Since our honeymoon to Southeast Asia, my husband and I find every reason to make coconut-curry anything! One of the easiest and most addictively delicious dishes is Coconut Curry Chicken. Every now and then, we go for shrimp, but it’s always optional. Shrimp doesn’t have the best reputation nowadays. However, if you can find it sourced well, I highly recommend adding it to this dish as I have here in this recipe. It adds a sweet seafood addition!
NOTE: I suggest you read through the recipe before starting. There are a lot of small ingredients and quite a few steps, but don’t be nervous! It’s probably a 3 out of 10 on a scale of difficulty.
Gather the Following
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil skimmed off the top of the coconut can or from a jar of coconut oil
- 2 teaspoons curry paste
- 1 14 oz. coconut milk – either use the remainder of the can, or open a new one. A little extra/less doesn’t hurt
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce (very important!!)
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups peeled and diced tomatoes. You want them to be bite sized.
- 1 cup chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
- 1.5 cups shrimps (can be cooked or frozen)
- 1 cup princess beans
- 1 cup carrots, bite sized
- 1 tablespoon fresh cut ginger – try to cut it into the size of a quarter (or a Euro, if you’re in Europe)
- 1 lemongrass stock, cut and scraped into small bits
- 1.5 cups rice of your choice – the picture shows “Basmati mixed with Wild Rice”
- 3 cups water (for the rice!)
Step 1: Prepare Rice
If you have a rice cooker, combine your rice of choice and the water and let it steam away!
If you’re choosing to make it via stovetop, watch the rice as you proceed to the next steps.
Step 2: Broth, Carrots, Potatoes, Beans
Boil the carrots and potatoes in the vegetable broth. When the carrots are nearing completion, add the beans for the remaining few minutes. Once tender, turn off and remove from heat.
Step 3: Curry Sauce
While the vegetables cook in the broth, heat the coconut oil (or fat) until hot. Carefully add the curry paste. I say “CAREFULLY” because the fumes always make me violently cough, if I inhale them. Constantly stirring, heat the paste until it blends with the oil and forms a smooth consistency. This will take a few minutes. Be careful not to burn the curry!!
Once smoothly blended, add the coconut milk. Heat and stir until uniformly hot, but not boiling. You’ll want to keep the heat just below medium. The mixture should be consistently warm, but not boiling.
FOR NON-COOKED SHRIMP: Add now.
Stir in the lime juice, fish sauce, ginger, and lemongrass.
FOR FROZEN PRE-COOKED SHRIMP: Add now.
Step 4: Chicken
I always cook my meat separately (except in the case of the shrimp, because it’s fast).
In a separate pan, very lightly brown the chicken. You don’t want a crust. You just want to cook it through.
Add to curry sauce, once thoroughly cooked.
Step 5: Combining
Using a ladle, add the vegetables WITH the broth to the curry and meat mixture. To keep the sodium levels low, I add two ladles and taste after two minutes. If it’s not salty, I add another 2 ladles. If it is salty, I add only the vegetables and leave the remaining broth.
Simmer for an additional 3 minutes.
When the rice and sauce are finished, pour sauce over a serving of rice and enjoy!! For us, we use 1 cup rice to 1.5 cup sauce. We like it to be more soupy!!
Note: If the lemongrass is stiff, take a bite of food and then carefully bite the stiff portions. You’ll get a lot of flavor out and it adds a nice kick.
It is also very easy to eliminate the meat from this and make it vegetarian.