Thursday, February 19, 2009

Green Curry Chicken - That's Hot

For many years hearing the word, "curry" was like fingernails on my culinary chalkboard. Where I'm from, "curry" meant a thick, greasy, bright yellow sauce made with copious amount of turmeric, covering chunks of mystery meat. I know, as good as that sounds, I still didn’t like it.

All through culinary school, and on into my early career in California, even the smell of turmeric made me cringe. It was my Kryptonite.

As the years went by, and my culinary horizons expanded, so did my understanding and appreciation of curries. I learned that the horrible yellow curry from my youth wasn't even really a true curry, and that curries came in almost every color, from countries all over Asia.

My favorite curries today are definitely the Thai red and green curries. Even though it's one of my older, and cruder productions, the Red Curry Beef Stew is still one of my favorite video recipes on the blog.

This green curry chicken recipe was filmed for About.com's Thai site and I was very happy with the results. As usual I take a few shortcuts to make this amazing dish accessible to the average American home cook, but the soul of the dish remains intact.

Traditionally, green curries are considered the "hottest" of all the Thai curries, and as you'll see in the video, the green curry paste, which is the base of the dish, is quite an intense formula.

Having said that, there's plenty of flexibility with how hot
you decide to make it, although it should, at the very least, produce a little sweat (along with the accompanying endorphin rush). Enjoy!

Video Player Note: About.com no longer allows videos to be
embedded off their site. So, to watch these clips just click on the graphic below and off you go. Just, don't forget to come back!

26 comments:

Anais said...

Thai green curry is our fave, and a staple in our little Southern California home, but we do use an all-natural paste for our base from an Asian market, with a splash of fish sauce as a condiment to finish. Thanks for the stellar recipe!

Anonymous said...

Aw man, when did About.com start embedding ads into their videos? That's a bummer, they need to follow youtubes ad philosophy and put it on the bottom. Good video though and good job!

Chef John said...

trailers get a lot more $$ than the ads on the bottom which is why they are used. Annoying yes, but we all gotta get paid somehow!

Anonymous said...

hey chef, how come you added the coconut milk in 2 goes instead of all at once?

thanks

Chef John said...

they say the more you cook CM you lose some of the subtle flavors, so I like to add the other half at the end of the cooking.

Anonymous said...

good answer.
Sometimes I find it gets a bit too thick and creamy as well.

thanks again

AceTravis said...

That looks really great! Could you substitute the chicken for tofu and still get the same great flavor. Oh and I'm not a vegetarian-- the girlfriend is. =/ . I don't think she'll care about the fish sauce or chicken stock.

Chef John said...

Yes you can, but "same great flavor" is debatable. You'll have to decide that, but if it's between your GF and a more delicious green curry, well...

Kimberly @ the How to Cook Blog said...

Uhhh...My ever-favorite is Green Curry...and I like it hot too! Yum! Awesome recipe!

Fabulous food blog!!! Kudos!

I came by today to let you know about my Foodie Blog Carnival!

You can get some PR or just have fun entering a blog post in the Foodie Blog Carnival!

Entries are being accepted until Feb. 23rd! You can enter anything that has to do with food!

I'll provide a link and a mention to your post! So easy...So fun!

I look forward to your entry: http://CookingWithKimberly.com/?page_id=1580

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Asian Malaysian said...

Im going to have confirm this with my ex-colleague's thai wife later but I was under the impression that the main thing that separates thai curries from most other curries is that the coconut milk goes into the pot first before the green/red curry paste. I know its sounds wrong (I think everyone else from India to Italy sautees their aromatics first) but I understood thats how they roll. By the way, I live in Malaysia which is just south of Thailand and your curry still looks delicious.
Regards
Asian Malaysian
(Chinaman is not the preferred nomenclature)

satchmo said...

I've been all over, Chef John, and I'm happy to take you with me (via your blog) everywhere I go. I'm sure you hear it enough (which deserves to be the case) but thanks a bunch, your advice and direction has already made it's impact on me.

ps: unless it was a play on words, i saw a typo, think you meant "the soul of the dish remains intact"

Chef John said...

who are you going to believe? Me or some ex-colleague's thai wife?

Anonymous said...

I was in Thailand a few weeks ago and a lady showed me how to make this. As Asian malaysian says, she also put the milk in first and mixed the curry paste into it. i thought it was weird too, but man, her curry was good, so i ain't arguing.

instead of zucchini, however, they have these little round green eggplants in thailand that they put in the curry. Also, i was instructed to use fresh lemon leaves where you seem to be using lime juice. either way I guess.

Ever tried panang curry with shrimp? Awesome :)

Chef John said...

yes, i love it. lemon leaves and lime leaves are often used.

Anonymous said...

Were they Kaffir Lilme leaves? I love those so very fragrant leaves. My son bought me a dwarf tree a few years ago for Mothers Day and I provide for all my Thai cooking friends. Such a good son!
Want any leaves?
Luisa Vacaville

Chef John said...

yes, they are Kaffir leave. I'll let you know if I need a bunch next time. Or, I could just plant one myself!

Anonymous said...

Hi Everybody,
I made this the other night and it was delicious, but I changed one thing and should not have. Because my significant other does not like things too hot, I put in 3 jalapenos and only 1 serrano.

Maybe my peppers were just weak, but I had to add some (sorry everyone) green tabasco on it to punch it up. Next time I'll put in 3 serranos and 1 jalapeno.

Thanks for your good work, Chef John!

motherzucker said...

OK, Chef John, I have a problem, and maybe you can help. I love most of the flavors in Thai food, except that I really dislike coconut and coconut milk. I know. For me, anything with coconut instantly tastes like nuts that have been allowed to go stale.

I love spicy food. I love curries if not made with coconut milk. But that flavor just sends everything else off for me, the way that some people find that cilantro tastes like soap.

Is there a substitute? Or am I damned to never enjoy a Thai curry, to only ever get to order cashew chicken and a few other dishes in Thai restaurants. The curries look so good, and they smell so good, but the second I taste them, I gag.

Can you help me?

Chef John said...

try some cream (reg. not heavy) and a tbsp of peanut butter, and tell me what happens.

Dazy said...

I have some good mania for different type of curries. And my kids like it as a summer treat. But I never tried the Thai one. I am planning to make
it for my family and give them a surprise.

Anonymous said...

Ok I've got to say - was the cleaver/guillotine blade absolutely necessary for the lemongrass? The poor thing! :)

genelle said...

thanks chef, we love this green curry. I made this twice before with chicken as per your recipe and my family loved it. However this time i tried it with prawns instead. Please chef try making this with prawns and u'll see its much much more DELISH!!!!

Anonymous said...

This looks so tempting. But then Chef, is there any substitute for fish sauce? Because probably majority of my family members suffers from fish sauce allergy, and thats including me... :/

WoundedEgo said...

I made this tonight. It came out great. Thanks for sharing this great recipe.

André said...

Great recipe. The taste of this curry explodes in your mouth.

It's more like a soup. Is that for purpose? I served it in soup plates. Very fancy.

SillyStilly11 said...

was that you on about.com with the peppermint truffles! those were my life for 6 moths