It’s been a great week weather-wise, reaching upwards of 70 degrees here in Queens. To welcome in the springtime, I wanted to make a dinner that was flavorful and full of fresh, barely cooked veggies that still had some crunch to them.
Red curry is my favorite go-to when we order Thai food. Just the right amount of spice, lots of veggies and yummy chicken served with the most delicious sauce. To save some time and effort, I used store bought curry paste, but it’s really easy to make your own. If you’re in the mood for something really spicy, use a green curry paste instead.
This is another one of those meals that’s really all about the sauce it’s cooked in. You could easily swap out the chicken for flank steak or shrimp and use whatever looks freshest in your produce section. Enjoy!
Red Thai Curry with Chicken
- 14 oz can coconut milk, shaken well
- 4 oz red curry paste
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2 tbsp brown sugar (preferably light)
- 1 cinnamon stick (or 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 1/4 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 medium eggplant, peeled, diced, and sweated (see below)
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced thin
- 8 oz button mushrooms, sliced in half
- 8 oz snap peas, trimmed
- 1″ piece fresh ginger, grated
You’ll need about 45 minutes prep time to prepare your eggplant so that it is not bitter. Peel the eggplant and cut it in half. Slice each half into 1/4″ pieces. Line a dish with paper towels and make a layer of eggplant. Cover each piece of eggplant with a good amount of salt, then cover with a paper towel. If you have more eggplant, create a second layer on top of the first with paper towel between each layer and let sit for 30-45 minutes. This “sweats” the eggplant and the bitterness is absorbed by the salt. After 45 minutes, put the eggplant in as strainer and rinse thoroughly. Once rinsed and dried, you can dice them and they’re ready to go.
In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, heat 3/4 cup of the coconut milk over medium heat. Allow it to reduce by half (about 3-5 minutes) and whisk in the curry paste. Continue whisking and add the remaining coconut milk, chicken stock, brown sugar, cinnamon, and bay leaves. Bring the mixture up to a simmer over medium high heat.
Add in the chicken and eggplant and continue to simmer for 3-4 minutes. Add in the remaining veggies and grate the ginger over the top. Cover and simmer another 5 minutes until the veggies are tender and the meat is cooked through. Remove the bay leaves and cinnamon stick, then serve over rice.