Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Coconut Curry Chicken {2 Ways}

I just got back from a cooking class at the Good Food Store and all I have to say is Wow!
The theme of tonight's class was "Dumplings of the Far East" and it was taught by one of our local Asian restaurant owners/head chef of IZA. I think I might have to go buy a bamboo steaming basket now so I can make these dumplings all the time!

Within the next couple of weeks I will be making and posting about the Apple Potstickers with the Creme Anglaise sauce. You are going to love it! I was so tempted to lick the bowl and steal some of the extras that were hanging around after class...but then I might not be able to come back for future classes, and I definitely want to do more classes!

But this post isn't about dumplings, it's about Coconut Curry Chicken!

I've been exploring lately with different flavors and ethnic dishes that I'm usually intimidated by and I found 2 different recipes for Coconut Curry Chicken that you are going to love! One is more "American" and the other is more "Traditional."
Recipe 1: American Coconut Curry Chicken

Recipe 2: Traditional Coconut Curry Chicken

Both recipes are absolutely delicious and I enjoyed both of them very much. The "American" Coconut Curry is super easy, few ingredients, good for a busy work/school night and really hearty. I call it "American" because it is not what you expect from a Thai dish. You get the slight hint of flavor from the red curry paste and coconut milk but it's not quite what you would think a Thai dish would taste like. It's a dinner the whole family would enjoy, even the picky eaters!

The "Traditional" Coconut Curry is what you expect when you are making a Thai dish with lots of unique flavor, heat and spice. Warning! This dish is time consuming. This is something you would want to make on the weekends when you have the time because it took about 2 hours. The other recipe took a total of 30 minutes to make, but the traditional one is definitely worth the time!

So let's get started! Shall we???

Recipe 1: American Coconut Curry Chicken
(6 servings)
-1-1/2 tsp Red Curry Paste (divided)
-1/2 tsp Salt
-1/4 tsp Ground Black Pepper
-6 boneless Chicken Breast halves (2 lbs total)
-1 tbsp Olive Oil
-1/2 cup unsweetened Coconut Milk
-1 (10.75 oz) can of condensed Cream of Potato Soup
-2 cups of packaged Frozen Mixed Vegetables
-1/4 cup toasted Coconut (optional)

In a small bowl, combine 1/2 tsp of curry paste with the salt and pepper to make a seasoning mixture for the chicken breasts. Using your hands, rub the curry mixture onto both sides of your chicken breasts.

In a large pan, heat the Olive oil over medium heat. Once the olive oil is nice and hot, add your chicken breasts and cook for 4-6 minutes until the skin is brown. Remove chicken from the pan and keep warm. The chicken doesn't have to be cooked all the way through. It will get cooked thoroughly later. Trust me!

Get yourself another bowl and place the rest of the curry paste (1 tsp) in the bowl with 1 to 2 tbsp of coconut milk at first. Using a whisk, stir the mixture until the lumps are gone and then whisk in the remaining coconut milk. Remember....lumps are bad!!!

In the pan, combine the curry/coconut mixture with the condensed potato soup and vegetables.

Bring the mixture to a boil while stirring occasionally. Add the chicken breasts back to the pan. Cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until chicken is tender and cooked all the way through. Serve and sprinkle with toasted coconut on top if you like...it's totally optional!
Sorry about the lighting. I cook dinner at night (if there was any other time to cook dinner!?!?) and this was before Daylight Savings.

Alrighty then! Now it's time for....
Recipe 2: Traditional Coconut Curry Chicken
(6 servings)
-3 boneless skinless Chicken Breasts
-2 tbsp Olive Oil
-Salt and Pepper
-3 cloves of minced Garlic
-6 tbsp Red Curry Paste
-2 cups of Coconut Milk
-2 cups Hot Water
-2 tbsp + 2 tsp Soy Sauce
-1 tbsp + 1 tsp Lime Juice
*** Or 4 tbsp Fish Sauce (the soy sauce and lime juice is an easy substitute!)
-3 tbsp minced fresh Ginger
-2 tbsp of additional Olive Oil
-1/2 of a whole Red Onion-sliced
-1 whole Green Bell Pepper-sliced
-1 cup of diced Tomatoes (seeds removed)
-1 cup of Pineapple Chunks
-Lots of chopped fresh Basil
-Cooked Rice

Actually, before we start cooking this recipe...can we take a second and appreciate Daylight Savings and how great my pictures look from the daylight?
I highly suggest prepping ingredients before starting any recipe!

Plus having them in these glass bowls makes me feel like a Food Network Star.
Yes, I had my team prep the food beforehand because I'm a Food Network Chef!
(I wish)

Seriously...my prep team is awesome!

Can you tell why this dish took 2 hours to make? I was taking pictures like crazy!
Okay. Okay.
This is the last one.

Let's get down to business!

Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Season the chicken breast with salt and pepper and brown the chicken breasts for 4 minutes until brown and not cooked all the way through. You have to trust me again!
Does something look awkward with my chicken breasts?!?!?!

They are both freakishly uneven sizes of chicken breast!
No wonder the package had a $2 Managers Special Coupon on it at the grocery store!

Remove the awkward chicken breasts from the pan and cut into the bit sized pieces. Set aside. Reduce heat to medium low. Add the minced garlic to the pan and add the red curry paste to the pan and stir. Cook the paste for a minute and then add in the coconut milk, hot water, fish sauce (or soy sauce/lime juice), and minced ginger. Stir and allow to cook over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes.
Oh no! I'm slowly losing sunlight!
The pictures aren't going to be as pretty!!!

In a dutch oven, heat oil over medium high heat. Add sliced onions and bell pepper and cook for several minutes. Make sure the pan is hot, then add the chicken breasts and stir. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes.

Add pineapple and diced tomatoes. Stir and cook for 2 minutes.

Pour curry sauce into the pot and stir to combine. Allow the mixture to bubble and simmer for 10 minutes. This would be a good time to start cooking your rice! Remove the dutch oven from heat and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes so that it can thicken up.

Right before serving, add in a ton of chopped basil!
The more the better!

Serve the Coconut Curry Chicken over the rice...
The sunlight is completely gone and now my pictures are dark.

And then spoon the sauce on top.

Enjoy and dig in!

Print Recipe for Traditional Coconut Curry Chicken Here!

So which of these Cocount Curry Chickens are you going to make?!?!?

*Recipes adapted from Pioneer Woman's "Red Thai Duck Curry" and Anyone Can Cook's "Coconut Curry Chicken"


  1. Mmm, I'm loving the traditional curry chicken. This sounds extremely good.

  2. Oooo I might have to just make both and do a comparison! Yum-town!

  3. Hahaha - I was getting revved up for dumplings and then you started talking about curry...lol.
    Seriously though - you did a great job!! And those cooking classes are sounding like so much fun!

  4. I love the combo of red curry paste and coconut milk!


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