Thai Chicken Rama
Everyone loves Thai peanut sauce, and in this one-pan meal the peanut sauce becomes a rich curry that is served over rice.
Smarts #1: Sweetness from brown sugar and peanut butter balance the spice in this sauce. If you are using less curry paste than the recipe calls for, reduce the brown sugar to keep the sauce balanced.
Smarts #2: Because you need plenty of liquid to steam and cook the chicken and vegetables, don't expect the curry to thicken up significantly. Regular coconut milk will give you a richer, thicker curry, but light coconut milk will cut back on calories.
- Peanuts - 1/4 cup , chopped
- Onions, medium - 1/2 , diced
- Cauliflower florets, fresh or frozen - 12 oz
- Ginger, fresh - 1 tsp , grated
- Peanut butter - 2 Tbsp
- Brown sugar - 1 Tbsp
- Fish sauce - 1 Tbsp
- Soy sauce, low-sodium - 1 Tbsp
- Chicken breast, boneless and skinless - 1 lb , thinly sliced or chopped
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Thai red curry paste - 2 Tbsp , more or less to taste
- Coconut milk (14 oz / 397 g) - 1 can (use regular coconut milk for a richer, thicker curry)
- Baby spinach - 5 oz
- Lime juice - 2 tsp
- Rice, uncooked white or brown - 2 cups
Rice - (This makes enough for 2 nights.) For white rice, rinse until clear. Fill a saucepan or Dutch oven (or rice cooker) with rice, water (use 2:1 ratio for water to rice), and some salt. Cover with lid and bring to a boil. Once water boils, stir, lower heat to a low-medium, and cover. Check white rice after ~20 min; brown at ~45 min. Rice is done when it's absorbed all the water. If it's not done, leave the cover on until all water has been absorbed. Take cover off to release steam and fluff with a wooden spoon after 5 minutes. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Peanuts / Onions / Cauliflower (if using fresh) / Ginger - Prep as directed. Store separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Make sauce - Combine ginger, peanut butter, brown sugar, fish sauce, and soy sauce. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Chicken - Thinly slice or chop chicken. Season with some salt and pepper. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Cauliflower (if using frozen) - Defrost.
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Heat a Dutch oven or large skillet with oil over medium heat. Add onions and saute until starting to turn tender, 4 to 5 minutes.
Add in curry paste and chicken. Saute until chicken is coated in curry paste and opaque on the outside (it should not be cooked through), 2 to 3 minutes.
Pour sauce and coconut milk over chicken. Add cauliflower and bring to a simmer.
When curry is simmering, cover with a lid and reduce heat to maintain a low simmer.
Simmer curry, covered, until chicken is cooked through and cauliflower is tender, ~10 minutes.
Remove lid and stir in baby spinach. Simmer, stirring frequently, until spinach is wilted.
Stir in lime juice. Taste curry and adjust seasoning - add more curry paste (or another hot sauce) for more spice, more fish sauce or soy sauce for more savory flavor, more brown sugar for sweetness.
If rice was made ahead, reheat (reserve half for Thursday).
Serve curry over rice with peanuts over top. Enjoy!