Summer has been keeping me busy. Between all my personal chef and catering gigs, my editing work, and my sister’s wedding coming up in about 40 days (bachelorette party this weekend!), life has been nuts—which means easy but flavorful weeknight meals for Doug and I.
I’ve actually made this particular recipe with both chicken and tofu, and I really enjoy both versions. The tofu version comes together even easier because you don’t have to cook the tofu before you add it to the pot, but alas my meat-loving hubby is opposed to tofu (“opposed” being somewhat of an understatement), so chicken it is!
Curry paste is one of those amazing things that you can pick up at the Asian mart in a small can, and it lasts forever! In fact, I opened the can a few months ago, transferred it to a small Tupperware container, and kept it in the back of my fridge until I’m ready to use it. I think I’ll get about three curries out of one baby-sized can—that’s $1 well spent!
What’s also great about this curry is that you can substitute whatever vegetables you have on hand, depending on the season. Heidi Swanson’s original recipe in Super Natural Every Day called for zucchini, asparagus, and cauliflower; I swapped in red pepper, green onion, and carrots, because it’s what I had on hand. So go crazy, and add whatever fun things you have growing in your garden: hot peppers, eggplant, broccoli, potatoes, etc. Serve this over brown rice or even quicker white rice, and you have a delicious and healthy meal in a matter of minutes.
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Weeknight Thai Red Curry
Recipe adapted from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Every Day. You can find Thai red curry paste at well-stocked super markets and in Asian markets. You can substitute 8 ounces firm diced tofu for the chicken; I’ve indicated where to add it in the recipe. Serves 4. Click here to download the handy printable.
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons vegetable or canola oil
1 pound chicken breasts, cut into pieces
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 zucchini, cut into ½-inch pieces
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 can coconut milk
2 teaspoons red Thai curry paste
½ cup shredded carrots
3 green onions, diced
½ chicken or vegetable broth or water
2 tablespoons cilantro, if desired
Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the chicken breast pieces, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until almost cooked through, about 4 minutes, flipping once. Set chicken aside.
Heat 2 more teaspoons of oil in the pot, add the onion, and season with a pinch of salt. Sauté until the onion begins to turn translucent at the edges, a few minutes. Add the zucchini and bell pepper and cook for 2 minutes more.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mash the curry paste with a few tablespoons of the coconut milk. Add this to the pot and stir until the vegetables are well coated. Stir in the remaining coconut milk. Bring to a simmer, then add the carrots, green onions, and chicken (or tofu). Cover, and simmer for a few minutes until the carrots have softened a bit and the chicken has cooked through. If the sauce seems a little thick, add the chicken broth or water. Season the curry to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with cilantro, if desired. Serve over rice.