Friends’ Favorite Foods: Andrea’s Massaman Curry

Despite it being mid-March, we’re still at times in the throes of winter so it seemed like a perfect day for my next Whole30-fied dish. My friend Andrea’s favorite, Massaman curry, is a fairly mild Thai curry with Muslim roots and is typically made with chicken or lamb. Let’s just clear the air and acknowledge that I’m clearly not upset about another curry in my repertoire.

For this recipe you’ll need a few straightforward basics and a jar of Massaman curry paste from my beloved Thai & True (or any other Whole30-compliant Massaman curry paste).

The quantities in this recipe are written for dinner for two and leftovers so feel free to adjust accordingly depending on how many you’re feeding (or for how long you want to feed yourself).

Equipment:
Large stainless or non-stick pan
Spatula or slotted spoon
Two medium prep bowls
Spoon for serving
Cutting board
Sharp knife

Ingredients:
1 lb boneless/skinless chicken thighs
1 lb boneless/skinless chicken breast
4 oz Massaman curry paste
1 yellow onion, sliced thin into quarters
1.25 lb small creamer potatoes, quartered
1 red pepper, sliced thin
1 small cherry bomb pepper, seeds removed and finely chopped
1 can full fat coconut milk
1/2 cup chicken stock (sub 1/3 cup water)
2 tbsp coconut or avocado oil
1 tsp minced ginger
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp salt
4-5 drops Red Boat fish sauce

I’ve realized with dishes like these, where there are lots of veggies to chop, getting all that prep done first makes it much easier.

The onions, peppers, garlic, and ginger will all be added to the pan at the same time and the potatoes just a minute later so keep that in mind as you prep.

Set pan on stovetop to preheat on medium-high. I’ve been really enjoying stainless steel pans lately, you know it’s hot enough when a splash of water balls up and bounces around. If the water just evaporates, it’s not hot enough yet. Once you reach the “bouncy water” level, turn heat down to medium-low and add oil/fat of choice.

Give the oil a minute to heat up then add your onions, garlic, ginger, and peppers. Quickly stir so that the garlic doesn’t catch and burn. Then add chopped potatoes and a pinch of salt. Mix well.

Let the vegetables cook, stirring occasionally, while you prep the chicken. Remove any connective tissue and gristle. Depending on how fatty your chicken is, feel free to trim some of this down. A little fat is always good, but I don’t love big pieces hanging off and typically cut those off. (You can save any trimmed fat for a later date by sealing and freezing it in a ziplock bag).

Cut the chicken into cube-like shapes, about one inch in size. Obviously getting pieces of chicken to all be the same shape is difficult, but size is more important here so don’t worry about it too much.

Once the onions and peppers have softened up a bit, about 10 minutes in the pan, it’s time to add the chicken! Add another pinch of salt and give everything a good stir.

Add four ounces of curry paste (~2/3 of the jar) to the pan and mix well to incorporate. Continue cooking for about five minutes.

Add half a cup of chicken stock (or 1/3 cup water if you don’t have any stock or broth) and a splash of fish sauce. Stir to mix everything together. Bring mixture to a low boil.

Once your curry has started to boil, reduce to simmer, cover, and leave to cook for 25-30 minutes. It’s done when the potatoes are fully cooked and soft.

Stir in a full can of coconut milk, mixing well. Bring curry back to a light boil then remove from heat and serve immediately.

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