Sunday, February 08, 2009

Chicken Red Curry



How much do I love red curry? <----------------------------------------------------------> This much. Anyone who knows me knows that I do not eat leftovers. Curry is an exception. Most restaurants take shortcuts when they make curry. They have one big pot and they add the type of meat and vegetables that is ordered. I've perfected this over the years because it was difficult to find good curry. I have to say that mine is the best I've ever had.

I use different ingredients depending on my mood. Ideally I like using a whole chicken and deboning it myself. I get the best flavor when I use a whole chicken. Lately I've been a little too lazy and I use a combination of boneless chicken breast and either thighs or drumsticks. I debone the chicken drums or thighs and use the bones in the broth. I usually enhance the chicken flavor with a carton of chicken broth. Pacific Brand chicken broth is a staple at my house. I purchase the mini-case from Costco.

Although a lot of the ingredients change, some do remain the same. I always make it with potatoes and bamboo. My favorite potatoes are yukon gold or rose gold potatoes. Yukon golds are easier to find than rose golds. I also love using white sweet potatoes. They are firmer than the orange flesh variety.

2 Tablespoons canola oil
3 cloves garlic; crushed
5 Tablespoons Mae Ploy brand red curry paste
4 Tablespoon madras curry powder (This adds more curry flavor without adding more heat from the curry paste. I don't like it too spicy.)
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast; sliced
1 pound chicken drumsticks; debone but reserve the bones
MSG; to taste
salt; to taste
pepper; to taste
1 carton chicken broth
5 cups water (approximately)
4 disks palm sugar (I'm not using red bell peppers or carrots this time. Red bell peppers and carrots add sweetness to the curry.)
1 can Mae Ploy brand coconut milk (The brand matters. I use Mae Ploy for curries and Savoy for desserts.)
2 pieces galanga root
4 kaffir lime leaves (Thanks to grandma. I bring a big bag whenever I go to California. I store them in the freezer.)
2 stalks lemongrass; tied into a knot (Also thanks to grandma.)
1 yellow onion; diced (Yellow is fine. We don't need anything fancy. Save the Bermuda and Vidalias for a different recipe.)
1 can sliced bamboo shoots (I prefer sliced but the thin matchsticks also work.)
1 can quail eggs (This is my favorite thing to add to my curries. I've never seen anyone use quail eggs in their curries.)
4 yukon gold potatoes; peeled and cubed
2 white sweet potatoes; peeled and cubed
fish sauce; to taste

Other optional ingredients:
- Diced red bell pepper
- Sliced carrots
- Thai aubergines; cut in half or quartered (I think I have a post below that has a picture of curry that I made with Thai aubergines. They come either green and white or just white.)
- Butternut squash; cubed
- Sugar snap peas (I had some int he fridge but I had green beans that I needed to use up and it already overflowed the first pot I used. I had to transfer to a big stock pot to finish cooking.)
- Add peanut butter or crushed peanuts for a more Massaman-like curry.


1. In a large pot, heat oil and saute garlic with curry pasts and curry powder until fragrant. Add chicken pieces, season with MSG, salt, and pepper and bones and saute until browned.
2. Add chicken broth, water, palm sugar, kaffir lime leaves, galanga root, and lemon grass. Bring to a boil. Simmer for about ten minutes. Add coconut milk and fish sauce.
3. Add potatoes, sweet potatoes, onion, bamboo, and eggs. Cook until potatoes are tender.
4. Add green beans. Turn off heat. Remove chicken bones, kaffir lime leaves, galanga root, and lemon grass. Discard. They are not edible.
5. Add green onions, cilantro, and thai basil.
6. Serve with hot jasmine rice.

I often make a huge pot. I give some away and I freeze the rest in small portions. It is not as good after it has been frozen but it still makes a delicious quick meal.

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