Thai Green Curry with Chicken

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This Thai Green Curry with Chicken is making me so happy. It has some spice with hints of sweet but my whole family was able to handle it, even my mom, who is not a fan of the spicy. The Thai eggplants absorb the curry flavor while the green beans provide a slight crunch. Served with a side of cauliflower rice, it made me do my happy food dance. Jump to Recipe

Don’t Judge

This is actually the first time I’ve eaten Thai food in more than a year. That may not seem like a long time to some people, but if you knew how much I love Thai food you would understand the severity of the situation. I used to go into my favorite Thai restaurant to pick up food and I always chose the “Thai hot” option. The first few times, the owner would ask, “Are you sure? It’s very spicy.” Eventually they grew to recognize me and wouldn’t question my decision. If a new person was working, someone would yell from the kitchen that it was okay, “she can handle it.”

I think most believe spicy food is bad for people with ulcerative colitis and I can see the hasty judgement in their eyes when I reach for the tabasco sauce. I don’t know about others, but for me it’s not the spice that is bad but some of the ingredients that are included in store-bought manufactured products. Anyway, eating out or using store-bought curry pastes, salsas, and hot sauces is pretty much out. There went all my spicy food. Darn it.

I finally started exploring making my own hot sauces and learning how to make my favorite cuisines from scratch. Enough was enough. I wanted Thai food. And Indian. And Mexican. Really the list can go on and on. So Thai Green Curry with Chicken is my first attempt at making Thai cuisine. Now let’s break it apart.

The Curry Paste

Shopping

How your Thai Green Curry with Chicken turns out depends a lot on the paste you use. It will determine the taste profile, heat, and color of your curry. I decided to rely on other people’s knowledge and experience for this portion of the recipe since it was so important.

I used a recipe for Thai green curry paste from ThaiTable. Their site was really useful for my first attempt at cooking Thai food because in their ingredients list and directions they would have links to other pages. So when I saw the ingredient “galangal,” (what the heck is that???) I was able to click on the link and it took me to a page that had a picture and description of it. I actually printed out pictures and descriptions of all the ingredients I was unfamiliar with and took them with me to the local Asian grocery store to help me buy every thing.

So your first step in making Thai Green Curry with Chicken is to make the curry paste. I would suggest doing this on a separate day, just to reduce the time in the kitchen. I’m actually going to make a big batch and freeze them in ice cube trays so I can have fast Thai meals (so excited!). What I loved about making this paste was the aromas. Your kitchen will smell so fresh and clean (and your hands too).

Roasting The Spices

Toast 1 tablespoon coriander, 1/2 teaspoon peppercorns, and 1/2 tablespoon cumin in a skillet over medium heat until light brown. You should hear the spices quietly sizzling and the fragrance will become more pronounced.

Thai Green Curry with Chicken is spicy, slightly sweet, and fresh tasting. Thai eggplants absorb the curry flavor while green beans provide a slight crunch. Served with a side of cauliflower rice, you have a perfect healthy meal. | www.megiswell.com
Toasting the coriander, peppercorns, and cumin for the green curry paste

Be careful though because the spices can burn in a second once they’ve reached their toasted stage. When done, pour into a bowl and let them cool completely. This makes them easier to grind into a powder.

Aromatics

Slice a 1/2 cup shallots, 3 tablespoons lemongrass, 1.5 tablespoons galangal (a root like ginger but milder and more large and round-substitute with ginger if you can’t find it), and 1 tablespoon cilantro roots (substitute cilantro stems if you can’t find any cilantro with the roots still attached). I had to use ginger and cilantro stems (but my curry still came out awesome so don’t worry).

Thai Green Curry with Chicken is spicy, slightly sweet, and fresh tasting. Thai eggplants absorb the curry flavor while green beans provide a slight crunch. Served with a side of cauliflower rice, you have a perfect healthy meal. | www.megiswell.com
Lemongrass
Thai Green Curry with Chicken is spicy, slightly sweet, and fresh tasting. Thai eggplants absorb the curry flavor while green beans provide a slight crunch. Served with a side of cauliflower rice, you have a perfect healthy meal. | www.megiswell.com
Cilantro stems
Thai Green Curry with Chicken is spicy, slightly sweet, and fresh tasting. Thai eggplants absorb the curry flavor while green beans provide a slight crunch. Served with a side of cauliflower rice, you have a perfect healthy meal. | www.megiswell.com
Garlic and lime zest

Zest 1 kaffir lime until you have about 1 tablespoon. I had to use a regular lime because I could not find a kaffir lime.

Grinding Everything Together

Grind the spices into a powder with a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder. Hard and dry ingredients should be ground first followed by the wet ingredients.

Thai Green Curry with Chicken is spicy, slightly sweet, and fresh tasting. Thai eggplants absorb the curry flavor while green beans provide a slight crunch. Served with a side of cauliflower rice, you have a perfect healthy meal. | www.megiswell.com
Grind the toasted spices into a powder

You can use a mortar and pestle for the whole process but I used a food processor once I had finished grinding the spices. At first I was going to attempt to do everything my hand.

Thai Green Curry with Chicken is spicy, slightly sweet, and fresh tasting. Thai eggplants absorb the curry flavor while green beans provide a slight crunch. Served with a side of cauliflower rice, you have a perfect healthy meal. | www.megiswell.com
My short lived attempt to grind all the ingredients in the mortar and pestle.

I added the lemongrass to the ground spices and realized (1) my mortar and pestle was too small and (2) I would have to lift weights for a month to have enough arm strength to grind everything to a paste. So I put everything in a food processor and pulsed until all the ingredients were a somewhat fine paste (I could still see fibers and bits of waxy green skin from the Thai chili peppers).

Store in an air tight container if you are going to use soon in Thai Green Curry with Chicken or freeze in ice cube trays to store for later use.

Cauliflower Rice

You can’t serve Thai Green Curry with Chicken without some rice, or cauliflower rice for those of us who are grain-challenged. This is a slight twist on plain old cauliflower rice that compliments the flavors of the Thai curry. I actually find regular cauliflower rice bland and…too cauliflower-like. Adding other ingredients makes it easier to trick my taste-buds into thinking I’m eating rice. Make this before you start the Thai Green Curry with Chicken. You can just heat it up in the microwave when the curry is ready.

Thai Green Curry with Chicken is spicy, slightly sweet, and fresh tasting. Thai eggplants absorb the curry flavor while green beans provide a slight crunch. Served with a side of cauliflower rice, you have a perfect healthy meal. | www.megiswell.com

Thai Green Curry Cauliflower Rice

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a non-stick baking mat. Take 1 large cauliflower head and cut it into medium sized florets. Try to remove as much of the stalk as possible.

Put the cauliflower florets in a bowl and toss with a 1/2 tablespoon of peanut oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt until they are evenly coated. Peanut oil is my favorite to use for cauliflower rice because it helps make the cauliflower taste more like rice. Spread the cauliflower florets onto the lined baking sheet and place in the oven. Roast for 20 minutes.

Thai Green Curry with Chicken is spicy, slightly sweet, and fresh tasting. Thai eggplants absorb the curry flavor while green beans provide a slight crunch. Served with a side of cauliflower rice, you have a perfect healthy meal. | www.megiswell.com
Cauliflower florets ready for roasting in the oven

Let the cauliflower cool for ten minutes. Take a small handful and place in a blender or food processor. I use a blender and you should be able to see the tips of the blades. Pulse for a few seconds on a low speed (a 3 if you have a Vitamix). The cauliflower should have the texture of rice. Pour into a bowl. Repeat until you have “riced” all the cauliflower.

Heat a 1/2 tablespoon of peanut oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add 1/3 cup onions and sauté them until they are soft. Add a 1/2 cup of frozen peas. Cook until the peas aren’t frozen anymore. Add the sautéed onions and peas to the bowl of cauliflower rice. Mix well. Add lime zest and salt and pepper until you get the taste you want.

Thai Green Curry with Chicken is spicy, slightly sweet, and fresh tasting. Thai eggplants absorb the curry flavor while green beans provide a slight crunch. Served with a side of cauliflower rice, you have a perfect healthy meal. | www.megiswell.com

Thai Green Curry with Chicken

Take a deep breath. You’re almost there. First prep all your ingredients.

Cut 1.5 pounds of skinless boneless chicken breasts into bite sized pieces. Cut the stems off of 8 Thai eggplants and then quarter them.

Thai Green Curry with Chicken is spicy, slightly sweet, and fresh tasting. Thai eggplants absorb the curry flavor while green beans provide a slight crunch. Served with a side of cauliflower rice, you have a perfect healthy meal. | www.megiswell.com
Thai Eggplants

Wash the green beans and then break the ends off. Cut the stem off of the Thai red chili pepper and spit it in half. Brush the seeds off and then slice the chili pepper into thin strips.

In a large deep skillet over medium heat pour 1.5 cups of coconut milk and however much Thai green curry chili paste you decide to use. You can always add more later, so start with a little at first (2 or 3 tablespoons) and then keep adding paste if you want more flavor and spice.

Mix the coconut milk and curry paste together well and stir continuously to prevent sticking and burning. Let simmer for five minutes.

Add the chicken pieces and stir to coat, cooking for 2 minutes or until partially cooked before adding the quartered  eggplants.

Pour in the rest of the coconut milk (1.5 cups) along with 1 cup chicken broth and let simmer for 10 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked.

Thai Green Curry with Chicken is spicy, slightly sweet, and fresh tasting. Thai eggplants absorb the curry flavor while green beans provide a slight crunch. Served with a side of cauliflower rice, you have a perfect healthy meal. | www.megiswell.com
Bring the chicken, Thai eggplants, coconut milk, and chicken broth to a simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the green beans, 2 tablespoons honey, and 3 tablespoons fish sauce. Stir to mix well. The curry should be salty but with a hint of sweetness. Add more honey or fish sauce to fit your own taste preference.

Add the chili pepper slices and kaffir lime leaves and bring to a boil. With the exception of a couple of dishes, most people do not actually eat the kaffir lime leaves. They are cooked alongside other ingredients so that the heat can release the flavor and aroma of the leaves. Add the basil leaves and turn off the heat, stirring to mix in the basil. Serve hot with some cauliflower rice (or regular rice for any grain lovers you are eating with).

Thai Green Curry with Chicken is spicy, slightly sweet, and fresh tasting. Thai eggplants absorb the curry flavor while green beans provide a slight crunch. Served with a side of cauliflower rice, you have a perfect healthy meal. | www.megiswell.com

Whew. And you are done. It was a long journey but now you have a wonderful Thai meal to eat. For me, it was extremely liberating and joyful to be able to eat a meal that used to give me so much happiness. Ulcerative colitis can take a lot of stuff away from you, but I think I just gave UC the finger. Enjoy!

Cauliflower Rice-Thai Version

The perfect non-grain side for Thai curries.
Servings 4
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 50 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 cauliflower head large
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/3 cup onions sliced
  • lime zest to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a non-stick baking mat.
  • Cut the cauliflower into medium sized florets. Try to remove as much of the stalk as possible. Put the cauliflower florets in a bowl and toss with a 1/2 tablespoon of peanut oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt until they are evenly coated.
  • Spread the cauliflower florets onto the lined baking sheet and place in the oven. Roast for 20 minutes or until the florets begin to get brown along the edges.
  • Let the cauliflower cool for ten minutes. Take a small handful and place in a blender or food processor. I use a blender and you should be able to see the tips of the blades. Pulse for a few seconds on low speed (a 3 if you have a Vitamix). The cauliflower should have the texture of rice. Pour into a bowl. Repeat until you have "riced" all the cauliflower.
  • Heat a 1/2 tablespoon of peanut oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add the onions and sauté them until they are soft. Add the frozen peas. cook until the peas aren't frozen anymore.
  • Add the sautéed onions and peas to the bowl of cauliflower rice. Mix well. Add lime zest and salt and pepper until you get the taste you want.
Author: Megan Wells
Course: Sides and Snacks

 

Thai Green Curry Paste

Prep Time 30 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 1/2 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 cup shallots
  • 1/4 cup garlic
  • 3 tablespoons lemongrass
  • 1.5 tablespoons galangal
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro roots
  • 1 Kaffir lime
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 10 to 15 Thai chili peppers

Instructions

  • Toast coriander, peppercorns, and cumin in a skillet over medium heat until light brown. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool completely.
  • Slice shallots, garlic, lemongrass, galangal, and cilantro roots into small pieces.
  • Zest the kaffir lim until you have about a tablespoon.
  • First grind the spices into a powder with a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder. Hard and dry ingredients should be ground first followed by the wet ingredients.
    You can use a mortar and pestle for the whole process but I used a food processor once I had finished grinding the spices. Pulse until all the ingredients are a fine paste.
Author: Megan Wells
Course: Main Dishes

 

Thai Green Curry with Chicken

Thai Green Curry with Chicken is spicy, slightly sweet, and fresh tasting. Thai eggplants absorb the curry flavor while green beans provide a slight crunch. Served with a side of cauliflower rice, you have a perfect healthy meal.
Servings 4
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 35 mins

Ingredients

  • 1.5 pounds boneless chicken breasts
  • 8 Thai eggplants quartered
  • 1.5 to 2 cups green beans
  • 4 Kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 to 2 red Thai Chilies
  • 4 Thai basil leaves
  • 3 cups coconut milk
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup Thai green curry paste
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons honey or coconut sugar
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce

Instructions

  • Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces. Cut the stems off the Thai eggplants and then quarter them. Wash the green beans and then break the ends off. Cut the stems off of the Thai red chili peppers and split them in half. Brush the seeds off and then slice the peppers into thin strips.
  • In a large deep skillet over medium heat, pour 1.5 cups of coconut milk and however much Thai green curry chili paste you decide to use. You can always add more later, so start with a little at first (2 or 3 tablespoons) and then keep adding paste if you want more flavor and spice.
  • Mix the coconut milk and curry paste together well and stir continuously to prevent sticking and burning. Let simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Add the chicken pieces and stir to coat, cooking for 2 minutes or until it is partially cooked.
  • Add the quartered eggplants and stir until they are well coated. Add the rest of the coconut milk along with the chicken broth and let simmer for 10 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked. Add the green beans, 2 tablespoons honey, and 3 tablespoons fish sauce. Stir to mix well. The curry should be salty but with a hint of sweetness. Add more honey or fish sauce to fit your own taste.
  • Add the chili pepper and kaffir lime leaves and bring to a boil. Add the basil leaves and turn off the heat, stirring to mix in the basil. Serve hot alongside cauliflower or regular rice.
Author: Megan Wells
Course: Main Dishes

Thai Green Curry with Chicken is spicy, slightly sweet, and fresh tasting. Thai eggplants absorb the curry flavor while green beans provide a slight crunch. Served with a side of cauliflower rice, you have a perfect healthy meal. | www.megiswell.com

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