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Panang Chicken Curry

Panang curry–a familiar item on Thai menus–is flavored the way people like it on the island of Panang, off the Southeast Asian coast. It’s best when made fiery hot. Only the coconut milk stands in the way of the pepper, which you can use here to the maximum extent you can stand. Don’t be shy! Panang curry paste can now be found in many regular supermarkets, as well as those leaning in a gourmet direction. And, of course, any Asian market.

Although we like dishes like this with noodles or rice, Thai people prefer to have this made with so much broth that it comes close to being a soup. I would recommend that.

Penang curry with chicken.

  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, sliced into 3/4-inch strips
  • 1 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbs. Panang curry paste
  • 1 Tbs. sugar
  • 2 8-oz. cans coconut milk
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 Tbs. ground peanuts
  • 2 oz. Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
  • 5 leaves basil (preferably Thai basil)
  • Thai ground red chili or cayenne to taste

1. In a skillet or wok over medium-high heat, cook the chicken in the oil until browned all over.

2. Lower the heat to medium. Add the curry paste and sugar, stirring together in the pan until they blend well and coat the chicken. Add the coconut milk and the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Cook until the liquid is reduced by about half, and beginning to thicken.

3. Add the fish sauce, peanuts, basil, and ground chili or cayenne. Lower to a simmer and cook until the sauce thickens. Serve with jasmine rice or basmati rice on the side. It’s also good with rice noodles.

Serves four.

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