Passion Project: Yellow Chicken Curry with Potatoes

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For this fourth day of my “chicken week”, I’m taking you on a short trip to Asia! More specifically, I’m exploring one of Thailand’s specialties (and my go-to alternative order to Pad Thai): coconut-based yellow curry with chicken and potatoes. Can you smell the lemongrass, ginger, and all of the spices developing? Because I can, and how I wish I could share that!

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Though this is no surprise, I really love to cook. I mean, I have a food blog after all. That must say something! But why do I love it so much? Well, for starters, I love to eat. I’m convinced that good chefs have to be great eaters first. It’s essential to deeply appreciate food before you can make it yourself and share it. As a matter of fact, I’ve never heard of a great chef who doesn’t love to eat. But it’s not just about eating, it’s also about sharing the experience with others. It’s about making something from scratch and putting in the time and effort to create dishes for yourself and others.

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When I cook, I get to experiment, step outside of my comfort zone, and let my imagination flow. I am guided by my senses. I follow the smells, tastes, and flavors, as well as my sight and touch. It’s a complete experience I like to immerse myself in! All of my worries go away as I focus solely on the ingredients and flavors. At that point in time, nothing else matters. In a way, cooking is very therapeutic. I put time and love into my food, knowing I will enjoy the delayed gratification of sitting down in front of a home-cooked meal. According to common belief, food tastes better when it’s free… Our brains would make connections with pleasure centers and the meal would feel more enjoyable. Yet, I have issues with that. To me, food tastes better when it required a significant personal input of time and effort. Take this yellow curry paste for example. I could’ve bought it in a store and it would’ve been ok. However, making use of my blender was so much better!

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The following recipe is a great example of my kind of kitchen “medicine”, or remedy to a stressful week. I zoned out in my kitchen and set my heart into making this yellow curry from scratch. I was craving Thai food and this proved to be a perfect break from homework. Before I knew it, I was grating ginger and watching lovingly over my simmering coconut cream.The chicken breast was tender as can be, which is something I find essential. I always dread ordering curries in restaurants because the chicken too often ends up being dry. No matter how good the sauce is, there’s no way to make up for dry meat. A good tip here is to cook the chicken only halfway through before adding the potatoes. This ensures that you don’t over cook it. With this recipe, I also explored a new cut of my whole chicken. Cooking the breast straight in the sauce almost acts like poaching. The chicken won’t brown, will cook evenly, and remain fluffy and tender. It’ll then be ready to be served over rice with a (very) generous laddle of sauce! Bon appétit!

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Total time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 chicken breast
  • 5 tiny potatoes
  • 1/2 can coconut milk
  • 1/2 cream from top of the coconut milk can
  • 2 tbsp yellow curry paste (recipe below, or store-bought)
  • 1/4 yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup brown jasmine rice
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Ingredients for the Yellow Curry Paste

  • 1 tbsp lemongrass paste
  • a piece of fresh ginger, size of 1/2 thumb
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 shallot
  • 1 1/2 tbsp minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 tbsp ground curry
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • about 1-2 tbsp water
  • a good pinch of salt

Directions:

  1. To make the curry paste, add the following to a food processor: grated/pureed ginger and garlic, lemongrass paste, all the spices and seasoning, minced shallot, and fresh cilantro. Pulse a few times and add water to help the process and obtain a paste.
  2. Start cooking the rice. Cover the grains with 1/2 cup water, cover and let it cook until all the water is absorbed.
  3. In a small pot, bring water to a boil and parboil the potatoes for about 5-6 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, cut the chicken breast in small, bite-sized pieces. Add the coconut cream to a pan and heat it up until the cream bubbles and starts to thicken. Then, add 2 tbsp of curry paste and mix it all together. When the cream is homogenous, add the chicken pieces, toss them around well, and let them cook but not all the way through.
  5. Peel the potatoes while the chicken cooks and cut them in small pieces.
  6. Finally, mince the onion, and add it alongside the potatoes to the chicken and cream. Add the coconut milk, and a drop of water. Mix and let it cook a few minutes, until the potatoes and chicken are done and the curry has reduced a little bit. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
  7. To serve, start with the brown rice, top with a generous portion of chicken and potatoes and lots of sauce (the best part!). Garnish with chopped cilantro and a fresh squeeze of lime juice. Bon appétit!

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Temps Total: 40 minutes

Ingrédients

  • 1 blanc de poulet
  • 5 petites pommes de terre
  • 1/2 conserve de lait de coco
  • 1/2 crème de la conserve de coco
  • 2 c.s de pâte de curry jaune (recette ci-dessous, ou pré-préparée)
  • 1/4 d’oignon jaune
  • 1/4 de tasse de riz brun, sec
  • quelques brins de coriandre fraiche
  • sel de mer et poivre noir fraichement moulu

Ingrédients pour la Pâte de Curry Jaune

  • 1 c.s de pâte de citronelle
  • un morceau de gingembre de 2cm environ
  • 1 gousse d’ail
  • 1/2 échalote
  • 1 1/2 c.s de coriandre émincée
  • 1 c.s de curry en poudre
  • 1 c.s de turmeric
  • 1/2 c.s de coriandre en poudre
  • 1 c.c de piment de cayenne
  • environ 1-2 c.s d’eau
  • une bonne pincée de sel

Étapes:

  1. Commencez par préparer la pâte de curry. Ajoutez les ingrédients suivants dans le bol d’un mixer: le gingembre et l’ail râpés, la pâte de citronnelle, les épices, l’échalote émincée, et la coriandre fraîche. Mixez en ajoutant de l’eau graduellement jusqu’à obtenir une pâte.
  2. Mettez le riz à cuire. Recouvrez les grains avec 1/2 tasse d’eau et laissez cuire à feu moyen jusqu’à ce que toute l’eau soit absorbée.
  3. Faites bouillir de l’eau dans une petite casserole, et ajoutez les pommes de terre pendant environ 5-6 minutes.
  4. Pendant ce temps, coupez le blanc de poulet en petits morceaux. Faites chauffer la crème de coco dans une casserole jusqu’à ébullition, et laissez épaissir quelques minutes. Ajoutez alors 2 c.s de pâte de curry et mélangez le tout. Lorsque la crème est homogène, ajoutez le poulet; mélangez de façon à bien recouvrir le poulet, et laissez cuire mais pas complètement (environ 4 minutes).
  5. Pellez les pommes de terre pendant que le poulet cuit et coupez les en morceaux.
  6. Pour finir, émincez l’oignon et ajoutez le à la sauce ainsi que les pommes de terre. Ajoutez le lait de coco et un filet d’eau. Mélangez le tout et laissez cuire le temps que les pommes de terre soient tendres, le poulet cuit, et que la sauce aie réduite. Goutez et ajustez l’assaisonnement.
  7. Pour servir, commencez par le riz brun. Ajoutez une portion généreuse de poulet et pommes de terre avec beaucoup de sauce (la meilleure partie de la recette!). Garnissez le tout de coriandre fraichement émincée et d’un filet de jus de citron vert. Bon appétit!
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