Skip the takeout. You can make it even better yourself.
For whatever reason, it never occurred to me to make my own Thai coconut curry with chicken. I think because I like it so much. That sounds strange, but I assumed that because it was so good, it must be some complicated, intimidating, multiple-obscure-ingredient thing to make — and even then, homemade would not taste as good.
I was wrong. Making my own bowl of Thai chicken curry, rich with layers of bright flavor from ginger, coconut, chicken, and curry, requires only a few ingredients, and even less time.
A big thanks goes to Jenn Segal of Once Upon a Chef for recipe inspiration. This is adapted from two of her recipes: Thai Red Chicken Curry and Thai Chicken Soup with Rice Noodles. I couldn’t decide which sounded better, so I did a mash up. The result was absolutely delicious.
You may also like: Tropical Coconut Rice With Fresh Ginger and The Best Homemade Chicken Soup
Notes about the recipe for Thai Coconut Curry Chicken:
- Do not skip the fish sauce. Do not substitute it with salt. Fish sauce is an essential flavor in this, with an umami, salty funk that really lends the right flavor to the final dish. I prefer Red Boat brand, available most everywhere.
- The addition of one cup of chicken broth makes it slightly more liquid than other Thai curries, almost like a thicker soup. If you’d prefer a saucier version that can be served on a plate with rice — or do not have chicken broth on hand — just eliminate it.
- You can be flexible with the vegetables. I used a sliced bell pepper, but lots of vegetables could work here, like carrots, green beans, even cauliflower or broccoli.
- If you need to cook chicken for this in order to shred them, just throw a pound of chicken breasts on a sheet pan, sprinkle with some olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 to 25 minutes, until they are not pink the center. To shred the chicken, pull pieces of the meat off with the grain, using a fork or your fingers.
Welcome to your new favorite 30-minute dinner.
Did you make the recipe? What’s your go-to take out meal? Share in the comments.
Thai Red Coconut Chicken Curry With Vegetables
For the Curry
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, such as canola
- 1/2 cup thinly-sliced shallots, from 1 or 2 large shallots
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger, from a 1-inch knob (peeled)
- 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste (I used Thai Kitchen brand)
- 1 cup no-sodium chicken stock
- 1 can (13.5 oz.) coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon packed brown sugar, dark or light
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, from one lime
- 1/2 teaspoon powdered turmeric
- 1 bell pepper, sliced thin
- 2 cups shredded cooked chicken, from a rotisserie chicken or 1 pound of chicken breasts
- 4 cups cooked rice, white or brown
- 1 large handful fresh cilantro, leaves and tender stems, roughly chopped
- 3 scallions, green and light green parts, sliced thin on an angle
- fresh lime wedges from 1 or 2 limes
- Heat the oil in a medium soup pot over medium-low heat. Add the shallots and bell pepper slices and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the ginger and curry paste and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 more minute. TIP: If you are making rice, get that started before anything else.
- Add the chicken broth (if using), coconut milk, fish sauce, brown sugar, lime juice, and turmeric. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.TIP: Shake your coconut milk before opening. It tends to separate. At the same time, don't worry if it comes out in separated chunks. It will all melt together as the curry heats.
- Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning. Divide the rice and chicken into serving bowls. Ladle the broth over top. Generously top with the chopped cilantro and scallions. Serve with fresh lime wedges.