Can you believe that summer is almost here?
Warm sunny days put me in the mood for light meals filled with fresh vegetables, bright flavors, & spice and heat.
On a recent sunny day, I sent Russell to the store to grab me some chicken thighs for what’s turned out to be my favorite meal of the summer so far, my grilled lemon herb chicken thighs. I know that it’s not officially summer just yet, but soon the mosquitos and humidity will make our little yarden a lot less fun, so we’re taking advantage as much as possible right now. Anyway, he accidentally came back with skinless boneless thighs and had to turn back for something that would hold up a little better on the grill.
Not one to waste anything, especially anything edible, I decided to put those skinless boneless thighs to good use a day or two later. I went through the fridge and cupboards to see what I could come up with, and quickly had a plan hatching. I had a can of coconut milk in the house, along with some carrots, limes, and ginger; so I knew what I had to do.
These chicken thighs would lend themselves perfectly to a quick and easy Thai curry. I even had half a jar of Thai green curry paste and a bottle of fish sauce in the fridge, and a bright green basil plant growing out back. All I would need to grab from the store was some red bell peppers and a bag of white rice.
This dish comes together really quickly once you get everything prepped and ready to go. I think it’s nice to chop all the vegetables into long thin strips so they cook really quickly. Even the chicken thighs get sliced into thin strips for quick cooking. Once you get the chicken and the vegetables cut, the lime zested and juiced, and the ginger grated; this meal comes together in about half an hour. If you put the rice on to cook while the curry thickens, you’ll be ready to go in no time. The only thing I wouldn’t do too far in advance is slice the basil, which starts to brown once it’s cut.
This dish is perfect for warm weather. It’s bright, tangy and just a tiny bit sweet from the lime juice, with some nice subtle spice from the curry and ginger. The chicken is perfectly tender and flavorful, the veggies add freshness and bite, and the coconut milk brings the whole thing together giving the curry some rich creaminess while keeping it light and bright. Great now I’m drooling. Good thing there’s some leftovers in the fridge!
Thai Coconut Green Curry Chicken Thighs
1 tablespoon fish sauce
3 tablespoons Thai green curry paste
1 tablespoon coconut oil or vegetable oil
salt to taste
1 14 oz can coconut milk
1 tablespoon of freshly grated ginger (from a 1″ by 2″ peeled chunk)
zest and juice of 1 lime
3 large carrots, cut into thin strips
2 red bell peppers, cut into thin strips
1 medium onions, cut into thin strips
generous handful basil leaves, washed
In a small bowl combine chicken, fish sauce, and green curry. Stir to coat. Preheat a skillet over medium high heat, add oil and spread chicken thighs in an even layer. Season with salt to taste, and cook for 5 minutes stirring infrequently. Add coconut milk, lime zest and juice, and grated ginger. Stir to combine, and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes, add the carrots, peppers and onion, and simmer 10 minutes more. Meanwhile, cut the basil into a chiffonade (stack the leaves, roll them up like a cigar, and cut into paper thin strips). Add about 3/4 of the basil and simmer 5 minutes more.
Serve over white rice and top with remaining basil.