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Thai Green Chicken Curry with Asparagus

Thai green curry paste has a bold, concentrated taste and heat. Tempered by rich, creamy coconut milk, it makes a fragrant simmer sauce for spring chicken, asparagus and aromatic Thai basil.

Ingredients:

  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 1/2 lb. (750 g) asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch (5-cm)
      pieces
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 2 Tbs. peanut or grapeseed oil
  • 1 yellow onion, cut into 8 wedges
  • 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and cut into matchsticks
  • 1/2-inch (12-mm) piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (13 1/2 fl. oz./420 ml) unsweetened coconut milk
      (unshaken)
  • 3 Tbs. Thai green curry paste
  • 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) chicken broth
  • 2 Tbs. Asian fish sauce
  • 1/2 cup (3/4 oz./20 g) small Thai basil leaves
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges

Directions:

Bring a saucepan of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the asparagus and cook just until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Drain and refresh with cold water, then drain again. Cut the chicken across the grain on a slight diagonal into slices about 1/2 inch (12 mm) thick. Season with salt.

In a large fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Stir in the ginger and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a plate.

Open the can of coconut milk (do not shake it) and scoop out 3 Tbs. of the thick cream on the top. Return the pan to medium-high heat. Add the coconut cream and curry paste and stir well. Whisk in the remaining coconut milk, the broth and fish sauce.

Return the onion mixture to the pan, stir in the chicken and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has reduced slightly and the vegetables are crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the asparagus and cook until the chicken is opaque throughout, about 3 minutes. Adjust the seasoning and serve immediately, garnished with the basil and lime wedges. Serves 4 to 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma One Pot of the Day, by Kate McMillan (Weldon Owen, 2012).