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Chicken Massaman Curry

Massaman curry has somehow become my go-to comfort food.  When I’m cold, stressed, tired, or just annoyed, this particular curry—with its combination of soft and crunchy textures, its creamy sauce and slightly spicy bite—are like a warm, yummy hug.

Massaman Curry with Chicken

For years I went to the same Thai restaurant and ordered the same thing (Bangkok chicken, “baby mild”, no baby corn…it’s the BOMB), but then one day I decided that I needed to branch out, and this was the least spicy of the curries.  Plus, it didn’t have green peppers, which are truly disgusting, so that was a deciding factor.  One taste of this, with the silky avocado and the crunch of the onion, and I was in love.

Massaman Curry with Chicken cooked

I’m not sure what’s taken me so long to try making this myself.  Maybe it’s because I tend to find that ethnic dishes are just better at restaurants, so it’s worth shelling out for them on occasion.  Plus I’m lazy, and I tend to take one look at the long list of ingredients and get overwhelmed (not to mention my grocery store doesn’t just have this particular curry paste sitting around).

Massaman Curry with Chicken with Jasmine Rice

But you shouldn’t be intimidated by the list of ingredients.  Most of them are ones you already have around, and the others are easy enough to pick up once and have around for a long time (I ordered the curry paste on Amazon, because I’m also too lazy to drive around to a bunch of Asian markets looking for it).  Prepping the ingredients will take 15-20 minutes with one set of hands, but is quite easy, and then the dish comes together very smoothly.  It makes amazing leftovers, and can feed a serious crowd.

massaman curry with chicken onions sliced

massaman curry with chicken carrots diced

massaman curry with chicken potatoes diced

massaman curry with chicken ingredients assembled

Like most Thai cooking, so much of this recipe is about prepping things ahead.  Slice your chicken, chop all your veggies, get all your ingredients assembled, measuring spoons—everything.  Once you’ve done that, everything else is SUPER easy, but parts of it go pretty quickly, so you want to be prepared.

Get your rice cooking according to the package directions.  I use a rice cooker and it’s amazing…fluffy, fragrant rice every time.

Ignore the garam masala, I have no idea how that got in the picture…

massaman curry with chicken curry cooking

Heat the vegetable oil in a very large saucepan over medium heat.  Seriously, a super big pot.  Stir in the curry paste and whisk for 2-3 minutes, letting the aroma release.  Make sure your fan is blowing, it’s a crazy strong smell…made my eyes water.

massaman curry with chicken curry coconut milk

Add 1 can of coconut milk and stir until well blended.  Then add the ginger, brown sugar, fish sauce, lime juice, and Worcestershire sauce, stir, and bring to a boil.

massaman curry with chicken curry simmering

Once it’s brought to a boil, add the chicken, then reduce to a simmer.  Cook until the chicken is white and cooked through, 5-10 minutes depending on the thickness of your chicken pieces.  Then add the other can of coconut milk and bring back to a boil.

Add the onion, potatoes, carrots, peanut butter, sriracha, and red pepper flakes, and stir until everything is well mixed.

massaman curry with chicken curry chicken cooking

Cover and simmer for about 15-20 minutes—until the potatoes aren’t crunchy in the middle.

Massaman Curry with Chicken finished

Add the cashews and avocado right at the end, gently stir, then serve hot over jasmine rice.

Massaman Curry with Chicken done

This is so good fresh, but awesome as leftovers as well since the flavors get a chance to really get to know each other.  I made a fresh pot of rice two days later and this lasted me a full week of lunch and dinner.

Chicken Massaman Curry

  • 1 can of Massaman curry paste (you will have to get this at an Asian market or Amazon)
  • 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 2 cans of coconut milk (I recommend Trader Joe’s lite, but other brands are fine)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of fresh ginger (or ginger paste, or powder in a pinch)
  • 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 sweet or yellow onion, sliced thin (see pic above)
  • 3 russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1-2 heaping tablespoons of peanut butter (crunchy or creamy…doesn’t matter)
  • 1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken sliced very thin (helps to partially freeze it for easy slicing)
  • 1/2 c. cashews (or peanuts if that’s all you have)
  • 1 avocado, sliced length-wise
  • Sriracha sauce to taste
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 4 cups of jasmine rice, cooked (I’d make half of it now, and half later with leftovers)

Like most Thai cooking, so much of this recipe is about PREP.  Slice your chicken, chop all your veggies, get all your ingredients assembled, measuring spoons—everything.  Once you’ve done that, everything else is super easy, but parts of it go pretty quickly, so you want to be prepared.

Get your rice cooking according to the package directions.  I use a rice cooker and it’s amazing…fluffy, fragrant rice every time.

Heat vegetable oil in a large (the largest you have–this makes a LOT) saucepan over medium heat.  Stir in the curry paste and whisk/stir for about 2-3 minutes (make sure your fan is blowing, it’s a crazy strong smell).  Add 1 can of coconut milk and stir until well blended.  Then add the ginger, brown sugar, fish sauce, lime juice, and Worcestershire sauce, stir, and bring to a boil.

Once it’s brought to a boil, add the chicken, then reduce to a simmer.  Cook until the chicken is white and cooked through, 5-10 minutes.  Then add the other can of coconut milk and bring back to a boil. Add the onion, potatoes, carrots, peanut butter, sriracha, and red pepper flakes, and stir until everything is well mixed.  Cover and simmer for about 15-20 minutes—until the potatoes aren’t crunchy in the middle.  Add the cashews and avocado right at the end, gently stir, then serve hot over jasmine rice.  Makes awesome leftovers.

Original recipe here

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