decided to do what the recipe asked and use thigh meat.  I did remove the skin and cut off as much of the fat as I could, though.  The verdict: thigh meat is better!

I used to buy the small jar of Thai Kitchen green curry paste at Wegmans, but they stopped carrying it.  So I ended up going to the nearby Korean supermarket and buying the real deal.  My first lesson: the curry paste from the Korean market is significantly more spicy than the stuff I buy at Wegmans!  But, this curry still turned out really well.  It was spicy, but not overly so.  Usually, I make a side of rice to go with my curry, but it slipped my mind to put rice in the rice cooker until I was almost done.

This simple, quick curry is spicy, creamy, and filling.  I love zucchini so I enjoyed the flavor that it added.  The fresh basil adds a nice touch, but next time I'd consider adding some Vietnamese cilantro for a stronger, more lemony flavor. 

I took a few liberties with the sauce that don't involve measuring.  I wanted more sauce, so I added 1/8 cup each of coconut milk and chicken broth than what I listed under Ingredients.  In addition to stirring in some whole basil leaves, I julienned a few of them as well.
Green Chicken Curry with Zucchini
From Quick & Easy Thai
Serves 2

1 medium zucchini
3/4 cups unsweetened coconut milk
3/4 chicken broth (I use low sodium)
2 to 3 Tbsp curry paste.  Make sure you know how spicy it is!
1/2 lb boneless chicken thighs with fat trimmed off, or boneless skinless chicken breast
1 Tbsp fish sauce
1 Tbsp brown sugar (or palm sugar if you have it)
A good handful of basil leaves (or Vietnamese cilantro if you have it)
3 or 4 lime leaves (optional, I didn't use them)

1) Slice the zucchini in half lengthwise and then cut into 1 inch pieces.   Chop the chicken into 2 inch pieces.
2) In a pot large enough to hold all the ingredients (eventually), bring a little less than 1/2 cup of coconut milk to a boil.  Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until it becomes fragrant.  Stir in the curry paste.  Make sure it is well incorporated into the coconut milk.  Cook for 2 to 3 more minutes.  Add the chicken and cook for 2 more minutes.  Stir well to cover the chicken with coconut milk. 
3) Add the remaining coconut milk, zucchini, broth, fish sauce, and brown sugar.  Stir well and allow to simmer for 10 minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir in the basil or Vietnamese cilantro leaves. 
4) Serve with rice, or if you forgot like I did, serving it by itself works fine too. 

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