Indian-style curry has yogurt, Thai-style curry has coconut milk or cream, and that inclusion of potatoes is a European modification. Curried dishes can be quite dry or saucy and the color of the stew varies depending on the kind of curry paste used — yellow, red or green.
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Thai Chicken Curry

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 4
Author Connie Veneracion

Ingredients

  • 1 whole whole chicken or chicken quarters, 1 to 1.5 kilograms
  • 2 to 3 stalks lemongrass
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves dried or fresh
  • 1 to 2 finger chilies
  • 2 to 3 sprigs Thai basil
  • 1 onion or 2 to 3 shallots
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 thumb-sized knob ginger
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons curry powder
  • 2 cups coconut cream
  • patis (fish sauce) to taste

Instructions

Prepare the herbs and spices

  • Finely slice two to three stalks of lemongrass.
  • Finely slice an onion (two to three shallots would be better).
  • Crush and roughly chop two to three cloves of garlic.
  • Peel and slice a thumb-sized piece of ginger.
    How to cook Thai chicken curry: Step 1
  • Strip the leaves of a couple of sprigs of Thai basil.
  • Separate the kaffir lime leaves.

Saute the spices

  • Heat the cooking oil in a thick-bottomed pot. A pot or pan with a thin bottom will likely cause scorching since you will be simmering the stew in a thick coconut cream.
    How to cook Thai chicken curry: Step 2
  • Saute the onion (or shallots), garlic, lemongrass and ginger until the onions start to turn translucent.
    How to cook Thai chicken curry: Step 3
  • Add the curry powder. Now, not later. Spices do have essential oils and you want those oils released for maximum flavor. Stir for about 30 seconds.

Brown the chicken

  • Add the chicken pieces. Stir to coat each chicken piece with the curry. Cook, stirring often, until the chicken is lightly browned.
    How to cook Thai chicken curry: Step 4

Simmer the chicken

  • Pour in the coconut cream.
  • Throw in the finger chilis, kaffir lime leaves and basil.
  • Season with patis (fish sauce).
    How to cook Thai chicken curry: Step 5
  • Stir, cover and simmer for 40 to 45 minutes. Check the liquid after 20 minutes or so. If the mixture appears too dry, add a little water, no more than a quarter of a cup. Too much water and you’ll have a soup instead of a stew.

The optional potatoes

  • If you want to add potatoes, add them after the first 20 minutes, bring to a gentle boil then continue simmering.
  • Before turning off the heat, taste and season with more patis (fish sauce) if necessary.

Serve the Thai chicken curry

  • You’re now ready to serve your chicken curry. Place a chicken (and potato, if using) on top of hot rice, smother with sauce and serve at once.
    Indian-style curry has yogurt, Thai-style curry has coconut milk or cream, and that inclusion of potatoes is a European modification. Curried dishes can be quite dry or saucy and the color of the stew varies depending on the kind of curry paste used — yellow, red or green.
  • Alternatively, serve the chicken (and potatoes) in individual bowls with some of the sauce.