My distaste for change has been put to the test more times than I can count over the past several years. Jobs, dreams, relationships, and so many facets I would have once classified as constants have faded or evolved.
Through painful trials and subsequent meltdowns, I have built up some callouses to what was once the biggest monster in my life. Change is not only something I can survive, but is often worth embracing. Sure, I’ve lost some things along the way and my body - both physically and mentally bears the marks, but there is also a deeper sense of love, joy, and peace than I have ever known before.
As I observe all the moving parts of my life, one of the changes which I have been able to easily appreciate is that of my ever-fickle tastebuds. While I do not think I could have ever fallen into the category of a “picky” eater, there have always been a few food trains I just couldn’t board. That’s changing, and when I found myself craving curry one summer afternoon - a spice and dish I have never been in love with - I knew change was happening once again.
I’d like to introduce you to my new favorite weeknight meal. I cannot stop making it, and that’s okay, because as much as Mr. Pedantic typically complains about Indian cuisine, even he loves this dish.
Call it gateway curry, if you like.
I am obsessed with this meal, especially at this time of year, because while the coconut and lime nod to summer, the warmth of the spicy curry offers a flirtatious wink to autumn.
The ingredients are simple and the dish comes together fairly quickly, making it a true weeknight winner.
We begin with skin-on chicken thighs - seasoned with salt and pepper and panfried in olive oil and a whole lot of garlic. The garlic will lend flavor to the chicken as it cooks and then become soft and buttery when simmered in our coconut curry sauce.
After the chicken is golden and crispy, we add the base of our curry: chicken broth, yellow curry powder, salt, and butter. The butter helps to cut through some of the acidity from the lime and softens the tang of the curry powder itself.
Coconut milk and fresh lime juice are stirred in last and then we move the entire pan to the oven to finish cooking. Once your curry is bubbling and the chicken is tender, it is time to serve. Rice and flatbread are my suggested companions for this bright but cozy dish.
Happy Monday, friends!
Weeknight Buttery Coconut Curry Chicken
cook and prep time: approximately 45 minutes
2 lbs chicken skin-on thighs
salt and pepper
6 large cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/4 cups chicken stock
1 heaping tablespoon yellow curry powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup coconut milk
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 small lime, sliced into wedges
jasmine rice, for serving
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper on both sides.
Add olive oil to a large, high-sided frying pan and place over medium high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add sliced garlic and lay the chicken thighs, skin-side-down in the oil. Cover the pan with a lid and reduce heat to medium.
Fry for five minutes; until the skin is very crisp and deep golden, then flip and cook on the opposite side for an additional five minutes.
Remove the lid and pour in chicken broth, curry powder, salt and butter. Bring the liquid to a simmer and simmer steadily for three minutes. Stir in coconut milk and lime juice.
Return the lid to the pan and place in the oven. Bake for fifteen minutes, or until the chicken has reached 165 degrees F and the broth is simmering steadily.
Serve over buttered rice with a wedge of lime and warm naan, if desired.