I am craving comfort food like crazy these days.
January is always a tough month for me. And this year, well, as it probably is for most people…it’s feeling even harder. The pandemic, the state of our country, the unrest, the horrifying display in Washington last week…
It’s a lot. For all of us.
I love the “fresh start” mentality of a new year, but I find myself often feeling lonely and depressed this time of year (and now it’s certainly amplified by all of the aforementioned current issues), and I think I get caught up in the notion that time is going by way too fast. A whole year of my life is over. In the blink of an eye.
So! This year, I am being extra mindful of how I’m feeling. I’m trying to eat nourishing foods and exercising to keep my emotions and mental state healthy.
I’m making sure to give myself alone time to decompress. I’m focusing on realistic goals. I’m cutting back on work and trying to invest my time better (and I’m very aware of how privileged I am to be able to do that). I’m savoring these moments with my husband and kids. And just trying to stay positive in general!
Aren’t we all?
I often want comfort foods when I am feeling down, and dishes like this Thai green curry check off all the boxes. This is one of those dishes that just feels GOOD to eat. It’s FULL of flavor and nourishment, and you know that you’re doing something good for your body…and soul!
Now, I’m not claiming this to be authentic (I am not from Thailand, after all), but this is how I make my version of Thai curry at home. This is my homage to one of my favorite Thai dishes, one that comes only second to Drunken Noodles.
I’ve been making this for a few months now, tweaking it here and there to get it just right, and when I shared this in my Instagram stories a few weeks back, you guys all asked for the recipe.
Ask and you shall receive!
This recipe may seem intimidating when you see the long list of ingredients (some of which you likely don’t keep on hand) and the many steps, but I promise, it’s not difficult to make. It just takes some time. And the variety of ingredients is necessary to build that complex and nuanced flavor of curry dishes. The actual process, though? Not hard.
We start with cooking some chicken breast in a large skillet or pot. Now, I prefer chicken to other proteins in this dish, but I think it would work with just about anything. Pork, turkey, and even a white fish would work great.
You could also make this vegetarian by using tofu or tons of mushrooms. Mushrooms are very common in this dish traditionally, but I skip them because I try to avoid mushrooms whenever possible, hah.
Once the chicken is cooked through, we remove it and set it aside. To the same pot, where all those awesome chicken drippings have formed, we add alllll the flavorings for this heavenly dish. Garlic, ginger, onion, lemongrass, Thai chile, kaffir lime leaves, fish sauce, lime juice, coconut milk, and broth. Each one of these ingredients plays a crucial role in the resulting flavor and texture of the dish, so I highly recommend you include them. The recipe ingredient and process notes explain in more detail (along with resources for finding some of the less common ingredients)!
Once all of those flavors have had time to simmer together and create magic, we add the chicken back in along with some veggies for heft and health: snap peas, baby spinach, and tons of fresh herbs. I like a mix of cilantro and Thai basil (regular basil works if you can’t find Thai). We end up with a beautiful green sea of textures, flavors, and nourishment.
All that’s left to do is serve this up over rice or rice noodles and topped off with loads of fresh lime juice and more herbs. It’s the right thing to do. Trust me.
This sort of meal truly heals from within. Not only are the ingredients incredibly good for you and make you feel like you’re doing something good for you body, but they soothe the soul as well. Comforting and truly warming!
Ideal for January. Or any time you’re in need of a food hug.
Thai Green Curry with Chicken
- Total Time: 55 minutes
- Yield: 4 generous servings 1x
This Thai Green Curry with Chicken is an easy take on a take-out favorite. It showcases a rich coconut broth flavored with garlic, ginger, green curry paste, lemongrass, Thai chiles, and kaffir lime. Chicken breast and lots of fresh green ingredients like snap peas, baby spinach, and fresh herbs make this a nourishing and comforting one-stop meal.
- 1 tablespoon canola or coconut oil
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
- 2 tablespoons lemongrass paste (this is my favorite – look for it in the produce section)
- 1 (4-oz) jar prepared Thai green curry paste
- 4 dried kaffir lime leaves (I buy mine online – you can also use fresh, but you’ll likely need to double the quantity used)
- 1 dried Thai chile pepper (you can use fresh!), left whole
- 1 tablespoon coconut sugar (this is optional but I recommend it for a touch of balancing sweetness)
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
- 1 (14-oz) can full-fat coconut milk
- 1½ cups snap peas
- 3 cups baby spinach
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Juice of 1 lime, plus additional lime wedges for serving
- Fresh cilantro, chopped
- Fresh Thai basil, chopped (regular basil works in a pinch)
- Cooked rice, for serving
- In a large skillet set over medium-high heat, add the oil until shimmering.
- Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Add them to the hot oil and cook for 5 minutes per side. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
- Reduce the heat to low and add the onion, garlic, ginger, and lemongrass to the pan. Scrape up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan from browning the chicken, and stirring frequently, cook the onion mixture for a few minutes until softened and fragrant.
- Add in the curry paste and stir until it coats the veggies. Cook for a few minutes to bring out the flavors in the paste.
- Add in the kaffir lime leaves, chile pepper, coconut sugar, fish sauce, and chicken stock and bring to a simmer.
- Simmer over medium-low heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently. At this time, I like to prep my rice, slice or dice the chicken, and prep the fresh ingredients to finish the curry.
- After the sauce has simmered and reduced by roughly half, stir in the coconut milk and lime juice. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
- Add in the snap peas and the sliced chicken, cover the pan, and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add in the baby spinach and some chopped cilantro/basil. Cover the pan so the spinach can wilt. This will only take a minute or two.
- Stir everything together and then season the sauce, to taste, with additional salt, pepper, fish sauce, or lime juice.
- Serve the curry over rice or rice noodles and garnished with the fresh herbs and lime wedges.
- To make this vegetarian, sub out the chicken broth for vegetable broth and omit the chicken. You can sub in tofu or mushrooms for heft.
- I actually prefer dried Thai chiles to fresh because I can keep them in my pantry for a long time. They also have a less aggressive heat, and I prefer the subtle heat that warms the back of your throat, rather than my mouth being on fire. If you prefer things spicier, you can certainly use fresh chiles OR double the amount of dried chiles.
- Dried kaffir lime leaves are an awesome thing to keep in your pantry. They add wonderful and unique flavor to sauces and curries like this one, and they last much longer than fresh. I buy them online and keep them well sealed in a mason jar in my pantry. They last for months!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Category: entree
- Cuisine: Thai
Keywords: thai green curry recipe, thai green curry with chicken, easy thai green curry, thai green curry chicken, homemade thai green curry, homemade thai green curry with chicken
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