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Easy Coconut Chicken Curry

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Looking for a delightful, yet effortless curry dinner idea? Look no further! This Easy Coconut Chicken Curry recipe is not just a treat for your taste buds, but also a lifesaver on busy days. In just one pan, you can create a mouthwatering curry dish that’s packed with flavors.

Easily substitute the chicken with your favorite protein, or prepare with vegetables to create a Vegetarian Coconut Curry.

A gray plate with steamed rice on the left side with easy coconut chicken curry on the right side with a pan of the curry in the background

WHAT IS CURRY

Curry, a beloved dish with a rich history, has its origins in the Indian subcontinent. Over centuries, it has traveled and transformed, becoming a staple in various global cuisines. What makes curry truly fascinating is its versatility; it’s more a concept than a singular recipe. Curries can be found in myriad forms, varying from region to region, and even from one household to another.

Experimentation is key in the world of curry. Whether you’re using red, green, or yellow paste, each variation offers a different culinary adventure.

This Easy Coconut Chicken Curry recipe calls for the use of red curry paste. It’s known for its vibrant color and balanced heat. However, the beauty of curry lies in its adaptability. If you prefer a milder version, you can substitute red curry paste with green or yellow curry paste:

  • Green Curry: Known for its fresh, herbal flavors, green curry derives its color from green chilies and fresh herbs like cilantro and basil. It offers a delightful, mild heat, making it an excellent choice for those who enjoy a flavorful yet less spicy curry.
  • Yellow Curry: Yellow curry, on the other hand, gets its hue from turmeric and often includes ingredients like cumin and coriander. It has a warm, slightly sweet flavor profile and is typically the mildest among the three. Yellow curry is a great option for those who prefer a subtle, aromatic curry experience.

To incorporate green or yellow curry into this recipe, simply replace the red curry paste with an equal amount of your chosen paste. The cooking process remains the same.

Me holding a jar of Thai Kitchen red curry paste

WHY YOU SHOULD MAKE THIS EASY CHICKEN CURRY RECIPE

This delicious Easy Curry Coconut Chicken recipe is a must-try for several reasons:

  • Effortless: With minimal prep and just one pan to clean, this recipe saves you time and effort in the kitchen. The cooking process is streamlined, ensuring you have a delicious meal on the table in no time. In just around 20 minutes, you can enjoy a homemade curry that tastes like it’s been simmering for hours.
  • Flavor-Packed: The combination of lemongrass, ginger, garlic, and red curry paste creates an explosion of flavors that will leave you craving for more.
  • Versatile and Healthy: You can customize this recipe with your favorite vegetables and protein. Plus, it’s a great way to enjoy a healthy, balanced meal.
  • One-Pan Dinner: The beauty of this coconut chicken curry recipe lies in its simplicity. By following the step-by-step instructions, you’ll see how easy it is to create a flavorful curry using just one pan. From sautéing the aromatics to simmering the chicken and vegetables, everything happens in a single pan, minimizing cleanup time.

INGREDIENT SUBSTITUTIONS

  • Protein: Boneless chicken thighs can be used instead of breasts. Alternatively, if you’re not a fan of chicken, feel free to substitute with tofu, shrimp, fish or even vegetables like mushrooms or cauliflower.
  • Vegetables: Don’t hesitate to swap the red pepper and snow peas with your favorite veggies, such as broccoli, carrots, or spinach.
  • Spice Level: Adjust the amount of red curry paste and chili garlic sauce according to your spice preference.

HOW TO MAKE CHICKEN CURRY

  • Prepare the Aromatics: Heat the oil in a large pan or skillet over medium heat. Add the pounded lemongrass and freshly grated ginger. Sauté for 1 minute until fragrant.
  • Add Garlic and Sugar: Add the minced garlic and sugar. Sauté for another minute until the garlic is golden and fragrant.
  • Introduce Curry Flavors: Stir in the red curry paste and chili garlic sauce. Toast the mixture for a few minutes until the spices are aromatic and the paste darkens slightly.
  • Pour in Coconut Milk: Pour in the coconut milk, stirring well to combine all the flavors. Turn up the heat and allow the coconut cream to melt and form a creamy sauce.
  • Season and Add Chicken: Add a few dashes of fish sauce, adjusting to your taste. Add the thinly sliced chicken to the pan, gently poaching it in the sauce for about 7 minutes until cooked through.
  • Add Vegetables: Toss in the thinly sliced red pepper and snow peas. Allow the vegetables to soften in the sauce for 5-7 minutes, maintaining their crunch.
  • Final Touch: Remove the lemongrass stalks from the pan. Take the pan away from the heat. Stir in the fresh lime juice and chopped cilantro. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.
  • Serve: Serve the Easy Curry Coconut Chicken over steamed jasmine or basmati rice. Garnish with additional cilantro leaves and lime wedges, if desired.

TIPS ON MAKING THE BEST CHICKEN CURRY

By following these tips, you can master the art of making this weeknight Coconut Chicken Curry recipe that’s not only quick, but also bursting with authentic flavors:

  • Thinly Slicing the Chicken: To ensure the chicken quickly and easily poaches in the curry sauce, optionally freeze it for about 20 minutes before slicing. This slight firmness makes it easier to get thin, uniform slices.
  • Use Full-Fat Coconut Milk: For a rich and creamy curry, opt for full-fat coconut milk. It adds a luxurious texture and depth of flavor.
  • Don’t Rush the Aromatics: Allowing the lemongrass, ginger, garlic, red curry paste, and chili garlic sauce to sauté properly at the beginning is crucial. This slow cooking process at the start helps develop layers of flavor that will infuse the curry dish.
  • Experiment with Heat: If you love spice, consider adding a sliced chili pepper or a pinch of red pepper flakes with the aromatics. For a milder version, reduce or omit the chili garlic sauce.
  • Be Cautious with Fish Sauce: Fish sauce is a potent ingredient. Start with a small amount and gradually add more according to your taste. Remember, you can always add more, but you can’t take it out if you’ve added too much.
  • Let it Rest: If time allows, let your curry rest for a few minutes after cooking. This allows the flavors to meld together and the curry sauce to thicken.
  • Taste Before Serving: Before serving, always taste the curry. The intensity of flavors can vary based on the brands of curry paste and fish sauce used. Remember, you can add more fish sauce for depth or a bit of sugar to balance the flavors.
  • Adjust with Extra Lime Juice: Lime juice not only adds a burst of freshness but also balances the richness of the coconut milk. If your curry feels slightly heavy, squeeze in an extra lime just before serving.
  • Customize Your Garnish: If you are not a fan of cilantro; green onions, a sprinkle of sesame seeds, and/or a few fresh basil leaves can add unique, complimentary flavors.

HOW TO SERVE COCONUT CHICKEN CURRY

This One-Pan Curry Chicken pairs wonderfully with steamed jasmine or basmati rice, brown rice, or even noodles. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and a wedge of lime for an extra burst of flavor. If you prefer a low-carb option, serve it with cauliflower rice, or enjoy it as a hearty soup on its own.

How to Store Leftovers:

Have leftovers? Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat the chicken curry gently on the stove, adding a splash of water or coconut milk to maintain its creamy texture.

MORE CURRY RECIPES TO LOVE

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A gray plate with steamed rice on the left side with easy coconut chicken curry on the right side with a pan of the curry in the background

Easy Coconut Chicken Curry


Description

This Easy Coconut Chicken Curry recipe is not just a treat for your taste buds, but also a lifesaver on busy days. In just one pan, you can create a mouthwatering curry dish that’s packed with flavors.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 boneless chicken breasts, approximately 1-1 1/4 pounds
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, cut into pieces and pounded to release natural oils
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon turbinado or brown sugar
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce
  • 1 1/2 cans coconut milk
  • 3 dashes fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, plus
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped, plus more for garnish
  • lime wedges, for serving

Instructions

  1. Prepare the chicken by slicing the breasts into very thin strips. Set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a deep pan. Add the pounded lemongrass pieces and freshly grated ginger. Sauté for a minute.
  3. Add in the minced garlic and sugar. Sauté for another minute.
  4. Add in the red curry paste and chili garlic sauce. Allow this to “toast up” for a few minutes (the curry paste will darken during the process).
  5. Pour in the coconut milk. Stir. Turn up the heat and allow the coconut milk to melt for a few minutes and form a red curry sauce. 
  6. Add in the fish sauce and thinly sliced chicken. Gently stir the chicken into the sauce to separate and allow to cook evenly.
  7. On a gently simmer, poach the chicken in the sauce for about 7 minutes. 
  8. Add in the red pepper and snow peas. Cook for another 5-7 minutes to soften the vegetables.
  9. Remove and discard the lemongrass pieces.
  10. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the fresh lime juice and fresh chopped cilantro.
  11. Taste for salt and extra lime juice.
  12. Optionally, serve with steamed rice garnished with a touch more chopped cilantro and lime wedges.
  13. ENJOY!
@charlottefashionplate

Red Chicken Curry Recipe! Thin strips of chicken breast poach gently in a creamy coconut curry sauce. This curry recipe is super flavorful, and the chicken is incredibly tender. Weeknight dinner done in about 20 minutes! #chickencurry #currychicken #coconutmilk #whatsfordinner #easyrecipe #weeknightdinner #foodtiktok #chickenrecipe

♬ Aesthetic – Tollan Kim

Notes

  • Thinly slice the chicken breasts to allow for a quicker poach, and better absorption of the curry flavors.
  • Boneless chicken thighs can be used in replacement of chicken breasts.
  • Pound the lemongrass to release the fragrant oils.
  • Allow the aromatics to sauté to develop flavor. 
  • Green or yellow curry can be used in replacement of the red curry paste (see post for what effect each will have on the flavor of the finished curry dish).
  • Use full-fat coconut milk, if possible. 
  • Be cautious with the fish sauce. You can always add more later, if needed.
  • Gently poach the chicken in the sauce on a low-to-medium simmer.
  • Easily substitute the red pepper and snow peas with your favorite vegetable(s).
  • Don’t forget to remove and discard the woody lemongrass.
  • Remove the pan from the heat prior to adding in the lime juice and fresh cilantro.
  • Prior to serving, taste for salt and/or to adjust the sweetness. Add more lime juice, as needed.
  • Serve with steamed rice for a complete meal.
  • See post for additional notes and tips.
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Easy
  • Cuisine: American, Curry

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GET TO KNOW ME!

A photo of me in a black floral dress cooking at the stovetop at Williams-Sonoma

WELCOME! My name is Melissa Latin aka. Charlotte Fashion Plate. Happy to meet you! I am more than just recipes. I love fashion and style too! Most importantly, I love my Family (my Hubby and my Fur Babies). My Husband (aka my “Kitchen Bitch”) means the world to me. He’s pretty damn cool too. Not only is he one of the nicest guys you will ever meet, he also has had a lengthy career in professional hockey. Not only winning two Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the early ’90’s, but most recently winning the Calder Cup with the Charlotte Checkers, amongst many other accolades. If you live in Charlotte and play hockey, or have a family member who plays, be sure to contact him!

Our life has changed dramatically in the past few years with the passing of our two goldendoodles, Vegas and Viva. We were lucky enough to have Vegas for five years (totally wish it was longer). Most recently, losing our Viva to a brain tumor in July of 2020. We welcomed our mini goldendoodle 7, almost seven years ago. We just added the amazing Hazel! Of course, I am always posting tons and tons of photos! Be sure to check out my recipe for Pet Bone Broth! This broth is super rich in nutrients and will provide your pet with a multitude of health benefits!

Let’s Get Social!

Be sure to follow me on social media! I’m always talking food, fashion, and family! I also love sharing some of my favorite Amazon Finds too. Click here to check out my Amazon page! FacebookInstagramTikTokTwitter and Pinterest! THANK YOU!

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