Thai Red Curry Coconut Chicken

Last week, I threw together a Thai dinner because we both felt like having Thai food. In the past year, I've gotten a really good handle on the cuisine's flavor profiles, and decided to try to do something with some chicken breasts we had.

This was a fairly quick one pot meal, and I'm going to make it again in the crock pot tomorrow. Here's the thing: Ed asked me to make it again a couple of days later, as he and Chef both LOVED it. So I picked up some more chicken breasts to create this once more.

Originally, I simmered it on medium heat for about 45 minutes to an hour, then shredded the chicken. If you'd rather chop the chicken into bite sized pieces and do it that way, that would work well, too. I opted to shred to infuse the flavor more.

2 pounds chicken (it probably would work well with pork or shrimp, too)
3 tablespoons sesame oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 cup sweet chili sauce
1 can chunk pineapple in juice. (If you don't want pineapple, just use 1 cup pineapple juice)
2 tablespoons red curry paste
1 onion, chopped
1 can coconut milk
Ed told me to leave the pineapple chunks out this time, but the pineapple juice is there for two reasons: is essential to the flavor and serves as a meat tenderizer.

Start by sauteing the chicken in the sesame oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Turn pieces over when they become opaque. Then add all the ingredients except the coconut milk. Simmer for about 30 minutes, or until you can shred the chicken easily. Add the coconut milk and simmer for another five minutes.

Serve over rice. For us, that means some basmati or jasmine rice.

The ultimate compliment is that Ed said he'd order it and pay for it in a restaurant. While there are many meals I make that the family enjoys, that just steps it up a level. I suspect this will quickly be one of their most requested dinners.


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