With the brutal cold we've been experiencing lately, I am all about the soups and stews. This rich coconut milk-based Thai curry is perfect on a cold winter night, with a little bone broth added in for good measure. This is one of my favorite ways to use up chicken breasts when we buy a rotisserie chicken from the co-op, as the legs and dark meat are the parts we really want to eat and always have the breasts left over. If you don’t have rotisserie chicken, you can use any leftover chicken, or roast skin-on chicken breasts until fully cooked before preparing this recipe.
You can use any combination of vegetables you like here, but I have given some suggestions below in the recipe. If Thai basil is hard to find, you can use fresh cilantro as your fragrant green garnish instead. For brands of the packaged foods used, I suggest Native Forest or Natural Value coconut milks, as they have no additives, are organic, and come in BPA-free cans. We use Red Boat fish sauce, but Thai Kitchen is also a good choice. I use Thai Kitchen curry pastes, but you can use any brand you like…leave a comment if there is one I have to try!
The directions here for the rice involve soaking it in a slightly acidic water, made from adding liquid whey drained from yogurt. This increases the digestibility and nutritional value of the rice, by decreasing the content of phytic acid. If you forget this step, don’t sweat it, but it is totally worth it if you get a chance to soak the rice in the morning, then it will be ready to cook for dinner.
This is even great the next day to take in your lunch and make your co-workers jealous, or for a quick weeknight meal of leftovers.
Thai Red Curry with Chicken
1 Tbs coconut oil
1 medium onion
2 cloves garlic
2" ginger, grated
optional: 1/2" galangal root, grated
1 can full fat coconut milk
4 Tbs Thai red curry paste
1 1/2 cups chicken broth, homemade preferred
2 cooked and roughly-chopped chicken breasts –skin on preferred (I use the chicken breasts from the rotisserie chicken at our coop, but you could cook yours ahead of time if desired)
3-4 cups of various vegetables—I like a combination of potatoes, bell peppers, carrots, mushrooms, green beans, and broccoli
1/2-1 tsp fish sauce to taste
2 Tbs lime juice
2 Tbs coconut sugar or honey
Big handful of Thai basil or cilantro, roughly chopped
Sriracha and fish sauce
1 cup white or brown jasmine rice
2 cups water
pinch sea salt
1 Tbs whey, drained from plain yogurt, or yogurt
For the rice: The morning before you prepare the curry (if making for dinner), soak the rice in the water, along with the salt and whey. Let this sit 6-8 hours to remove phytic acid and increase the digestibility of the rice.
To cook, drain and rinse the soaked rice.
Combine with 2 cups of fresh water and a pinch of salt in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and cover. Let simmer, without stirring or removing lid, for 20-25 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit 5 more minutes, covered, then fluff with a fork. Alternately, you can prepare in a rice cooker according to manufacturer’s directions.
While the rice cooks, prepare the curry:
Heat coconut oil over medium heat in a pan or stock pot. Add the onion and saute 3-5 minutes until they begin to become translucent. Add the garlic and ginger (and galangal if using). Saute for 3-5 more minutes until they start to cook down.
Add the coconut milk, broth and curry paste. Bring to a boil.
Reduce to a simmer and add the prepared chicken and the vegetables. If using bell peppers or broccoli, wait to add until toward the end of cooking, after 8 or so minutes.
Simmer chicken and vegetables in the coconut milk base for 10-15 minutes, until the vegetables have softened and the coconut milk has thickened slightly.
Add the fish sauce, coconut sugar and lime juice and let cook 2-3 more minutes.
Serve with prepared rice, garnished with Thai basil or cilantro and scallions, with extra fish sauce, lime wedges, and Sriracha hot sauce on the side.
Brine & Broth
I am a gut health-focused nutritionist and online health coach based in Southwest Wisconsin. My recipes and philosophies center around traditional, nutrient-dense foods that support robust gut health.