Today, I made one of my absolute favorite dishes to eat and to make. It’s a little creamy, a little spicy, a little sweet, and a lot of delicious. Red Chicken Curry is slowly creeping its way up my list of favorite dishes to make. The best part? It only takes 40 minutes to make, and 25 of those are simmering. The BEST best part? Everyone thinks I’m a culinary goddess when in reality, it’s silly how simple this is to make.
Now, let me get this out of the way early: I do not make my own curry paste. I probably should because it’s stupid easy – you just need the right ingredients. My primary issue is I haven’t yet found a great Asian food market around where I live. If you’re interested in making your own paste, I recommend Epicurious’ recipe.
The other important thing to discuss is curries themselves.
“Curry” in its origins was simply a word used to describe a sauce or a stew served over rice. It was Westernized, as so many things were, and associated specifically with Indian curry, prepared using a garam masala dry spice mix. If you’ve ever had German Curry Wurst or British Curry, that’s the flavor profile that was quickly associated with the word “curry”.
Thai curry, which is what I’ve made here, is typically made with fresh ingredients, combined either with a pestle and mortar or a food processor into a paste. They are also cooked for a shorter period and tend to present the spice up front, as opposed to the lingering spiciness you experience when you eat Indian cuisine.
If you want to learn more, I highly recommend the episode of Good Eats “The Curious Case of Curry” where Alton Brown goes through the history and makes what looks to be an absolutely delicious curry.
Now down to the good stuff. As I mentioned before, this recipe is quite easy to make and absolutely delicious. I’ve added in a few modifications that I like, but highly recommend you experiment with your curries. There are so many things you can do to pump up the flavor and bring out some of that deliciousness of the fresh ingredients.
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1/2 yellow onion, sliced thinly
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1/3 cup red curry paste (Homemade or store bought)
- 10 baby golden yukon potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 14-ounce can coconut cream (it's like coconut milk, but even more luscious)
- 1/2 to 1 cup water
- 2 cloves garlic, grated
- 1/2 tsp. ginger, grated
- 1 teaspoons fish sauce (optional)
- 1 tablespoons brown sugar (optional)
- cilantro and rice for serving
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium low heat. Add the onions and sauté for a few minutes until the onions are fragrant and softened.
- Add the chicken and curry paste; sauté for 3-5 minutes. Add the potatoes and stir to coat with the curry paste.
- Add the coconut cream, garlic, ginger and 1/2 cup water to the pot - simmer for 20-30 minutes or until the chicken and potatoes are fully cooked, adding more water depending on the consistency you want for the sauce
- Stir in the fish sauce and brown sugar to really take it up a notch.
- Serve over rice.
- To add additional spice, chop up a small red chili. If you're still not getting enough spice, try switching brands of curry paste or make your own!
- For a sweet and sour twist, add in the juice of one lime.