I love Thai cooking because there are so many intrinsically easy recipes that you can make with just a few staples from the Asian aisle of your nearest supermarket. Thai red curry chicken — a one-pan dish of chicken pieces simmered in a bright, curry-infused coconut milk sauce — is one of those dishes. It comes together in just 30 minutes with minimal prep work.
In coming up with the recipe, the biggest challenge was figuring out the best way to cook the chicken. Most recipes call for sautéing the chicken first, and then warming it in the finished sauce. But the problem with that method, if you’re using white meat, is that the chicken tends to dry out quickly. I found that gently poaching the chicken in the rich coconut sauce is not only easier, but also foolproof — you’ll be so pleased with how tender the chicken turns out when cooked this way. This is a great base recipe to add vegetables to, however I suggest steaming them separately and adding them at the very end, so they don’t soak up all the delicious curry sauce.
The spice level of this dish will vary depending on the brand of curry paste you use. The brand I use above (Thai Kitchen) makes for a mild, family-friendly dish. For more heat, add a drizzle of sriracha, some of the seeds of the jalapeño, or some crushed red pepper flakes.
Heat the oil over medium-low heat in a large nonstick pan. Add the light scallions, garlic, and jalapeño.
Cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Do not brown.
Add the coconut milk, red curry paste, fish sauce, and brown sugar.
Bring to a gentle boil and simmer until thickened, a few minutes.
Add the chicken pieces.
Simmer, stirring occasionally to promote even cooking, until the chicken is cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes.
Stir in the lime juice, dark scallion greens, and cilantro. Taste and adjust seasoning with more lime, if necessary.
Serve with jasmine rice.
My Recipe Videos
Thai Red Curry Chicken
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 small bunch scallions, thinly sliced, light and dark green parts divided
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced (see note)
- 1 (14-oz) can coconut milk (unsweetened)
- 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2-1/2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
- 1-1/2 pounds chicken tenderloins, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon lime juice, from 1 lime
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Heat the oil over medium-low heat in a large nonstick pan. Add the light scallions, garlic, and jalapeño and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Do not brown.
- Add the coconut milk, red curry paste, fish sauce, and brown sugar and whisk together. Bring to a gentle boil and simmer until thickened, a few minutes. Add the chicken and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally to promote even cooking, until the chicken is cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes. (Do not let the sauce boil; the idea is to cook the chicken gently so that it's tender.) Stir in the lime juice, dark scallion greens, and cilantro. Taste and adjust seasoning with more lime, if necessary. Serve with jasmine rice.
- Note: As always, take care when working with jalapeño peppers. If you touch the seeds or ribs, be sure to wash your hands well and avoid touching your eyes.
- Note: It's important to wait until you're ready to eat to cook the chicken. If you want to get a head start, prepare the sauce up until the point when the chicken is added. Take it off the heat and then poach the chicken right before serving. If the chicken sits in the hot curry sauce for too long before serving, it will overcook.
- Per serving (4 servings)
- Calories: 732
- Fat: 52 g
- Saturated fat: 25 g
- Carbohydrates: 41 g
- Sugar: 10 g
- Fiber: 3 g
- Protein: 29 g
- Sodium: 1534 mg
- Cholesterol: 70 mg
This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.