Thai Green Curry with Chicken
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This easy green curry is made with chicken, coconut milk, fresh herbs, and lime. You'll have a stunning dish to admire, smell, and taste!
Photography Credit:Elizabeth Stark
Few dishes are as satisfying as a freshly made green curry.
The curry paste itself, made here with fresh cilantro stems, lemongrass, shallot, chilies, and ginger, is a treat to inhale.
Made into an easy rich curry dish with chicken, coconut milk, fresh herbs, and lime, you’ll have a stunning dish to admire, smell, and taste.
Fresh curry paste requires home cooks to source a few obscure ingredients, but the prep is quite simple. The reward for this work lies in the flavor – fresh green curry has a vibrant flavor that a store-bought paste just can’t match.
Makrut (aka kaffir) lime leaves will likely be the trickiest ingredient to find. They lend a ton a of citrusy pop to the curry paste. They are available in many specialty stores mixed in with the fresh spices that are sold in clam shells. There’s really no substitution for this ingredient, so just leave them out if you have trouble finding them.
For ease, this recipe uses skinless, boneless chicken thighs. Even though they are without skin, I like to sear the chicken thighs at the start of cooking to render some of the fat and give the chicken some color and flavor.
Thai Green Curry with Chicken Recipe
You can substitute 2 heaping tablespoons of store-bought green curry paste for the homemade paste in this recipe.
You can also substitute regular sweet basil if Thai basil is hard to find.
For the green curry paste:
- 2 teaspoons cumin seed, lightly toasted
- 2 teaspoons coriander seed, lightly toasted
- 2 medium mild green chilies, seeded and chopped
- 1 medium shallot, chopped
- 3-inch piece ginger, peeled and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic
- Zest of 1 lime
- 4 fresh makrut (kaffir) lime leaves, torn
- 1 5-inch piece lemongrass, pale yellow portion only, chopped
- 1 bunch cilantro stems (reserve the leaves for the curry)
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce
For the chicken curry:
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 shallot, sliced thin
- 1 can whole coconut milk, shaken
- 1 medium bell pepper, cut into strips (or use a mix of colors as I did here)
- 1/2 pound green beans, ends trimmed
- 1/4 cup chopped Thai basil leaves, plus whole leaves for garnish
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
- 4 large lime wedges, to serve
- Cooked white or brown rice, to serve (optional)
1 Toast the spices for the curry paste: Set a small skillet over medium heat. Add the cumin and coriander seeds and toast, shaking the pan often until the spices have darkened slightly and are fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.
Set aside to cool, and then grind with a mortar and pestle or in a spice grinder.
2 Make the green curry paste: Pulse to combine the cumin, coriander seed, and remaining curry paste ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Scrape down sides, then process continuously until the mixture is smooth. Spoon into a container with a lid and refrigerate until needed.
This paste is best used right away, but will keep in the fridge for 3 days; it makes enough for two recipes and can also be frozen.
3 Sear the chicken: Salt the chicken on both sides, then slice across the grain into 1/2-inch thick strips. Set a large skillet over high heat. Add the coconut oil, and then chicken.
Sear until golden on all sides, about 5 minutes total. (It's fine if the chicken is not totally cooked through at this point.) Transfer the chicken to a plate.
4 Prepare the coconut curry: Lower the heat to medium high. Add shallot and cook for 1 minute. Stir in 2 heaping tablespoons of the green curry paste and cook 1 minute more.
Add 1/4 cup of the coconut milk, stirring well to scrape up any brown bits. Then add remaining coconut milk and bring mixture to a gentle boil.
5 Simmer the curry with chicken and veggies: Add chicken pieces, sliced peppers, and green beans. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook at a gentle simmer for 20 minutes.
At the end of cook time, stir in cilantro and basil.
6 Serve the curry: Serve over rice. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and a lime wedge.
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Thai Green Curry Chicken
Ever since I posted my easy red curry recipe (still one of my favorite things to make on a busy weeknight…when all I want to do is sit on the couch in my pajamas with a big bowl of something over rice), I’ve been itching to make a Thai green curry chicken recipe as well.
If red curry is the high school homecoming queen, then green curry is kind of like red curry’s shy best friend. Just as good (maybe better), but a little on the mellower side. I’ll stop anthropomorphizing food now.
I love this green curry chicken, because it’s one of those useful fridge-cleaning recipes. I’ll let you in on a secret. I decided to blog this recipe kind of last minute, and planned on going out to the grocery store to buy ingredients. But…lo and behold, I realized that I already had chicken thighs in the freezer and cans of green curry paste, bamboo shoots, and coconut milk in the pantry.
I dug through the fridge and found a couple of carrots, a lone crown of broccoli, and a couple of zucchini. I quickly realized that I didn’t have to go out and buy ingredients at all––I could cobble something together with what I already had. This green curry chicken recipe is forgiving like that. You can use whatever vegetables you have on hand, and it’ll taste amazing no matter what.
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- 1 can (13.66 ounces) Thai Kitchen® Gluten Free Unsweetened Coconut Milk
- 1/3 cup vegetable or chicken stock*
- 1/4 cup chopped basil leaves
- 2 to 3 tablespoons Thai Kitchen® Gluten Free Premium Fish Sauce
- 1 to 4 tablespoons Thai Kitchen® Gluten Free Green Curry Paste
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cups assorted cut-up vegetables, such as red bell pepper, zucchini, carrots and peas
- 3/4 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
- Cooked Jasmine Rice
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For the best result at home, follow the cooking tips below:
- You can make very good, authentic and delicious curries using store-bought curry paste.
- The secret is to balance the flavors the curry has to be spicy (from the curry paste), rich and creamy (from the coconut milk), savory (from the fish sauce) and sweet (from palm sugar or sugar).
- Sweet, sour, salty and spicy are the four pillars of Thai cuisine. Once you master the perfect balance, you can make just about any Thai food at home!
Indonesian-style Rendang Chicken Curry
Indonesian cuisine has always been influential in Thai cooking. One of the more popular Indonesians dishes in Thailand and throughout Asia is Rendang Chicken or Beef Curry. Rendang is considered a "dry" curry, which means the sauce is simmered down to a minimum. Because it is so distilled, the sauce sticks to the meat, making this dish one of the most flavorful ever tried. And its wide variety of spices makes it extremely healthy. If you like curry, you'll love Rendang - guaranteed!
Green Curry with Chicken - Gang Kiew Wan Gai แกงเขียวหวานไก่
I love Google Translations, both because it's servicable, but also because it can be simply hilarious . After seeing so many Thai green curry recipes on the net with ingredients or methods that seem to have gone through an equivalent of a translation machine, let me offer how we do it. More important, this is the most requested recipe by you, our readers.
Thai green curry with chicken was a classic take-me-to-the-temple curry. Patrons would bring green curry with chicken (chicken with bones, chicken blood and gizzard) and eggplants to offer to the monks at temples. My family was not a big fan on chicken blood and gizzard, so I'll leave those out.
Thai green curry is fiery hot with a hint of sweetness. The curry paste is made with fresh green Thai chili peppers. Some people even add additional whole fresh pepper to the curry before serving. I'll stick with mild green curry, so I made my own curry paste.
- 1 lb chicken
- 1 thinly sliced chili pepper
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1-2 tablespoons green curry paste
- 6-7 quartered eggplants
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 4-5 kaffir lime leaves
- 1/4 cup pea eggplant
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3 sprigs Thai basil
- 1 cup water
Tips and Techniques
- Some brands of green curry paste can be very spicy hot. Start with one tablespoon first before increasing the amount.
- Green curry should not be sweet like dessert but should have a hint of sweet.
- If you curry paste is old or not quite green, add a few ground fresh pepper leaves in. If fresh pepper leaves are not available, use mild leafy green instead. This will give you beautiful fresh green without the heat like chili pepper would.
Prepping: I choose ½ breast and 1 leg to get the balance of flavor and convenience. It&rsquos easier and sometimes preferred to serve chicken breast, however, it&rsquos the bones that give the curry the full flavor. Cut the breast meat into bite size. You can cut chicken leg into smaller pieces, but it is not necessary.
Quarter the eggplants. Wash and pick pea eggplants from stems. Wash and pick kaffir lime leaves by ripping the center stems from the leaves. In Thailand you'd use a slightly hot pepper called prig chee fah, but in the US, I substitute a sweet chili pepper (similar to a red bell pepper). Slice the chili thin, lengthwise. Wash and pick Thai basil.
Cooking: Into a pot over medium heat, pour half of the coconut milk and green curry paste. If your coconut milk separates and has cream on the top, use the cream. Mix the paste with coconut milk well. Keep stirring to prevent bottom from sticking and burning. You may need to lower the heat if it splatters too much. Keep stirring until you see greenish oil form. The coconut oil is pulling the color and fragrance out from the spices. This green oil will be floating beautifully in your curry, like in picture 5 (click it to make it bigger).
Add chicken into the curry mixture. Stir to coat the chicken for a couple minutes, until it is partially cooked . Add the eggplants, but hold off on the pea eggplants. Stir more. Add the rest of coconut milk and 1 cup of water. Let it simmer for 10 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked. Add the pea eggplants. Add the seasonings fish sauce and sugar. Taste for the balance flavors, salty with a hint of sweet. Add the slivers of red chili pepper and kaffir lime leaves. Let it boil one more time. When you are ready to serve, a dd the Thai basil. Stir to mix the basil in and immediately turn off the heat to keep the basil green. Quickly pour onto serving bowl.1 1 2 2 3 3 4 4 5 5 6 6 7 7 8 8 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Thai Green Curry Paste: There are plenty of recipes online if you want to make a homemade version of curry paste, but I wanted to go the easier quicker route and jazzed up a store-bought version. You want one that’s thick and paste-y, not a more liquid version.
Minced Garlic and Grated Ginger: I use a microplane zester to grate the ginger and get the most flavor out of it. These two ingredients are added to the curry paste while you fry it out to embellish the paste.
Fish Sauce and Sugar: The fish sauce is extremely pungent and might smell off putting, but it’s an essential ingredient to get that briney, umami flavor of the curry. Feel free to add more sugar and/or fish sauce then the recipe calls for once you taste the final curry, if you feel it needs more of a kick.
Coconut Milk and Chicken Broth: One of the liquid bases of the curry consists of chicken broth. You can use homemade, a store-bought can/carton, or do what I do which is dissolve 1/2 a bouillon cube in 1 cup of hot water. I’ve even been known to throw the hot water and bouillon cube separately into the saucepan without pre-dissolving to save even more time. What happens is Maggi cube ends up melting into the mixture as it cooks. The coconut milk gives it that creamy richness that’s probably what you love most about Thai curries.
Chicken or any of the alternatives discussed above
Vegetables: I will use whatever I have on hand. In this case, it was snow peas and red bell pepper which I loved the combination of. I have previously added cooked eggplant cubes, mushrooms, sliced carrots. It’s all good! Just add whatever you feel like, and don’t overcook them so they have a little bite.
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or coconut cream
- 1 cup green curry paste (homemade or storebought)
- 1 pound boneless chicken thighs, sliced 1 inch thick
- 1 (13.5-ounce) can coconut milk
- 1 cup cubed eggplant (½-inch cubes)
- ½ cup whole Thai basil leaves
- ¼ cup thinly sliced fresh long red Thai chiles
- 4 makrut lime leaves, torn 3 or 4 times to release their oils
- 3 tablespoons palm sugar, or to taste
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce, or to taste
- Steamed jasmine rice, rice noodles, or roti
- 2 tablespoons Thai green curry paste
- 1 (14 ounce) can light coconut milk, divided
- 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 cup halved Thai baby eggplant
- 1 cup Asian long beans, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup chopped baby bok choy
- 1 (8 ounce) can sliced bamboo shoots, drained
- 1 (8 ounce) can sliced water chestnuts, drained
- ½ cup peeled garlic cloves
- 2 Thai dragon chile peppers, chopped, or more to taste
- 10 leaves fresh basil, or more to taste
- 1 (15 ounce) package double crust ready-to-use pie crust, at room temperature
Place curry paste in a large saucepan and heat over medium-high heat. Break the paste apart using a wooden spoon and add about 1/4 of the coconut milk to the paste cook and whisk until heated through and smooth, 2 to 4 minutes.
Stir chicken into coconut milk mixture and simmer for about 3 minutes add the remaining coconut milk, fish sauce, brown sugar, and soy sauce and stir well. Turn heat to medium-low and simmer until chicken is no longer pink in the center and sauce is slightly thickened, about 30 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat and cool curry sauce slightly.
Mix eggplant, long beans, onion, bok choy, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, garlic cloves, Thai dragon chile peppers, and basil to curry sauce. Return saucepan to burner and bring to a boil reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes more.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Line a 2-quart, 8 1/2-inch baking dish with 1 pie crust.
Carefully transfer curry to the crust-lined baking dish until dish is filled to 1/2 inch from top. Moisten the exposed pie crust with water and lay the second pie crust over the filling, folding excess dough in a pleat-like formation. Press the 2 crusts together to form a seal. Cut a few slits into the top of the crust for ventilation.
Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Wrap the sealed edges of crust in aluminum foil and continue baking until top crust is golden, 30 to 45 minutes more. Cool pot pie slightly before serving.