Thai Peanut Chicken Curry
with rutabaga / baby spinach
For this vegetable-packed curry, saute peanuts in cooking oil first to build a base of rich, peanut flavor. This curry contains a small amount of liquid that will steam the vegetables, so be sure to use a pot with a tight-fitting lid.
Smarts #1: Much of the flavor in this dish comes from curry paste. Remember that you can always start with less and stir more in at the end of cooking after you’ve tasted the dish.
Smarts #2: This recipe could be made in the Instant Pot. For tips, join the Cook Smarts Instant Pot Facebook Group.
- Garlic - 3 cloves, chopped
- Lemongrass - 2 stalks, finely chopped
- Rutabaga - 12 oz, cubed (sub sweet potatoes or butternut squash)
- Chicken breasts, boneless and skinless - 1 lb, cubed
- Limes - 1, wedges
- Cilantro leaves - 2 Tbsp, chopped
- Oil, cooking - 2 Tbsp
- Peanuts - 1/4 cup
- Red curry paste - 3 Tbsp
- Peanut butter - 2 Tbsp
- Soy sauce, low-sodium - 1 Tbsp
- Coconut milk, light - 1 cup
- Stock, any type - 1 cup
- Baby spinach - 5 oz
- Fish sauce - 2 tsp
- Quinoa, uncooked - 3/4 cup
- Stock, any type - 1 1/2 cups
- Quinoa - (Skip if quinoa was made ahead for Tuesday.) Combine quinoa with stock (portion for quinoa) in a saucepan. Add some salt. Bring to a boil covered. Lower heat, keep covered, and cook until liquid is absorbed, 8 to 10 minutes. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Garlic / Lemongrass / Rutabaga - Prep as directed. Combine garlic and lemongrass. Store rutabaga separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Chicken - Cube chicken. Tenderize with a fork and season with some salt and pepper. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
- Limes / Cilantro - Prep as directed.
- Heat a Dutch oven (or other large pan with a tight-fitting lid) with oil over medium heat. Add peanuts and saute until peanuts are deep golden brown and toasted, 4 to 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove peanuts, leaving remaining oil in the pan.
- To heated oil remaining in the pan add chicken and cook until starting to cook on the outside, 3 to 4 minutes (do not cook chicken all the way through).
- To chicken add garlic, lemongrass, curry paste, peanut butter, and soy sauce. Stir until fragrant, ~2 minutes.
- Add rutabaga, coconut milk, and stock (portion for curry). Give everything a stir and then cover with a lid. Simmer curry, covered, until rutabaga is tender and chicken is cooked through, ~15 minutes. (Note: Once the curry starts to simmer, reduce heat to prevent it from bubbling too vigorously. Keeping the curry at a low simmer is the key to tender chicken.)
- Remove the lid and stir in baby spinach and fish sauce. Return lid to the pan and cook for about 2 minutes more, until the spinach is wilted.
- Remove curry from heat and squeeze in half the lime wedges. Taste curry and season with more fish sauce (for more saltiness), lime juice (for more sour flavor), or red curry paste (for more spice).
- If quinoa was made ahead, reheat in the microwave.
- Serve curry over quinoa with cilantro and peanuts on top and lime wedges on the side. Enjoy!
Easy but very good meal0 Helpful
I followed others advice and used the whole jar of red curry, extra peanut butter, and watched to make sure the peanuts didn’t burn. Added crushed red pepper to make it spicier. The recipe doesn’t say whether to peel the rutabaga so I did. Next time I’d slice the lemongrass lengthwise to assist with easy removal, since chopping it like this left hard pieces. I left out the spinach because I don’t like it. I think bell pepper or peas would’ve been a good substitute. I also had to remove the chicken and let the sauce reduce uncovered for an extra 20 mins or so. Next time I’d just do plain white rice without the stock. This was one of the most delicious things I’ve made. I’ve never cooked or eaten rutabaga before, it was great.0 Helpful
This was delicious! Used butternut squash that we had on hand already in place of rutabaga. Added extra spinach (8 oz. total) to use up what we had from our CSA share. The quinoa was delicious mixed in with the curry. My husband added some chili garlic sauce to his bowl to kick up the flavor a bit.0 Helpful
I used an entire can of full fat coconut milk for 4 servings (so nearly double the recommended amount), used sweet potatoes and added a bit of curry powder in addition to the curry paste which really helped to kick up the flavor. I’ll definitely be making this again and will add carrots. Even the one and three year olds ate it with no complaints.0 Helpful
I used tofu cubes instead of chickpeas, and cauliflower instead of rutabaga, but otherwise no changes. It was delicious! Will definitely make again.0 Helpful
Loved this!! It’s a pretty easy and fast recipe once the chicken is defrosted and using frozen precut root vegetables. Could easily do this with tofu also.0 Helpful