HOW-TO MAKE REALLY GOOD CURRY
by chloe from chloe colette
After many years of watching my Great Aunt, Ya-Ya (nanny), and Mother cook Asian food, I knew that one I day I would have to step up to the plate. (No pun intended). Coming from an interesting heritage of Chinese, Filipino, Spanish and Portuguese decent the foods at my home were really diverse and exciting. There are many who might think that Asian cooking is a mysterious and difficult thing to decipher, but with time and patience you can do it! Thankfully, I married a man who adores Chinese food almost as much as I do (maybe even a tad bit more). His favorite easy Asian dish I make is curry. This is my all-time favorite curry adapted from a Williams-Sonoma recipe; no this wasn't a recipe that was handed down through generations, but I served this to my family and they loved it. Easy, fast, and tasty; three things that make a recipe a keeper!
CHLOE'S CHICKEN CURRY
This is my all-time favorite curry adapted from a Williams-Sonoma recipe. This is what people ask me to make for them when they come over to my place for dinner. From my kitchen to yours, enjoy! (Serves 4)
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 1.5 lb total weight)
salt and pepper freshly ground
peanut or canola oil
mixed vegetables (1/4 lb frozen or raw) – my favorite is sliced zucchini squash or green beans
1 1/2 Tbsp. Thai red curry paste
2 cups (16 fl oz) unsweetened coconut milk (Chaokoh is the best brand in my opinion and I like my curry soupy so if you want less curry sauce add only 1 cup coconut milk)
2/3 cup chicken broth
1 Tbsp. fish sauce
6 sliced Green (spring) onions
1/4 slivered Fresh basil (makes this dish even more sublime)
Steamed white rice (accompaniment to the curry)
*This curry is also delicious with flat bread or Chinese pancakes
1. Grate 1 teaspoon zest from the limes and squeeze 1/4 cup juice. Set aside. Cut the chicken into thin strips and season with salt and pepper. In a large frying pan or wok over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add the chicken and cook, turning occasionally until golden, 4-5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon transfer to a plate. *If using raw veggies, add to the hot pan and cook stirring frequently just until tender crisp (depending on which veggies you are using)-about 2-3 minutes. Transfer to the plate with the chicken.
2. Prepare the amazing coconut sauce- stir the curry paste into the pan over medium-high heat. Stir in the coconut milk, broth, and fish sauce. Bring to a simmer and stir, scraping up the browned bits (adds great flavor) on the pan bottom. Stir in the reserved lime zest and juice.
3. Return the chicken and veggies to the pan (*if using frozen, add veggies now) and stir to combine with the sauce. Simmer until the chicken is opaque throughout and (if frozen) the veggies are cooked, 3-4 minutes. Stir in the green onions and basil. Spoon rice into bowls, top with curry, and serve. Eat!
Cookbooks I recommend for beginning Chinese cooking...
• Chinese Cuisine (Wei-Chuan's Cookbook)- my mom's go-to cookbook for Chinese foodie goodness
• Key to Chinese Cooking by Irene Kuo- the Chinese version of the Julia Child cookbook
• Ken Hom's Foolproof Chinese Cooking- Super easy recipes that are practical and tasty