I admit, I probably could have taken a better photo of our Thai Chicken Curry. The recipe itself was truly stellar….we mmm’d and exclaimed during the entire meal, exalting the symphony of flavors and textures. The next morning I dutifully wrote down the ingredients while they were fresh in my memory, then viewed the memory card from the camera to some disappointment. The broccoli and peppers are identifiable, the rest a jumble….grr! Well, that’s the breaks!
This recipe has a fair number of ingredients and steps, but it is so worth the effort! It has just the right amount of spice to wake your mouth up – and you want your taste buds awake for the subtle sweetness of the coconut milk, peppers, onions, and basil, and the sneaky tartness of lime mingled with curry. The broccoli and cashews add some crunch, and the crispy chicken skin added something undefinable, but essential, to the dish. Try it and let me know what you think!
- 6-8 chicken thighs (skin-on, bone-in)
- 1 onion, cut into thin slices
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into thin slices
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 cups of broccoli florets
- ~1/2 cup raw cashews
- grapeseed oil
- 1 can unsweetened coconut milk (shake well before opening)
- ~2 1/2 t Thai red curry paste
- ~1 1/2 t sweet curry powder
- 1/4 t ground ginger
- 1 1/2 T fish sauce
- 1 T honey or coconut palm sugar
- red pepper flakes (optional, for additional heat)
- kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
- ~1/3 cup basil leaves, thinly sliced
- 1 lime, quartered
[I recommend these curry blends from The Spice House…linky.]
Preheat oven to 400F. Place chicken thighs in an oiled baking dish. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook the chicken thighs for 20-30 minutes. Remove from oven and drain off the accumulated liquid.
In the meantime, heat about 1 T grapeseed oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Stir fry until tender; place cooked vegetables aside in a bowl.
Reheat the wok with another tablespoon of grapeseed oil; add broccoli and cashews. Stir fry until broccoli is tender but still has some life to it (crispy-tender) and the cashews are lightly browned in places. Season with a little salt and pepper, and set aside in another bowl.
Put about 1/3 of the coconut milk into the wok; add the curry paste, curry powder and ground ginger. Heat over medium heat, whisking well to combine. Add the rest of the coconut milk, fish oil, honey, and red pepper flakes (if desired). Heat to a boil, then add onion/pepper mixture back to the wok. Simmer for a few minutes; adjust seasoning if needed.
Pour the coconut milk mixture (with onions and peppers) over the chicken thighs in the baking dish, leaving the tops of the thighs exposed for better browning. Place baking dish back in oven; reduce temperature to 375F. Bake for about 20-30 minutes longer, until thighs are browned and a little crispy on top, and the liquid has somewhat reduced and thickened. (It will thicken a little more as it cools down.)
Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Scatter chopped basil over the top, and squeeze lime juice over it all. Serve along with the broccoli and cashews in a big bowl so you can have plenty of sauce!
A truly astounding meal, what a mixture of tastes, from the curry to the chicken and the cashews…marvelous!
So, since dinner was an exotic mixture of tastes and cultures, so is the soundtrack! First, George Harrison and Ravi Shankar were friends that created beautiful music together, and this box set Collaborations gathers it in one place with a nice book and dvd. Lovingly created by George’s widow Olivia, this is Indian music for the masses.
Master guitarist John McLaughlin has explored many avenues in his storied career, from Miles Davis to the Mahavishnu Orchestra and beyond. One of the most interesting and productive ventures was Shakti, which paired the British guitarist with Indian musicians, and what they created wasn’t quite jazz, and not quite Indian, but altogether extraordinary. Decades past its release it still sounds vibrant, fresh and new.
Much like this incredible meal!