|10||Fresh small Serrano or other hot green chili peppers|
|3||Medium-size shallots; coarsely chopped|
|1||Piece fresh ginger root; (1 1/2 inch)|
|1||Stalk fresh or dried lemon grass bottom part only, chopped or|
|1 tablespoon||Freshly grated lemon zest|
|2 teaspoons||Freshly grated lime zest|
|1 teaspoon||Fresh shrimp paste or|
|½ teaspoon||Anchovy paste or couple of anchovy filets, oil|
|2 teaspoons||Ground coriander|
|2 teaspoons||Freshly grated nutmeg|
|1 teaspoon||Ground cumin|
|1 teaspoon||Freshly ground black pepper|
|½ teaspoon||Fennel seeds|
|½ cup||Chopped fresh cilantro|
|¼ cup||Peanut oil|
|¼ cup||Vegetable oil|
|6||Boned chicken breast halves or 8 boned|
|Thighs cut into bite-sized pieces|
|2 cups||Coconut milk|
|3 tablespoons||Fish sauce or|
|1 tablespoon||Soy sauce|
To make the curry paste, combine the chilies, shallots, garlic, ginger, lemon grass or zest and lime zest in a food processor or blender and chop until well mixed. Add the shrimp or anchovy paste, coriander, nutmeg, cumin, black pepper, cloves, fennel, salt, and cilantro. Puree until well blended. Add the oil, a little at a time, pureeing until smooth. Transfer to an airtight container, top with a little peanut oil, and store in the refrigerator. Makes about 1 cup; Keeps 3-4 weeks.
To make the chicken curry, heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a skillet or saucepan over medium heat, add the chicken, and saute until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Remove chicken with a slotted spoon and reserve.
Heat remaining 2 table spoons oil in the same pan, add about 1/4th cup curry paste, or to taste, and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk and cook about 5 minutes. Add reserved chicken and the fish sauce. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the chicken is tender, about 8 to 10 minutes for breast meat or 12-15 minutes for thigh meat. Just before serving, stir in the cilantro leaves and heat briefly.
Serves 6 to 8 as part of a Thai dinner, or 4 as a main course.
GREEN CURRY, THAI STYLE
America has finally discovered the fiery cuisine of Thailand. Various Thai curry pastes are available in cans at stores that specialize in Southeast Asian foods. Freshly made paste has more exuberant flavor, however, so the recipe includes directions for making your own curry paste.
The paste keeps well. It is a great addition to grill marinades, sauteed dishes, pasta sauces, soups almost any dish you enjoy on the spicy side.
This recipe yields about four times the amount of paste you'll need for the chicken curry.
Serve the curry with steamed rice, preferable the fragrant jasmine infused rice of Thailand.
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