Sunday, December 29, 2013

Chicken with Red Curry Peanut Sauce

Red Thai curry paste...that's the key to a good homemade Thai curry sauce. It comes in a little jar, and a tablespoonful is all you need.

I found a recipe from Sandra Lee that had just what I was looking for: coconut milk, red curry paste, chicken, green beans and bell pepper. I had previously frozen some vegetables from our SLO Veg boxes, so I searched through the freezer for those tri-colored string beans and bell peppers. I also took out a chicken breast which had been defrosted earlier today, so I was ready to get cooking. 

First thing is to cut the chicken into bite-sized chunks and brown it in some coconut oil. Then the semi-frozen green beans and bell peppers went into the big skillet. I let it cook until the chicken was no longer pink. I mixed up the sauce ingredients like Sandra said to, except for the red curry paste. That I held out and did something different. I made a little well in the middle of the chicken and vegies and put a scoop of red curry paste right into the pan. It sizzled and heated up the paste, releasing all those spicy flavors which I then stirred around to mix into the chicken. Then I poured in the rest of the sauce ingredients after I had whisked them together in a large measuring cup.

I served this chicken curry over a mound of hot spaghetti squash. Lotsa vegies here without all the starch!

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 1/2 pounds chicken breast, cut in 1-inch pieces
Salt and pepper
8 ounces frozen cut green beans, thawed  
8 ounces frozen pepper strips, thawed
1 tablespoon red curry paste

For sauce:
1 1/2 cups light coconut milk
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth,
1/3 cup chunky peanut butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons lime juice, plus wedges for garnishing
Cilantro sprigs for garnishing

Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add cut up chicken, season and saute until cooked through stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add green beans and pepper strips and continue cooking for 3 minutes. Make a well in the center and add a tablespoon of red curry paste. As it melts down, blend into the chicken and vegetable mixture.

While chicken cooks, start the peanut curry sauce. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together all ingredients for the sauce. Pour sauce into a frying pan over the chicken and vegetables, stir to combine. Turn heat up to high and bring to boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer until sauce thickens slightly, about 6 to 8 minutes. Serve over steamed rice or noodles (or spaghetti squash).

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