Thai Chicken Curry
I’m over-the-moon, giggly-girly giddy to tell you about today’s Thai Chicken Curry! It’s one of those special recipes we all want and need more of in our lives: a healthy, one-pan dinner that’s dead simple to prepare yet so outrageously tasty, it will leave you wowed by your own kitchen prowess. Ready in about 45 minutes (more than half of which is hands off) this Thai coconut curry recipe is fast enough for a weeknight but special enough for company.
The first time I made this Thai Chicken Curry with coconut milk, I was worried I would find it lacking, because my expectations for it were especially (bordering on unrealistically) high. Not only do I want you to find the very best recipes here, but also I’ve eaten my way through copious amounts of authentic Thai chicken curry in Thailand, so I know exactly how fabulous it can be.
Could a recipe that is as easy to prepare with such a short list of ingredients as this Thai Chicken Curry live up to my self-induced hype?
Forget “live up to.” This recipe BLEW ME AWAY. Meet one of the best Thai Chicken Curry recipes you will ever make at home (and it was even better than some of the curry I ate in Thailand, believe it or not)!
How to Make Thai Chicken Curry (The Easy Way!)
Whenever I’m working on a recipe for the first time, I’m tempted to rifle around my pantry to throw in a little of this, followed by a dash of that. After all, isn’t more, well, more?
Not this time.
I know cooking Thai food at home can be intimidating if you’ve never tried it, but the ingredient list here is short, approachable, and you can find every one of the (few) ingredients you need at your local grocery store.
Yes, yes, I realize Thai food purists will (correctly) point out that authentic Thai curry has many more things added to it than this recipe does. For our purposes, I love that this easy version of Thai Chicken Curry can quickly come to life in your kitchen, no access to specialty ingredients required.
The chicken curry recipe prep is a breeze, and the final effect is deeply rewarding: a rich, not-too-spicy, yet-oh-so-flavorful thick coconut sauce that’s brimming with ginger, garlic, and authentic Thai chicken curry flavor.
When you read this Thai Chicken Curry recipe, you’ll see how straightforward the steps are:
- Season and brown the chicken.
- Sauté the vegetables, Thai red curry paste, and spices.
- Add the coconut milk.
- Pop into the oven.
Um, that’s it.
What you won’t see is how the flavors bloom and develop together. I was eating this sauce out of the skillet with a spoon, and the chicken was perfectly browned and juicy.
I owe this whiz of chicken skillet dinners to a lady I have long admired, Jessica of the beautiful blog How Sweet Eats.
This Thai Chicken Curry with coconut milk recipe is from the pages of Jessica’s latest cookbook, The Pretty Dish, and if the rest of the recipes in it are even a fraction as delightful as this Thai red coconut curry chicken, then we are all in for a fabulous 150+ pages of stellar eating and drinking.
Cooking this Thai Curry Chicken recipe—which wowed me in every way if you can’t tell already—and paging through The Pretty Dish was especially meaningful to me because Jessica’s blog is one of the very first I ever followed. Nearly six years ago, when I first clicked “publish” here at this corner of the internet, I hardly knew what a blog was, let alone that other people, cool people I’d like and admire and even meet in person one day, could be doing the same crazy thing.
I have a vivid memory of typing “what are some food blogs” into a Google search bar. How Sweet Eats was one of the first names I came across.
This is going to sound borderline creepy in that special way only blogging can, but as soon as I visited Jessica’s blog, I became lost in her writing and, a few hours later, felt like I had made a friend. Her voice is warm and authentic in a way that’s rare to find online. “If only we could meet in real life!” I thought.
Fast forward a few years and a few hundred recipes later. I have had the pleasure to spend time with Jessica “in real life.” She’s just as personable, kind, and genuine as I (and everyone else who reads her lovely blog) imagined she would be. I’m honored to be sharing her book with you today, and I do hope you will buy a copy, because it’s incredibly special. The recipes feel fresh and creative yet are totally, absolutely doable.
Case in point: Thai Chicken Curry. Can you chop vegetables and stir coconut milk? YOU CAN MAKE THIS RECIPE!
More About Making Thai Red Curry Chicken
- You can make this Thai Curry Chicken with chicken breasts or chicken thighs, or keep your entire household happy like both Jessica and I do by using a mix of both.
- The star flavor-maker in this Thai red chicken curry recipe is Thai red curry paste. Curry paste is available in the Asian food section of most major grocery stores or online here.
- If you’d like to make the Thai chicken curry green, you could swap the red curry paste for green curry paste (not yet tested and it will have a very different flavor, but I suspect it will be quite tasty).
- The same is true for Thai yellow chicken curry: use yellow curry paste instead of the red curry paste.
- I insist you use full-fat (not light) coconut milk. I promise the boss sauce will be worth it. I like to swap in light coconut milk anytime I can, but it just isn’t the same here.
- As written, this recipe is Whole30 compliant! It’s also Paleo. (For more Whole30 chicken recipes, check out my Harvest Chicken Skillet, Whole30 Chicken Salad, or many of these Whole30 recipes).
The Difference between Red Curry and Panang Curry
- Panang curry (also called as Penang or Penaeng curry) is a red curry that originates from Penang, an island located off the west coast of Malaysia. It is usually less spicy than traditional red curry because of the fact that it uses fewer red chiles. Panang curry also includes coconut cream and peanuts, thus making it sweeter than other Thai curries.
- This red curry isn’t strictly one or the other. It’s not overly spicy by any means, but it has a distinct Thai flavor I think you’ll love!
Serving and Storing Thai Chicken Curry
- We served ours with rice, and it was delicious. Jessica also suggests dipping the sauce with sourdough, which, after trying the sauce, I am 1,000% certain would be outstanding.
- To make reheating leftovers easier, I diced up the extra chicken and then mixed it in with the rice.
More Delicious Recipes with Thai Red Curry Paste
Tools to Make Thai Chicken Curry
- All you really need is a killer skillet. I used this one; this brand is also excellent. For an affordable, high-quality option, check out this one.
- The Pretty Dish. Obvi. I love this cookbook and am so happy it brought this yummy recipe (and so many others) into my life.
Last, a note Jessica, this Thai Chicken Curry’s recipe author: Congratulations on your book! Thank you for being your creative, positive, one-of-a-kind self and for inspiring so many of your fellow bloggers (this one included) to do the same. I’m so happy our paths crossed, in blog life and in real life too.♥
Thai Chicken Curry
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts - or thighs (or a mix!)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 red bell pepper - thinly sliced
- 1 leek - thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic - minced
- 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 2 tablespoons red curry paste
- 1 can full-fat coconut milk - (14 ounces) (do not use light or the sauce won't thicken properly)
- 3 tablespoons torn fresh cilantro
- Prepared brown rice or sourdough for serving
- Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Season the chicken with salt and black pepper.
- In a large, ovenproof skillet, melt the coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and sear on both sides until deeply golden brown. Transfer to a plate.
- Reduce the heat to medium low. Add the bell pepper, leek, garlic, and ginger, and stir to combine. Cook for 2 minutes, until slightly softened. Stir in the curry paste. Cook for 5 additional minutes, stirring often. Slowly pour in the coconut milk while stirring to combine. Return the reserved chicken to the skillet.
- Place the skillet in the oven and cook for 25 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted in the thickest portion of the chicken registers 165 degrees F and the juices run clear (my smaller breasts were done closer to the 15-minute mark). Top with cilantro. Serve with rice and fresh sourdough bread for mopping up the sauce if desired.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
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