Friday, July 17, 2015

Vietnamese Chicken Curry (Cà Ri Gà)

When I was a little girl my mom would make this. She called it "ragu". The chicken is fragrant and flavorful, the vegetables are nice and tender. The broth is not spicy, but very flavorful. I loved dipping my baguette into the flavorful broth, I still do! 
I remember my mom would go buy baguettes at the store and on our way home I would be in the back seat with my brother. My mom happens to like the crusty outside of baguettes and I liked the soft insides. I would sit in the back on the car ride home and hollow out the baguette, just eating the insides while it was still warm. Bringing it up to my nose and inhaling the yeasty aroma. *sigh* I love you bread and all your yeasty, gluten filled yumminess. Now that I'm older and wiser I like both the soft center and the crusty outsides!
I hope you'll try this curry. It's a very simple and comforting sort of meal.

Vietnamese Chicken Curry

(Ragu or Cà Ri Gà)

Marinate the chicken:
3-4  pounds chicken (see note about chicken)
2 tablespoons oil (Olive oil, vegetable oil, coconut oil, avocado oil- whatever you like)
2 tablespoons madras curry powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne or ground Thai chili powder

2-4 tablespoons oil, divided
3 cloves garlic peeled and grated/minced
1 shallot, minced
2-4 kaffir lime leaves
2 stalks of lemongrass, outer dry leaves removed, bruised and cut into 3 inch pieces
2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and bruised with the flat side of a knife
3-4 tablespoons madras curry powder
1 teaspoon dried chili flakes or Thai chili powder, or to taste (optional)
1 medium onion, chopped 
1.5 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 2 inch pieces (see note)
3 carrots, peeled and cut into about 2 inch diagonal slices
Salt, pepper, fish sauce
2 cups chicken stock, low sodium
1 can of unsweetened coconut milk,  I use Thai Kitchen it's about 13 oz.

  1.  Place the chicken and marinade ingredients in a big bowl. Toss to coat and cover. Marinate at least 30 minutes to overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a dutch oven. Brown chicken on all sides. Removing pieces as they get browned.
  3. Brown the potatoes on all sides in the same pot, adding oil if needed. Remove from the pot.
  4. Add remaining oil to the dutch oven, if needed. Add garlic, shallot, Kaffir leaves,lemongrass stalks, ginger, curry powder, carrots, and chili flakes/powder. Cook on medium heat until fragrant and shallots are translucent. Don't turn the heat way up, you don't want burnt garlic.
  5. Add chicken and any juices, onions, and potatoes to the pot. Add the stock, if needed add water to just cover the ingredients. Bring to a boil scraping off any caramelization on the bottom of the pot. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. Stir in the coconut milk and simmer for another 10-15 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender. 
  7. Taste and season with salt, pepper, and or fish sauce.
  8. Serve garnished with chopped cilantro and sliced baguette on the side.

Chicken- this is matter of preference. You can use a whole chicken and break it down to about 8 pieces, you can use 8 thighs, boneless skinless thighs, boneless thighs, rib in chicken breasts, boneless breasts. Use what you like, just adjust cooking times so nothing is overcooked and dry, or undercooked. You also want the pieces to be about the same size. Bigger portions of bone breasts need to be halved usually. I'm partial to chicken thighs, by my husband likes boneless skinless 
breasts. When using boneless meats I just cut them into good sized pieces. 

Potatoes- I prefer Yukon gold, then red potatoes. Use what you have and like. You can also do a combination of sweet potatoes, white potatoes, purple potatoes, etc.

Thanks so much for reading Give Peas A Chance. I'm hoping to blog regularly again but we'll see. I always seem to think that things will slow down in the summer when school is in, and vice versa.
I hope you all are having a wonderful summer!

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