Thai Red Curry Chicken with Squash
and coconut rice
This classic Thai-inspired curry cooks in one pot with plenty of rich broth to spoon over coconut rice.
Smarts: The ingredients in the curry will steam in the covered pan, so they don't need to be completely covered with broth. Just be sure to adjust the heat so the broth stays at a very low simmer - this will keep the chicken from overcooking and getting tough.
- Squash, kabocha - 4 cups , diced (sub butternut squash cubes; fresh or frozen)
- Bell peppers, red - 1 , diced
- Lemongrass, fresh - 2 stalks , finely diced (sub 1 tsp lemongrass paste / stalk)
- Ginger, fresh - 1 tsp , grated
- Chicken breasts, boneless and skinless - 1 lb , cubed
- Limes - 1 , wedges
- Cilantro leaves - 1/4 cup
- Oil, cooking - 2 Tbsp
- Curry paste, red - 2 Tbsp , more or less, to taste
- Coconut milk, light - 1 cup
- Water - 1/2 cup
- Fish sauce - 1 Tbsp
- Brown sugar - 1 tsp
- Rice, uncooked white or brown - 1 cup
- Coconut milk, light - 1/2 cup
- Water - 1 cup
Make coconut rice - For white rice, rinse until clear. Fill a saucepan or Dutch oven (or rice cooker) with rice, coconut milk, water (portions for 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 liquid. If it's not done, leave the cover on until all liquid 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)
Squash / Bell peppers / Lemongrass / Ginger - Prep as directed. Combine squash and bell peppers in one container. Store lemongrass and ginger in another. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Chicken - Slice into cubes. Tenderize with a fork and season with some salt and pepper. (Can be done up to 2 days ahead)
Limes / Cilantro - Prep as directed.
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Heat a Dutch oven or large saute pan with cooking oil over medium heat. Add lemongrass, ginger, and curry paste to heated oil and saute until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes.
Add chicken and saute until coated in curry paste, 1 to 2 minutes.
Add squash, bell peppers, coconut milk (portion for curry), and water (portion for curry). Bring to a simmer. Cover pan and simmer until chicken is cooked through and squash is tender, ~15 minutes. (Reduce heat as needed to keep the mixture at a very low simmer but not boiling.)
Stir in fish sauce, brown sugar, and juice from half the lime wedges. Taste curry and adjust seasoning with any of those ingredients as needed. (If you’d like it spicier, you can even stir in some more curry paste at this point.)
If coconut rice was made ahead, reheat in the microwave.
Serve chicken curry over rice in shallow bowls. Top with cilantro and serve with extra lime wedges on the side.