Not Your Sunday Roast Chicken Supper…

Last night, I was going to make the traditional Korean noodle dish, chap chae, with boneless chicken thighs instead of beef, but Kurt wanted to go out for Italian (even though we’ve been on a steady stream of pasta the last few days).  So tonight, I decided to veer away from my usual chicken thigh standbys and make something on my own.  Yay, a kitchen experiment!

My main requirement was that I had to have everything here at home; it’s way too cold to go out once the sun goes down and the wind has been blowing all day.  Fortunately, I had been to Wegman’s during the week and had a slew of vegetables at my disposal.  The other requirement was that it had to be fast and cooked in a single pan or pot; I spent the majority of my weekend helping the guys get the man-cave in order, and was tired.  Ken purged so much of his stuff that our super can couldn’t hold all the trash bags!  (But the man-cave looks much better and I may even come down to visit once in a while).

I rooted around my pantry and found a can of coconut milk that I decided would be the base of my dish– as far removed from the Italian cuisine we’ve been eating as I could get!  Thai curry, maybe?  I had no Thai curry paste, BUT I had a tub of Korean chili paste that would do; it’s spicy and a bit sweet.  I always have Filipino fish sauce, patis, and a spice cabinet full of the flavors of the world.  With mushrooms, carrots, onions and garlic, I was good to go with my pan-Asian chicken curry!

Maria’s Pan-Asian Spicy Chicken in Coconut Milk

  • 1 to 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, (I had five), cut into thin strips
  • 1 TB Korean gochujang, plus more if needed for sauce
  • 1 TB brown sugar
  • salt and pepper
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut on the diagonal into thin ovals
  • 5-6 cremini mushrooms (or whatever you have on hand, oyster and shitake would be great)
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped (1/2 to 1 inch pieces)
  • I can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 – 2 tsp fish sauce (I use Filipino patis)

Chop the vegetables.

Easy cuts-- no julienned carrots or small dice onion!

Easy cuts– no julienned carrots or small dice onion!

Here’s what my bottle of patis and Korean hot pepper paste look like:

Filipino fish sauce, patis

Filipino fish sauce, patis

Korean hot pepper paste, Gochujang

Korean hot pepper paste, Gochujang

Slice the chicken thighs into thin strips; generously season with salt and pepper then add the hot pepper paste.

You want enough paste to coat the pieces well

You want enough paste to coat the pieces well

Using your fingers, mix the paste into the chicken to coat all pieces.

A little spice...

A little spice…

Sprinkle the brown sugar on top and mix again.  Let chicken marinate for about 15 minutes.

...and some sweet!

…and some sweet!

In a medium sauté pan, heat vegetable oil until it shimmers and is hot.  Add the onion first and sauté for a minute.  Then add the carrots and onions and stir fry another minute or so.

The onions will blister, the carrots will sizzle!  Watch the garlic so it doesn't burn!

The onions will blister, the carrots will sizzle! Watch the garlic so it doesn’t burn!

Add the chicken pieces.  Stir fry until chicken is almost cooked through.

Keep the chicken moving around in the pan

Keep the chicken moving around in the pan

Add the coconut milk and fish sauce, stirring to combine then add the mushrooms and ground coriander.

That is how quickly it went...

That is how quickly it went…

Mix thoroughly.  Bring to a boil, then clamp on a lid and lower the heat to simmer for 15 minutes.

Quick simmer just to meld the flavors

Quick simmer just to meld the flavors and finish chicken

Taste the sauce, adding more pepper paste, salt, pepper or patis as needed.  Serve over hot steamed rice.

"This is just like the dish at the Thai restaurant, Mom!"

“This is just like the dish at the Thai restaurant, Mom!”

Kurt and Ken both agreed this was a successful experiment.  Kurt said that “with a tablespoon or two of peanut butter, you’d have panang curry.”  Woohoo!  And no recipe involved– it’s that easy.  You can add additional depth of flavor with fresh coriander and lime, but this was good as is!

Oh, and for those of you who read my rocky road post– the candy held up just fine.  I’m going to make it with almonds for Easter!

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3 Comments

Filed under Family, Food, Main Dishes

3 responses to “Not Your Sunday Roast Chicken Supper…

  1. Sue M.

    Fantastic! I love your combination of flavors. Need to get some fish sauce and Korean chili paste, though. Not part of my usual cupboard stock. Love living in the DC area, where you can get just about anything from any culture.

  2. Pingback: Sunday Roasts | jovinacooksitalian

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