After enjoying the balmy coastal weather of Charleston for Turkey Week, we came home to temperatures in the single digits. I’m talking TWO DEGREES one night. Brrrrrr.
I also returned with a little souvenir: a nasty head cold and cough, probably brought on by too much fun (and too little rest) with friends in family. If there was a time for warming comfort food, it was now! I settled on a cozy batch of green curry with chicken and lots of veggies. The recipe came together easily, which was necessary with my sick mama energy level.
The rice took the longest to make, so I started there. I simmered a cup of basmati rice in a cup of chicken broth with a smidge of butter and a pinch of salt for 15 minutes or so. I turned off the heat and set it aside until I was ready to serve.
In the meantime, I chopped two chicken breasts into bite-sized chunks and browned them in an olive oil/butter combo. While the chicken cooked, I chopped up my veggies: red bell pepper, a yellow squash, purple onion, and shiitake mushrooms. I also pulled some peas and corn from the freezer. I love colorful meals!
When the chicken was done, I removed it from the skillet. I added a swirl of olive oil right into the same pan and sautéed the onions, scraping the browned bits the chicken left behind (more flavor!). After a couple of minutes, I added the rest of the veggies and let them start to get tender.
The key flavoring for this recipe is the green curry paste, which you can find in the Asian food section in your supermarket. It’s quite mild with hardly any spice, which normally I would attempt to remedy, but Baby Howe isn’t always happy with me after I eat spicy food these days! After a few heaping spoonfuls of curry paste, I added a couple squirts of fish sauce, a can of coconut milk, and some chicken broth. After a taste, I added a bit more curry paste and a handful of crushed red pepper… I just can’t eat curry without a little heat! (Sorry, baby!)
The last additions to the skillet were the peas and corn, along with the chicken I’d set aside and some fresh cilantro and basil. I think fresh herbs make a huge difference in any dish, particularly in winter months. I let the whole delicious mess simmer for a bit to thicken up the sauce while I chopped a few peanuts for topping. I think this curry came together in under 30 minutes. I love that. Let’s eat!
A couple spoonfuls of rice, a couple spoonfuls of curry, a sprinkling of cilantro and peanut, a squeeze of lime. Voila! Don’t skip the lime- it adds an acidity that the curry needs and brightens all of the flavors. John and I both cleared our plates and have plenty of leftovers for the week ahead. Bonus!
Because the dish came together so quickly, the veggies retained a little bit of their crunch. Despite the crushed red pepper I added, the spiciness level is still low. If you like it HOT, add a chopped Serrano or Thai chili. I think this curry would be yummy using shrimp instead of chicken. You could also easily make this a vegetarian meal by swapping veggie stock for the chicken broth and omitting any meat. Any veggies you have on hand would be scrumptious- the more, the better! I love the extra crunch from the peanuts and the creamy curry broth was just what my sore throat needed.
Delicious, simple, comforting, quick….all components of my favorite weeknight winter meals. One doesn’t have to be under the weather to gleefully dive into a bowl of curry. It also doesn’t have to be frigid outside to enjoy a meal like this. Whenever you make it, it will warm your soul. YUM.
Green Curry with Chicken
- 1 cup basmati rice
- 1 cup chicken broth
- Scant tablespoon butter
- Pinch of salt
- Olive oil
- 2 chicken breasts, chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1/3 red onion, chopped
- 2+ cups chopped mixed veggies (I used bell pepper, yellow squash, shiitake mushrooms)
- 3-4 tablespoons Thai green curry paste
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 can coconut milk
- ½ cup chicken broth
- Crushed red pepper to taste (optional)
- ½ cup frozen corn
- ½ cup frozen peas
- ¼ cup chopped basil
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
- Chopped peanuts for garnish
- Lime slices
In a small sauce pot, bring the chicken stock to a boil with the butter and salt. Add the rice and lower to a simmer. Cover the pot and simmer for 15-17 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and set aside with the cover on.
Heat the olive oil in a deep skillet. Add the chicken and brown. Remove and set aside. Add another swirl or two of olive oil and add the onion. Sauté for a few minutes and add the mixed veggies. Sauté for 5 minutes or so until they begin to get tender.
Add the curry paste, fish sauce, coconut milk, and chicken broth. Bring to a simmer. If desired, add more curry paste to taste and crushed red pepper if you like heat. Return the chicken to the skillet along with the peas, corn, and herbs. Stir to combine and simmer for 5-10 minutes until the peas and corn are warmed through and the sauce thickens slightly. Serve the curry over the rice and top with more cilantro, chopped peanuts, and slices of lime. Don’t forget the lime! Cheers to cozy meals on chilly nights. YUM.
Hungry for more? Check out the collection of recipes on the FOOD BLISS page.
The New 52: A recipe for each week of 2015 (almost).