It didn’t seem too much to ask for. I wanted a coconut chicken curry that is fast, delicious and not loaded with fat. Turned out to be easier than I expected.
Let’s start with the sauce. The key is to make it rich and flavorful without resorting to the usual culprit — full-fat coconut milk. I considered using light coconut milk, but generally have found curries made with it to be thin and uninspiring. Fat, after all, is mighty yummy.
My solution was to start with a small amount of light coconut milk, but then doctor it up. Pureeing into it a jar of roasted red peppers and a small onion was just the trick. This provided the sauce with body, as well as both sweet and savory flavors. A hefty dose of curry powder and some lemon grass added during cooking rounded it all out.
To cook, all I did was bring my sauce to a simmer in a large saute pan, then add my chicken. To bulk out the recipe with good lean protein, I also added a can of chickpeas. I tasted it as it cooked and felt it was missing something ... sweet. But I wanted to avoid the obvious — sugar, honey, etc. — if I could. So I tried added grated carrots. Perfect! More healthy veggies and just the right amount of natural sweetness.
While you could use boneless, skinless chicken breasts in this recipe, I prefer thighs. They have a richer flavor and don’t get tough the way breasts can.
Speedy and Light Chicken Curry
12-oz. jar roasted red peppers, drained
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 c. chicken broth
1/2 c. light coconut milk
2 t. curry powder
Three 3-inch lengths fresh lemon grass
15-oz. can chickpeas, drained
1 c. grated carrots
13/4 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs