Coconut chicken curry’s a lot easier than you might imagine

  • By J.M. Hirsch Associated Press
  • Tuesday, March 5, 2013 4:35pm
  • Life

It didn’t seem too much to ask for. I wanted a coconut chicken curry that is fast, delicious and not loaded with fat. Turned out to be easier than I expected.

Let’s start with the sauce. The key is to make it rich and flavorful without resorting to the usual culprit — full-fat coconut milk. I considered using light coconut milk, but generally have found curries made with it to be thin and uninspiring. Fat, after all, is mighty yummy.

My solution was to start with a small amount of light coconut milk, but then doctor it up.

Pureeing into it a jar of roasted red peppers and a small onion was just the trick. This provided the sauce with body, as well as both sweet and savory flavors.

A hefty dose of curry powder and some lemon grass added during cooking rounded it all out.

To cook, all I did was bring my sauce to a simmer in a large saute pan, then add my chicken. To bulk out the recipe with good lean protein, I also added a can of chickpeas. I tasted it as it cooked and felt it was missing something… sweet. But I wanted to avoid the obvious — sugar, honey, etc. — if I could.

So I tried added grated carrots. Perfect! More healthy veggies and just the right amount of natural sweetness.

While you could use boneless, skinless chicken breasts in this recipe, I prefer thighs. They have a richer flavor and don’t get tough the way breasts can.

Speedy and light chicken curry

1 12-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained

1 small yellow onion, chopped

1 cup chicken broth

½ cup light coconut milk

2 teaspoons curry powder

3 3-inch lengths fresh lemon grass

1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained

1 cup grated carrots

1¾ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs

In a blender or food processor, combine the red peppers, onion, broth, coconut milk and curry powder. Process or puree until completely smooth.

Pour the sauce into a large, deep saute pan over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer. Use a rolling pin or meat mallet to lightly crush the lemon grass, then add to the sauce. Stir in the chickpeas and carrots. Nestle the chicken thighs into the sauce, being sure the tops are covered. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

Remove and discard the lemon grass. Serve the chicken with chickpeas, carrots and sauce spooned over it.

Makes 6 servings. Per serving: 320 calories; 110 calories from fat (34 percent of total calories); 12 g fat (4 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 90 mg cholesterol; 23 g carbohydrate; 4 g fiber; 3 g sugar; 30 g protein; 600 mg sodium.

More in Life

Mukilteo’s Hani Hani scores with the police chief

The Japanese restaurant serves dishes (poke, ramen, grill) inspired by the Hawaiian islands.

‘Coco’ is another eye-popping home run for Pixar/Disney

The animated movie’s a lively, touching tale of honoring family, following dreams.

Beer of the Week: Scuttlebutt’s Barrel-aged Belgian Winter

Made in 2013, the dark strong ale was stowed away in barrels. The brewery tests one each year.

‘Love, Chaos and Dinner’ an Teatro ZinZanni’s original show

The “Parsian cabaret” is a superb circus dinner theater operation in Marymoor Park through April 29.

Heavy Hollywood headlines: Robert Horton’s movies preview

In the midst of all the sexual-misconduct allegations, the holiday film season offers some relief.

Denzel Washington’s remarkable performance isn’t helped by plot

The actor is convincing as an awkward, eccentric lawyer, but unconvincing contrivances pile up.

‘The Breadwinner’ animation is strong, but its story is stilted

The Cartoon Saloon film never lets you forget that you’re here to learn an important lesson.

Pianist Kaitlyn Gia Lee, 10, of Mill Creek, will perform Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major on Nov. 26 with the Everett Philharmonic Orchestra.
Young pianist to perform Mozart with Everett Philharmonic

Kaitlyn Gia Lee, 10, of Mill Creek, will play the piano at the Music for the Imagination concert.

Liz Oyama as Belle, Jimmi Cook as Gaston and John Han as Lefou star in the Edmonds Driftwood Players production of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast,” opening Nov. 24. Magic Photo
In Driftwood’s ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ Belle has girl-power bend

Edmonds Driftwood Players presents Disney’s adaptation of the fair tale Nov. 24 through Dec. 17.

Most Read