My husband’s aunt has recently had a death in the family (Bubba the Budgie), and I sent her a care package in the mail to cheer her up. She’s had some curry debacles in the last couple of weeks due to faulty powders and needed ingredients and a good recipe. Sorry it’s taken me so long to get this to you Beth, I hope the curry paste redeems me a little!
At long last, Yellow Chicken Curry:
1/4 cup coconut cream
2 tablespoons yellow curry paste
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 teaspoons palm sugar
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 1/2 pounds chicken thigh fillets, cut into slices
1 3/4 cups coconut milk
3 ounces bamboo shoots
4 sprigs fresh green peppercorns
4-6 lime leaves
12 Thai sweet basil leaves
Put the coconut cream in a wok or saucepan and simmer over a medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until the cream separates and a layer of oil forms on the surface. Stir the cream if it starts to brown around the edges.
Add the curry paste, stir well to combine and cook until fragrant. Add the fish sauce, palm sugar and turmeric and stir well. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture darkens.
Add the chicken to the pan and stir to coat all the pieces evenly in the spice mixture. Cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding the coconut milk a tablespoon at a tie to incorporate. Add the bamboo shoots, peppercorns, lime and basil leaves and cook for another 5 minutes.
Don’t get the yellow curry paste or turmeric on your fingers – it’ll stain your fingernails yellow.
Buy asian market curry paste. I use Aroy-D. It’s really, really good – and so much easier!
Fish sauce is the most disgusting smelling stuff on the planet. Open a window before using it, and if you get some on your fingers, do not lick them!
You can use brown sugar instead of palm sugar.
I use chicken breast instead of thighs because it’s what I normally have. If you choose to do this also, don’t overcook it.
Make sure to use bamboo shoots cut into thin strips if you can find them, otherwise, just cut the ones from the store into strips.
If you can find them, use peppercorns on the sprig – they’re less spicy for some reason.
DO NOT substitute Italian basil for Thai sweet (red) basil. It won’t taste right.