This Thai Red Chicken Curry is a quick and easy one pot meal, with tender chicken and orange peppers simmered with red curry paste and coconut milk. This creamy weeknight meal can be made in less than 30 minutes for a restaurant style dish that is better than take out!
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I always enjoy making food from other cultures and cuisines, because it is a great way to shake up dinner and do something different with the same old ingredients. Thai food is one of my favorite, mainly because it is so quick and easy to create quality Thai restaurant meals right in your own home. This recipe for Thai red curry chicken uses store bought Thai red curry paste and coconut milk which flavor the meal deliciously and allow you to get dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes. The recipe is also gluten free, dairy free and paleo, so it can work for many different diets.
What is Red Curry Paste
Red curry paste is made by combining red chili peppers, garlic, lemon grass, thai ginger, shallots, kaffir lime leaves, coriander and peppercorns, all ground together and mixed into a paste. With all those spices it adds an amazing amount of flavor with very little effort. Red curry paste is easy to find in the Asian aisle of most grocery stores and it keeps for months in the refrigerator. Having some on hand makes it easy to get a authentic and delicious Thai meal on the table, even on a busy weeknight.
Thai Kitchen Gluten Free Red Curry Paste, 4 oz (Pack of 6)Craft Wok Traditional Hand Hammered Carbon Steel Pow Wok with Wooden and Steel Helper Handle (14 Inch, Round Bottom) / 731W88Joyce Chen 33-2018, Burnished Bamboo Stir Fry Set, 3-Piece
Is Red Thai Curry Hot?
The red curry paste that I use (Thai Kitchen) is spicy, but not overly so. I used a tablespoon of the paste in this chicken curry recipe, which seems like a lot, but it gives the recipe what I would consider a medium level of spiciness. It is hot enough to notice, but the dish is not overwhelmingly spicy. Of course there can be some variation in heat levels of the red curry paste. If you are buying directly from your local Asian market you might find it is spicier than the red curry paste marketed to Americans like Thai Kitchen. If you are concerned about the spice level start with half the suggested amount and taste the Thai red curry chicken after it simmers for a few minutes. You can always add more curry paste, but you can’t take it out once it is mixed in!
How do you Make Red Thai Curry Chicken?
This quick Red Thai Curry Chicken is simple to make. Chicken is sauteed on the stove top until it is cooked, followed by onions and peppers. Then garlic, ginger and the red curry paste are fried, which helps release the flavor from all the spices that make up the curry paste so that the dish is infused with Thai spices.
Then coconut milk is poured over top and the dish simmers for a few minutes so that the flavors blend. I prefer to use full fat coconut milk, because the low fat version is not as creamy. Finally I add lime juice, fish sauce, sugar and frozen green peas to the dish and let it sit for a few minutes to allow the peas to cook.
Variations of this Easy Red Thai Curry Recipe
There are many quick and easy ways to change up this recipe. I like this particular combination of vegetables because the color of the orange peppers and green peas contrast nicely with the sauce to make the dish not just tasty but also gorgeous. But there are many easy variations possible. Here are some suggestions:
- Use different vegetables – Mushrooms make a nice addition, as do zucchini and bok choy. This can be a good recipe for using up whatever vegetables you have on hand.
- Use leftover chicken (or turkey) – This is one of my favorite dishes to make with leftover chicken or turkey. When I serve leftovers I like to make something completely different from the first time I served the meal. So after a big American style meal of roast chicken or turkey making a Thai curry is a way to make leftovers seem like a whole new meal. If you are using already cooked meat skip the saute step and add the meat when you add the coconut milk.
- Use a different protein – This red Thai curry is also delicious made with shrimp, salmon or tofu. Shrimp can be added after the curry has simmered and the shrimp should be cooked for only a few minutes, depending on whether they are frozen or not. Salmon and tofu should be added when you add the coconut milk.
What to Serve with Thai Red Curry Chicken
I usually serve this curried chicken recipe with white rice, which conveniently can be made in about the same amount of time as this recipe. It is also excellent with rice noodles or just served on its own as a stew. I also like to add a few lime wedges and top the dish off with basil, for lots of traditional Thai flavor.
This versatile one pot recipe is a quick enough to make for a weeknight meal, but fancy enough to make a special weekend dish. It is an excellent way to bring Thai flavor to your dinner table without spending a lot of time cooking and preparing dinner!
- 2 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 cups chicken, chopped into bite size pieces
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1 orange pepper, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon ginger, minced
- 1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 cup frozen peas
- lime wedges and basil to garnish
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add the chicken and cook, stirring for 5 minutes.
- Stir in the onion and orange peppers and cook for 2 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic, ginger.
- Cook for 30 seconds, then stir in the red chili paste and stir it to coat the chicken.
- Mix in the coconut milk and simmer gently for 10 minutes.
- Stir in the sugar, fish sauce, lime juice and peas. Turn the heat off and let sit for 3 minutes to cook the peas.
- Serve with rice and garnish with lime wedges and sliced basil.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 444Total Fat: 32gSaturated Fat: 22gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 63mgSodium: 533mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 3gSugar: 7gProtein: 22g
Nutrition facts are estimates.