Chicken Peanut Curry

This curry is one of my all-time favourite recipes. It's rich and flavour-full, but the addition of peanuts takes it to an extra level of taste and texture. I made this one for the family a few weeks back and wanted to share it with you guys.

While I typically use chicken for this recipe, like most curries you can swap the meat for whatever your preferred meat is. Chicken is such a cheap meat here that it makes a delicious budget meal, but if you live in a country where poultry is more expensive, feel free to sub in whatever cut of meat you like. 
Now, if you prefer you can use bought curry paste for this dish. But I can't stress highly enough how much difference making your own curry paste will make. I used to be slack and used the jar stuff, until I tried making my own. Anything else is simply bland in comparison. 

It's probably quite easy for me to advocate this, as I have a ridiculous amount of herbs, spices and home-made curry powder mixtures taking up a whole shelf in my pantry, as well as a herb garden outside. If your pantry doesn't look like this…

… let me tell you, it is worth the investment. Every time I tried a new recipe, I'd never substitute herbs or spices. I'd go out and buy it. These days, it's very rare for me to come across a recipe that lists a spice I don't have. It makes it really easy on nights when I'm uninspired as to what to make for dinner – you can go grab a cook book and not have to skip recipes for not having the spices listed. But best of all, your palate will thank you for it. 

This musamun curry paste is a bit ingredient hungry, does use some fresh ingredients, and you will use the whole lot for this recipe. It's a good idea to double, triple, etc, the recipe so it's less of an energetic investment next time. Measuring out and chopping up the ingredients can consume a bit iof time, time we don't often have when concocting mid-week meals for the family, so anything that saves time can help heaps. 

Once you have your paste done, it's time to get a fry pan out. I used red onions mainly because my partner prefers the taste of them and I happened to have them on hand this time, but brown obnions are perfectly fine. Fry them up, then stir in the curry paste. 

Next goes the chicken. Choose a cut of meat of this that is a bit fatty. I typically use thigh fillets for this meal, though you could use a whole small chook and break it down, use drumsticks or wings as well. Just avoid using the breast (or prime cuts if using red meat) as they are too lean and will taste dry after so much cooking. 

Once you've got some good colour on the meat, it's time to add coconut milk.

Here is where there are many options open to you. I transfer it to my slow cooker and cook for 8 hours on low, or 4 hours on high. This is longer than absolutely necessary for this dish, but I prefer it as it results in really tender, falling-off-your-fork type meat. As a relatively new owner of a slow cooker, I know how annoying it is to find recipes that only give slow cooker directions, so in the recipe I will give stove top and oven options instead. But if you have a slow cooker and the time available, it's definitely my preferred method.

Once that's all done, it's time to top it with peanuts and any garnisghes you like. 

Choose your favourite sides. We had this with basmati rice and papadums. This recipes also goes nice with fresh tomatoes. 

For these sorts of meals, I prefer to serve everything in a large dish and let people stack as much as they want onto their plates. This will serve a family of 4 well enough. If cooking for more you may want to increase the amount of meat. 

Here's how you can make your own.

Chicken Peanut Curry

Ingredients

Musaman Curry Paste
4 small fresh red chillies, seeded, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
3 green shallots, chopped
2 tsp chopped fresh lemon grass
2 tsp palm sugar
2 tsp peanut oil
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 ground cinnamon
1/4 tap ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
2 tbsp water

Chicken Peanut Curry
1.5 kg chicken thigh fillets
2 tbsp ghee, or vegetable oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1 tsp palm sugar
1 tsp chopped fresh ginger
1 bay leaf
1/3 cup musaman curry paste
400ml coconut cream
1 1/2 tbsp cornflour
2 tbsp tepid water
2 tsp vegetable oil, extra
1 clove garlic, sliced
1/4 chopped unroasted peanuts

Method

Musaman Curry Paste
Blend or process all ingredients except the water until combined. Add enough water to make a paste. Makes 1/3 cup. 

Chicken Peanut Curry

  1. Cut fillets into large chunks; trim away any skin and excess fat.
  2. Heat ghee or oil in a large frying pan; add onions, palm sugar, ginger and bayleaf and stir over medium heat for 4 minutes, or until onion begins to soften. Stir in curry paste and cook a further 2 minutes, or until fragrant.
  3. Add chicken; cook until lightly browned on all sides.
  4. Add coconut cream and bring to the boil. 
  5. Transfer to a casserole dish and bake at 160°C for 2 hours. Alternatively, reduce stove top heat and simmer (covered) for half an hour or until chicken is tender.
  6. Remove chicken and cover with foil to keep warm. Transfer remaining liquid to a pan and place over high heat. Blend cornflour with water. Slowly pour flour mixture into the sauce, stirring continuously. Heat until mixture boils and thickens, stirring occasionally. 
  7. Meantime, heat extra oil in a fry pan. Add peanuts and garlic and cook over medium heat until lightly browned. 
  8. Return chicken to the pan with the sauce, and stir until mixture is hot. Transfer to a serving dish; sprinkle with the peanut mixture. 

You'll find the printable version of this recipe here.

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6 thoughts on “Chicken Peanut Curry

  1. Hey.. I was just wondering, how does your curry get so dark? And why exactly is it called peanut curry if there is only peanut oil in it (oh yeah and the garnish…)?

    • When you reduce the sauce it darkens in colour. I called in chicken and peanut as they are the two elements added the the massaman curry paste to distinguish it from the other versions I make.

  2. While the printable versions of your recipes look great, the option to actually print them is behind a pay-wall. I had to settle for marking the text on this page to print it instead. =(

    • Oh dear, I was completely unaware of that so thank you for bringing it to my attention. I haven’t gotten around to doing the pdfs since I imported the blog from LJ to WordPress — I’ll have to investigate what options WordPress has for embedding pdfs and find a friendlier option.

  3. Pingback: Chicken Peanut Curry | The German's Corner

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