The Easiest Thai Chicken Curry – This red curry chicken is so simple but oh so flavorful. And with the secret ingredient of peanut butter, it’ll take the sauce to the next level!
Thai food is some of my favorite. I first had it when eating out with coworkers and I am so happy they encouraged me to try it! I started with pad thai, like most people, but then eventually tried Thai curry. That was really adventurous because I’ve never really liked Indian curry so I thought Thai curry would be similar.
Nope! Thai curry has coconut milk that makes is sweeter (and you know I love my sweets) so it was a game-changer for me. Additionally, my favorite curry, Panang curry, has a hint of peanuts in it that takes the flavor to a whole other level.
Despite my decade-long love for Panang curry, I never ever thought of making it at home. All the recipes I found had soooo many ingredients that I just didn’t have use for at home, with some ingredients only available at Asian markets. So I just kept ordering my curry from my favorite Thai spot and forgot about ever making it at home.
However, recently a friend shared a trick for making an easy Thai curry at home. Simply use curry paste and add coconut milk to it. That’s it! How could it be so easy?! I took that tip and added a few more ingredients that are easy to find to add a little more flavor and get that Panang curry flavor I love.
Here I present the Easiest Thai Chicken Curry!
What kind of curry is this?
This Thai curry is a combination of red curry and Panang curry. It uses red curry paste for the base of the flavor but I add peanut butter to give the curry a little sweetness and make it more like Panang curry. Fun fact: the main difference between red curry and Panang curry is ground peanuts. I guess that’s why I always loved Panang curry so much!
How to make this curry
This curry starts out on the stove and then it’s finished in the oven. This helps thicken up the sauce a little without overcooking the chicken.
To start, we sear the chicken on high to get it nice and brown on the outside but not fully cooked on the inside. The chicken is removed from the pan and set aside until the final step.
Next, we add in the veggies to soften them up before making the sauce. I love the flavor of red peppers so I just use them but you can use whichever bell peppers you like.
The red curry paste is then added to the veggies to develop the flavor before we add in the coconut milk. This is a very important step so don’t rush it!
The coconut milk and peanut butter are then whisked in and heated just until warm. The chicken is added back to the pan and coated in the sauce before we add it to a preheated oven to finish cooking for about 20 minutes.
Tips & Tricks
- To make sure the chicken cooks evenly, use a meat mallet to thin it out into one even layer. You can also cut the chicken into thin cutlets to achieve the same goal.
- Make sure you use full-fat coconut milk, not lite. It will ensure all the flavor is present in the curry.
- Don’t use a skillet that is too larger or else you will thicken up the curry too much. I used a large braising dish when I first made this and realized it was way too big for this recipe. A medium skillet will fit the curry and chicken just fine.
- A meat thermometer is your best friend when cooking chicken. You can easily tell if the chicken is done by checking the internal temperature. Once it reaches 165 degrees, the chicken is done and you can remove it from the oven.
The Easiest Thai Chicken Curry –
- 1 pound raw chicken breasts
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 red pepper thinly sliced
- 1 medium white onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ½ teaspoon ginger paste
- 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
- 1 13.5-ounce can coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon creamy peanut butter
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Using a meat mallet, pound the chicken so it's one even thickness. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add coconut oil to a medium skillet and heat to medium high. Once it's really hot, add the chicken breasts and cook until browned on both sides but not fully-cooked in the center. Remove from pan and place on plate. Set aside.
- Reduce heat to medium low. Add sliced pepper, diced onion, minced garlic and ginger paste to the pan. Cook until the veggies start to soften, about 3 minutes. Add red curry paste and stir to combine with veggies. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring often.
- Switching to a whisk, slowly add the coconut milk to the mixture. Whisk to combine the milk with the veggies and to help break up the browned bits at the bottom of the pan. Add in peanut butter and whisk to combine. Turn off heat.
- Return chicken breast to the pan. Coat them in the sauce. Place the skillet in the oven to finish cooking. This should take about 15-25 minutes, depending on how long the chicken takes to finish cooking. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken. Once it reaches 165, it's ready.
- Once the chicken is cooked, remove the skillet from the oven. Slice the chicken into small pieces and stir to coat every piece in the curry sauce. Serve immediately over Jasmine rice.