Thai up a curry favourite - Chicken Paneang curry recipe
Chicken Paneang curry is a tasty dish that ranks as a treat from the far east for many foodies out there.
We had a lively cooking session with Chef Mac Withojit, Head Chef De Cuisine of recently opened Pachaylen Thai Restaurant in the Eastern Mangroves Hotel and Spa by Anantara to see how this classic Thai dish is done.
It is a pretty straight-forward concoction but there is still great skill in balancing the sweet and spicy flavours.
>> 480g corn fed chicken breast
>> 120g Thai Paneang curry paste
>> 400ml coconut milk
>> 50ml cooking oil
>> 80g baby aubergine pre cooked
>> 20g Thai sweet basil
>> 5g kaffir leaves
>> 10g garlic & shallot chopped
>> 40ml fish sauce
>> 40g palm sugar
>> 10g slice Thai red chilli
Step 1: Chop to it
Before beginning the dish, the recipe calls for some of ingredients to be pre-cooked and chopped. Refer to the shopping list. The next step is chopping the chicken. Chef Mac warns that this is perhaps the most important step in making this dish. “You have to cut the chicken to the same size or almost the same size so that the chicken will cook the same,” he says.
As with most top chefs quality of ingredients is key and Chef Mac is using corn fed chicken and has selected the breast.
Step 2: Essential oils
Heat the oil, add garlic and shallot, stir fry together with curry paste until it becomes fragrant, add coconut milk bring to boil. “If you don’t have the Penang Curry you can use the green paste,” says Chef Mac. “The trick is if some blend of curry starts to go very dry you can add a little bit of coconut milk.”
Step 3: add chicken
Bring the curry up to bubbling point and add the sliced chicken. Cook until it goes lightly brown and then add the Thai aubergine into the mix. Chef Mac explains: “Now we let it simmer and the smell starts to come out, salty and an undertone of sweet. You don’t want to over boil so now we turn down the heat.”
Step 4: Simmer and serve
Let it simmer for a while, then season with fish sauce and sugar and bring back to simmering. Add kaffir leaves, sweet basil, chilies, and remove from heat.
“Sprinkle on more finely chopped kaffir leaves, the peppers, a little coconut milk and add a flower shaped pepper.” Serve hot with steamed Jasmine rice.
“With this dish, I would recommend bean cake, soya beans, steamed and mashed up with the coconut milk and then baked in palm sugar for the dessert,” says Chef Mac. Sounds tasty too!