Sometimes I can be all “noodled” out. Today was one of those days. So, I decided to make a very minimalistic version of a common dish in my mom’s repertoire sans noodles and all the fancy stuff.
This is my adaptation to my mom’s delicious Ka-Poon or red curry chicken stew. It’s actually a Vietnamese traditional dish served over rice vermicelli noodles garnished with cabbage slaw and cilantro.
If you aren’t familiar with South-East Asian food, well, you must be living under a rock. Your taste buds are in for a mouthwatering party. There is always a play on sweet, sour, spicy, salty and a variety of textures.
This dish uses Thai red curry paste. You could make your own fresh curry blend but the prepared variety is so convenient! The red curry paste traditionally contains-ginger, garlic, shrimp paste, galangal, kaffir lime leaf, lemon grass, peppercorn, dried chilis, corriander seed, cumin, and salt. It can be found in most Asian/ International cooking sections of supermarkets these days. You will have left overs but the great thing is that this paste freezes amazingly well! Pop it into a plastic freezer bag and double bag it until you’re ready to sweat again!
You’ll have to channel your inner ninja and use a cleaver or really sharp kitchen knife to chop right through the chicken bone. Leaving the bone-in really does help add flavour to the broth and keeps the chicken from drying out. If you don’t have chicken breast, any cut of chicken will do. Chicken thigh meat would be wonderful in this recipe!
Try to cut the vegetables around the same size so they cook evenly. This is like a stew so keep in mind that it’s okay if they are a tad overdone! I was kind of half-hazard about my chopping.
When it comes time to sauté the curry paste look out! This step can get dangerous! You might benefit from some goggles or a mask. This step awakens the spices in the paste. So it’s a good idea to open up a window or three and keep the kiddos out of the kitchen!
Don’t skimp on the Coconut Milk by buying reduced fat. You want the thick coconut “cream” at the top to help add a cooling effect to the dish not to mention awesome flavour! Use the left over coconut milk/water in your shake the next day!
I’m half Thai and found this to be pretty spicy! If you don’t mind sweating a little bit at the dinner table, then 3 T is just the right amount. If you are a spicy curry newbie than maybe scale it down to 1 1/2 T. Prior to eating it take out the ginger slices and while eating it watch out for the chicken bones.
Spicy Red Curry Chicken Stew Recipe
- 2 chicken breasts bone-in
- 2 cups chopped potatoes
- 1 1/2 cups chopped sweet potatoes
- 1 1/2 cups chopped carrots
- 1 T olive oil
- 1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
- 3 large slices of fresh ginger
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 3T red curry paste ***If you are new to this you might want to scale down to 1.5T
- 1 cup water
- 1 can chicken broth
- 2 T sugar
- ½ can coconut milk
- Lime to taste
- Cilantro to garnish
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil
- Peel and chop potatoes, sweet potatoes and carrots into 1″ chunks and cook in boiling water until tender.
- Cut chicken (bone-in) into large 1-2″ chunks
- Diced onion, mince garlic, slice ginger
- Heat a large pan or wok to medium-high heat and sauté onion until soft, then add ginger and garlic. Sauté for a minute
- Add Chicken and lightly brown all sides
- Add red curry paste and coat chicken
- Add water and chicken broth to the pot
- Bring to a boil then reduce to medium for 10 mins
- Add sugar
- Add potatoes, sweet potatoes and carrots
- Add coconut milk, stir and then turn off the heat
- Ladle into bowls, garnish with lime wedge and cilantro
- We served this with grilled Naan bread but like I mentioned it is great over some rice or vermicelli noodles!