Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Yield: Serves 2 to 3
- 1/2 chicken, chopped into pieces, OR 4-6 chicken pieces, thighs, breast, or drumsticks
- Optional vegetables: 1-2 cups chopped eggplant, bite-size pieces, 1+1/2 cups cherry tomatoes
- Generous handfuls of fresh coriander, basil, and slivers of red chili for topping
- JUNGLE CURRY SAUCE:
- 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
- 3-4 Tbsp. galangal OR fresh ginger, thinly sliced
- 1 Tbsp. green peppercorns (these come packed in a jar with vinegar - available at most Asian/Chinese food stores))
- 2 Tbsp. fresh or frozen lemongrass , minced
- 6 cloves garlic
- 6 kaffir lime leaves, cut into slivers with scissors (available frozen at Asian stores)
- 1 Tbsp. chili powder (regular North American type from your supermarket)
- 1-2 fresh red chilies, OR 3/4 to 1 tsp. cayenne pepper, to taste
- juice of 1/2 lime
- 2.5 to 3 Tbsp. fish sauce
- 1/2 to 1 tsp. shrimp paste OR 1 additional Tbsp. fish sauce
- 1 can good-quality coconut milk
- Optional: 1-2 tsp. palm or brown sugar, to taste
- While this curry is traditionally made in a wok (by simmering the meat in the sauce), I find it's easier in the oven where it won't burn or dry out. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Place all curry sauce ingredients in a food processor. Process well to form a sauce. *Re: shrimp paste: If you paste is very thick/dry, only 1/2 tsp. will be enough. If it's moist and falls easily from a spoon, add up to 1 tsp. For smaller choppers: Add only a little of the coconut milk - just enough to keep the blades moving. The rest can be added later, along with the chicken.If you don't have a food processor or chopper: finely mince the ingredients and then stir all together in a bowl with the coconut milk to create the curry sauce.
- Place the chicken in a casserole dish and pour the curry sauce over top. Mix together. Cover the curry and place in the oven for 1 hour. If adding vegetables: Remove curry after 45 minutes and add your vegetables, then return to the oven to bake for 15 more minutes.
- Check the curry after 1 hour, ensuring the chicken is well cooked. If needed, return to the oven for another 10 minutes or until chicken is well done.
- Before serving, stir sauce well and do a taste-test. If not salty enough, add a little more fish sauce (1/2 Tbsp. at a time) . If not spicy enough, add more chili or chili sauce. If too spicy, add a little more coconut milk or plain yogurt. If too sour for your taste, add a little more sugar.
- Serve right in the casserole dish, or for more formal occasions, scoop the curry into a serving bowl or onto individual plates. Top with generous amounts of fresh coriander and basil, and thin strips of fresh red chili. Also, a small 'branch' of green peppercorns can be added as a pretty garnish. Serve with plain rice or my Easy Coconut Rice. ENJOY!
A Note about the Picture: For fun, I decided to try to serve this curry as it is sometimes served in Thailand: in a coconut! Although it makes a nice picture, eating out of a coconut is not the easiest way to enjoy this curry - a bowl or plate works much better. Also, you need really good tools to open an old coconut like this one without hurting yourself. In other words, don't attempt this feat at home, unless you happen to own a machete! CHEERS!