This recipe for a Chicken and Potato curry has become my absolute hands down favourite meal over the last few months (read: Toronto winter). It's spicy and sweet and aromatic and flavourfully complex in a just so kind of deliciousness that really can't be made any other way than in a wok (You can get a fantastic wok for under ten bucks in a chinatown or thriftshop near you, so there's no excuse). It's basically just a Thai take on any classic one-pot wonder style dish, adding one ingredient at a time until they all combine into some sort of magic, ready for your mouth. Mmm, good eating is promised if you follow through on this one and it also makes the absolute best leftovers ever, for sure, guaranteed (in my opinion) or your money back. This curry is worth a hard sell.
Hot Sour Salty Sweet's Chicken and Potato Curry
1 whole chicken cubed to 1" (2 breasts/2 legs bone-in will due; you could debone, but you lose so much flavour it's really worth it to just pick the bones out as you eat)
6 to 8 potatoes, peeled and cubed to 1"
3 Thai red chiles, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 shallots, diced
2 tbsp frying oil (canola/vegetable/sunflower are all OK)
2 tbsp fish sauce (pasted anchovies, sugar and water if you don't have)
1 can (400ml) coconut milk
1 tsp orange blossom essence (you can substitute rose water)
6 kaffir (lime) leaves (if you absolutely cannot possibly find these anywhere use the zest of a lime)
2 green onions, sliced diagonally for garnish
1 handful of fresh coriander/cilantro, chopped for garnish
It seems like a lot of stuff to go in all at once, but if you cut everything first and have all the knife work done and the ingredients ready to go on your cutting board this recipe is eyes-closed, do-it-drunk-while-chatting easy and a total wOw for anyone who's never tried it. Parboil your potatoes and save 2C of the starchy water. In a mortar and pestle or with the butt of something hard in a sturdy mixing bowl, smash up and mash up the chiles, garlic and shallots. Heat oil in wok to medium-high and the fry up your spice paste for 30 seconds. Add the chicken, season well with salt and pepper and brown (5-10 minutes). Open the can of coconut milk and pour the watery bit in with the potato water leaving the fatter bit til later; next, add the coconut-potato water to the chicken and put in the potatoes as well. Bring to a rolling boil, cover and simmer for a half hour.
Take off your lid, stir everything up and make sure the potatoes and chicken are both cooked through. Now your ready to add the orange blossom water, kaffir leaves, and remaining 'cream' of the coconut milk. Boil for another 5 to 10 until the sauce start to separate a bit, taste for seasoning, toss in the scallion, plate and garnish with cilantro and healthy dose of a cracked black pepper on top. Serve over rice, preferably jasmine, and try not to over eat; this recipe can be dangerous.