Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Chicken Massaman Curry [Guest Chef]

Massaman Curry
photo by Amanda Farr

I've been busy going to happy hours and Red Sox/Orioles games, so I haven't been cooking too much this week. However, I couldn't leave you hungry.  I'm going to welcome back my coworker, Amanda, who tested this recipe and took some photos to share with you today.

Massaman Curry
photo by Amanda Farr

Massaman Curry is my absolute favorite dish to get at a Thai restaurant... the only thing I probably order more often is Pad Thai.  We usually order beef, but lately I've been wanting to cut down on my red meat intake.  Massaman Curry is complemented by sweet and delicious coconut milk. You can't go wrong with coconut milk.

Massaman Curry
photo by Amanda Farr

There definitely are some unusual ingredients here so you may need to take a trip to the Asian market.  If you're buying fish sauce, BUY SQUID BRAND. It's the best I've ever used, and I have most frequently bought it at Asian markets.  I have to admit though, Amanda used some really good looking brand, so that might be better.  Either way, don't sniff the fish sauce... it smells terrible but it blends with all of the other ingredients to create the most amazing flavors.

Massaman Curry
photo by Amanda Farr

Amanda did make some adjustments from the original recipe.  I know when I make this, I'll probably use ground cardamom out of laziness.  If you use whole, and for the star anise, make sure you take them out when you're done making it.  Amanda almost broke a tooth at lunch the other day when there was a star anise left in the curry.

Massaman Curry
Photo by Amanda Farr

I really want to try this one myself.  Amanda really enjoyed it, and it looked scrumptious.  You can serve it up with a big side of jasmine or sticky rice... perfection.

Massaman Curry
Photo by Amanda Farr
Chicken Massaman Curry
adapted from the very hungry cook

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
3 tbsp massaman curry paste
8 whole cardamom seeds, crushed with the side of a knife and your palm
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 star anise
1 onion
1 can coconut milk
1 cup water
1 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
2 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
1/2 tbsp tamarind paste
1 tbsp brown sugar
3-4 tbsp roasted, unsalted peanuts
2 tbsp peanut oil

1. Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces
2. Add 1 tbsp of oil and the massaman curry paste to the chicken.  Mix well, set aside to marinate.
3. Heat the remaining oil in the pan.  Once the oil is hot, fry the cinnamon, cardamom and star anise for 30 seconds.  Add the onion and fry until golden brown.
4. Add the chicken and turn to low.  Let cook 3-5 min.
5. Add the coconut milk, fish sauce, water, potatoes and peanuts.  Bring the mixture to a boil.  Cover and simmer for 30 min or until potatoes and chicken are cooked through.  If needed, remove the lid and cook until the curry reaches desired thickness.  Check seasoning and then remove the pan from the flame.
6. Stir in the tamarind paste and brown sugar.  Serve hot with jasmine rice.

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