Wonderful Thai Chicken Curry
Cooks Illustrated has more and more recipes that can be adapted to fit "special diets." This one, for simplified Massaman Curry, was absolutely superb. The curry paste was a huge pain in the rear, but I made 4x the recipe and froze leftovers for later. That turned subsequent dinners into (nearly) Fast Food.
6 dried New Mexico chiles
4 shallots, unpeeled
7 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1/2 c. chopped fresh ginger
1/4 c. water
4.5 tsp. lime juice
4.5 tsp. coconut oil
1 T. fish sauce (no sugar added)
1 tsp. five-spice powder
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. coconut oil
1.25 c. chicken broth
1 can coconut milk, or the equivalent homemade (or use coconut butter + water)
1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 onion, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1/3 cup soaked/dehydrated/chopped almonds (traditionally peanuts)
3/4 tsp. salt
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tsp. grated lime zest
1/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro
For the Curry Paste:
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Arrange chiles on prepared sheet and toast until puffed and fragrant, 4-6 minutes. Transfer chiles to large plate. Heat broiler.
Place shallots and garlic on foil-lined sheet and broil until softened and skin is charred, 6-9 minutes.
When cool enough to handle, stem and seed chiles and tear into 1.5-inch pieces. Process chiles in blender until finely ground, about 1 minute. Peel shallots and garlic. Add shallots, garlic, ginger, water, lime juice, oil, fish sauce, five-spice powder, cumin, and pepper to blender. Process to smooth paste, scraping down sides of blender jar as needed, 2-3 minutes. You should have about 1 cup of paste.
For the Curry:
Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add curry paste and cook, stirring constantly, until paste begins to brown, 2-3 minutes. Stir in broth, coconut milk, potatoes, onion, nuts, and salt, scraping up any browned bits. Bring to simmer and cook until potatoes are just tender, 12-14 minutes.
Stir in chicken and continue to simmer until chicken is cooked through, 10-12 minutes more. Remove pan from heat and stir in lime zest and cilantro.
Serve over Jasmine rice, with additional cilantro if desired.