Thai Chicken Curry

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

Thai basil, with its purple buds, pointed bright green leaves and purple stems, has a lemony flavor that adds a distinctive taste to this curry and other Southeast Asian dishes. It can be found in most Asian markets and many well-stocked supermarkets.


  • 2 limes
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, about 1 1/2 lb. total
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 3 Tbs. peanut or canola oil
  • 1/4 lb. green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. Thai red curry paste
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1 Tbs. Asian fish sauce
  • 6 green onions, white and light green portions, sliced
  • 1/4 cup slivered fresh basil, preferably Thai
  • Steamed white rice for serving


Cook the chicken and green beans
Grate 1 tsp. zest from the limes and squeeze 1/4 cup juice. Set aside. Cut the chicken into thin strips and season with salt and pepper.

In a large fry pan or wok over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add the chicken and cook, turning occasionally, until golden, 4 to 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate. Add the green beans and cook, stirring frequently, just until crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to the plate with the chicken.

Prepare the sauce
Stir the curry paste into the pan over medium-high heat. Stir in the coconut milk, broth and fish sauce. Bring to a simmer and stir, scraping up the browned bits from the pan bottom. Stir in the reserved lime zest and juice.

Finish the curry
Return the chicken and green beans to the pan and stir to combine with the sauce. Simmer until the chicken is opaque throughout, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the green onions and basil. Spoon the rice into bowls, top with the curry and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Weeknight, by Melanie Barnard (Oxmoor House, 2006).