Monday, February 25, 2013

Hangover Helper: Thai Chicken Curry

The headache, that piercing tunnel vision, the crippling pain that punctuates a night of bacchanalian revelry -- yes, I had a hangover. I love to drink, but as I've gotten older, my hangovers have only gotten more annoying and long lasting.

My friend Tana and I had gone out the night before with our friend Matt, and we really ripped it up. We'd made it to our respective homes safely, albeit a little worse for wear. After convalescing at home all day, I craved something to soothe my tortured tummy. I flipped through my latest issues of Bon Appetit for a little inspiration, and then I finally saw the recipe for Thai Chicken Curry: the jackpot. Loaded with vegetables, juicy chicken, and potatoes, this was just what I needed. I decided to ask Tana to join in on the delicious healing powers of curry as well.

This recipe was insanely easy. It only uses one pot, and the only time consuming part was prepping the vegetables and simmering the curry. I substituted sweet potatoes for the Yukon Golds, both for nutrition and flavor. I also swapped chicken breasts for the chicken thighs because I couldn't find boneless skinless ones at Tana's supermarket. If you want to do the same, I'd suggest simmering the curry without the meat first for about 10 minutes to give it a head start, then throwing in the chicken breast. No one likes a dry breast.

2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 4-ounce can or jar yellow curry paste
3/4 pound carrots, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
1 medium onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes (about 3), peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 13.5-ounce or 15-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
Chopped fresh basil and cilantro

Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add curry paste and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add carrots, onion, and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, about 10 minutes.

Add potatoes, chicken, coconut milk, and 1 1/2 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through and potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Divide curry among bowls and top with herbs.

As a garnish, I used cilantro, just roughly torn, and sliced almonds for a bit of crunch. Served up with some toasted and buttered garlic naan on the side, this was exactly what our hungover bellies needed. This would be super crazy good with some brown rice or quinoa too!

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