Saturday, January 14, 2012

Thai Panang Curry Chicken

This recipe will feed about 2-4 is served with rice and you can also serve this along with a veggie dish or a Thai salad

1 pound of chicken breasts
1 can of coconut milk
1 teaspoon of palm sugar
1 tablespoon of Kaffir Lime Leaves (sold in Asian markets)

10 big red dried chilies...
these large chilies are less potent so if you want a spicier 5 star panang
then you can add a few small dried chilies to it.

2 teaspons of Galangal, cut into matchsticks
Galangal looks like ginger root but do not substitute with ginger
this is important. Galangal can be purchased at Whole Foods Market or an Asian Market. Store in refrigerator. 

2 tablespoons of Lemongrass, minced
with lemongrass only the bottom part of the stalk is used, the first 1/3 to 1/2.

1 tablespoon of Coriander root...

ok so this is one of the most important ingredients in this dish and it is so hard to find fresh coriander with its roots still on anywhere around here...even in the Asian Markets. Some Latino or Asian markets might have some but I haven't found any. buy a pot of coriander and use the roots lol!! Cut the root with about 1/2″ of green (like shown) and wash very very well before adding to the dish. To get even more flavor in a soup, bruise the root with a stone mortar & pestle first. A trick to washing the dirt off is to place the coriander with its roots in a large bowl and fill the bowl with cold water. Let stand for 10 mins, after this you'll see that all the dirt and mud will have sunk to the bottom. Using a small sieve scoop up the stems without disturbing the bottom. 

1 teaspoon of toasted Coriander seeds
1 teaspoon of toasted Cumin seeds
2 tablespoons of minced garlic
2 tablespoons of shallots

1 teaspoon of shrimp paste...also sold at Asian markets or online

The first step is to make the curry paste. Start by soaking the chilies in water until they’re soft. This could take up to a half hour. When they’re soft, cut them open to remove the guts & seeds. Put your Chilies with the salt in a stone mortar and pestle and pound until it is a paste. The skins are difficult to mash, be patient, it is going to take awhile. When your chilies are a uniform paste, add the lemongrass. Pound until a paste. Then add the galangal and coriander roots, and again, smash until paste.

Toast the cumin seeds and cilantro seeds separately in a pan over medium heat. Roast each until fragrant, about 3-5 minutes. Then put in a stone mortar and pestle until it is a powder. Set aside. 

Add the shallots, garlic and your powdered cumin & cilantro seeds. Mash until paste. Add the shrimp paste and pound to mix well. Set aside.
Cut your meat into slices about 1.5″ long
Now we are going to fry our curry paste. Heat up your pan first on medium-high heat, then add  a tablespoon of peanut oil or even coconut oil and add the paste. fry the paste. keep stirring the paste so it doesn't burn. Then add 1/2 cup of the coconut milk. It should sizzle right away and boil. Stir all the paste and mix well.
Keep adding coconut cream about 1/4 cup at a time, every minute or two. You should start to see a lot of oil coming to the top of the curry. This is normal and a sign that you’re doing it right! Your paste should start to smell really good after 4-5 minutes. You’ll start to see a lot of oil rising to the top, especially where it’s bubbling. When it does, add your meat. I even add sliced red bell pepper. Cook the meat until cooked, add the lime leaves, fish sauce and palm sugar, then keep going about 3-5 minutes so the meat is soft. Remove and serve.
Garnish with shredded lime leaves and a few leaves of Thai basil. Some fancy restaurants serve it like shown with a bit of thickened coconut cream (thickened with a bit of tapioca flour) =D

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