In this very tasty Thai chicken curry, succulent chicken pieces are sautéed in coconut oil, then simmered in a creamy sauce of coconut milk, peanut butter, garlic, and ginger.
My late father in law introduced me to this delicious Thai-inspired recipe. He loved Asian food, and always experimented with new Asian-style recipes.
When he served us this curry, it was so good, so tasty and velvety, that I immediately requested the recipe. Sweet and generous as always, he happily gave it to me.
The ingredients you'll need
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this tasty Thai chicken curry. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Coconut oil: I use refined oil, which is suitable for high-heat cooking. Avocado oil is another good option.
Aromatics: Onions, garlic, and ginger. I make life easy by chopping the onions in the food processor and using jarred minced garlic and ginger.
Seasonings: Kosher salt, curry powder, and cayenne pepper. If using fine salt, you should reduce the amount you use, or the dish could end up too salty.
Chicken: I use boneless skinless chicken breasts in this recipe. I believe that boneless skinless chicken thighs should work too.
Canned coconut milk: Please use full-fat, not reduced-fat. The reduced-fat isn't very good, in my opinion.
Peanut butter: I use natural, creamy, and unsweetened peanut butter. The only ingredients are peanuts and salt.
Chopped cilantro: Used mostly for garnish, although it also adds a nice layer of flavor.
How to make Thai chicken curry
It's so easy to make and so very good! Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. The basics are simple:
1. Cook the onion in coconut oil. Add the garlic, ginger, and seasonings and briefly cook them too.
2. Add the chicken pieces and stir-fry them for a couple of minutes.
3. Now stir in the coconut milk and peanut butter. Make sure to stir the coconut milk well before adding it in.
4. Cover and simmer the curry until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 more minutes. Garnish with cilantro and serve.
Can I use reduced-fat coconut milk?
I strongly recommend that you use full-fat coconut milk in this recipe. It imparts so much flavor and creaminess. Reduced-fat coconut milk is not very tasty and will frankly ruin this dish.
How to serve this dish?
I sometimes serve this saucy dish on a bed of cauliflower rice. It works well to absorb the yummy sauce. But usually, I just serve it in soup bowls with a spoon. It's a complete meal and very filling, so you don't really need to serve it with any sides.
Variations and substitutions
I love this Thai chicken curry and tend to make the recipe as written. But just in case, here are a few ideas for you for varying the basic recipe:
- Use boneless skinless chicken thighs instead of breasts. It will be just as good and possibly even better - the meat will be juicier and more succulent.
- You can replace the peanut butter with almond butter if you wish. Peanut butter is tastier, but almond butter works too.
- If you're not a fan of cilantro, you can use chopped parsley instead.
What about leftovers?
You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. Reheat them very gently, covered, in the microwave on 50% power.
Other curry recipes that you might enjoy
If you like shrimp, another very good curry recipe is this recipe for coconut shrimp curry. It's wonderful! And this leftover turkey curry is a great way to use up leftover cooked turkey (especially turkey breast).
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Thai Chicken Curry
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil or avocado oil
- 1 medium onion chopped (6 oz)
- 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
- 1 tablespoon curry powder (make sure it's fresh)
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 ½ lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts cubed
- ½ cup canned unsweetened full-fat coconut milk (mix it well before using)
- 2 tablespoons natural creamy peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro for garnish
- Heat the coconut oil in a large, deep saucepan over medium-high heat, about 2 minutes.
- Add the onion and kosher salt. Stir-fry until tender, 4-5 minutes.
- Add the garlic, ginger, curry powder and cayenne. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add the chicken pieces. Stir-fry 2-3 minutes, until mostly opaque and coated with the spices.
- Add the coconut milk (remember to stir it well before using) and the peanut butter, stirring to combine.
- Cover, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 more minutes. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve.