David Thompson's chicken stir-fried with red curry, green peppercorns and holy basil
AT A GLANCE
Serves 4 - 6 people
"Chop the bird into pieces - on the bone is even better," says
Long Chim and Nahm chef David Thompson. "Legs and wings are the
best cuts to use. Fry and brown the chicken well before adding the
paste - it will give the dish a more rounded flavour and an
attractive colour. The red curry paste is the only curry paste I
would cook in a wok. I like to sneak a little pork fat into the mix
for a richer curry."
60 ml (¼ cup)melted lard, chicken fat or white sesame oil
2-3chicken Marylands (about 600gm-800gm), cut through the bone into 3cm-4cm pieces
45 mlfish sauce, or to taste
Pinch of chilli powder
Pinch of ground dry-roasted coriander seeds (see note)
1 tsplight palm sugar, crushed
Chopped green chilli, thinly sliced garlic and fish sauce, to serve
Green peppercorn sprigs, picked (see note), and steamed rice, to serve
Red curry paste
25 gm(about 15) long dried red chillies, halved, seeds removed, soaked in hot water for 30-40 minutes
2 tbspsliced lemongrass (white part only)
2 tspcoarsely chopped, peeled galangal
½ tspfinely grated kaffir lime rind (see note)
1-2red shallots, coarsely chopped
2-3Thai garlic cloves, crushed (see note)
½ tspgapi (see note)
Large pinch of ground dry-roasted
coriander seeds (see note)
Pinch of ground dry-roasted cumin seeds, (see note)
Pinch of ground white pepper
Garlic and chilli paste
12Thai garlic cloves
5 gmpiece grachai (see note), plus extra, thinly sliced to serve
3small Thai scud chillies (see note)
Pinch of holy basil buds, plus holy basil leaves to serve (see note)
½ kaffir lime leaf, finely chopped, plus extra leaves torn to serve
For red curry paste, drain chillies and coarsely chop, then pound to fine paste with a pinch of salt with a mortar and pestle. Add remaining ingredients one at a time, pounding to a paste before adding the next.
For garlic paste, coarsely pound ingredients with a pinch of salt in a mortar and pestle and set aside.
Heat fat or oil in a wok over medium-high heat until hot, add chicken and stir-fry until coloured and aromatic (5-7 minutes). Add garlic paste and fry until golden (1-2 minutes). Season with 2 tbsp fish sauce and simmer for a few moments while turning and coating the chicken. Add 60gm red curry paste (remaining will keep refrigerated for a week) and simmer over low heat until reduced (1-2 minutes). Add extra torn kaffir lime leaves, chilli powder and ground coriander, then season to taste with palm sugar and fish sauce. Add 250ml water and simmer, adding more wateras necessary, until chicken is cooked, and curry sauce is thick, dry, and tastes rich and spicy, with quite a lot of oil on the surface (15-20 minutes).
Combine chopped chilli, garlic and remaining fish sauce to taste and serve alongside stir-fried chicken garnished with extra grachai, green peppercorns and holy basil leaves, and with steamed rice.
NoteThai garlic is smaller and sweeter than other varieties of garlic, and is available from Thai food stores. If it’s unavailable, substitute small garlic cloves. Dry-roast whole seeds, then grind in a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle.To dry-roast spices, cook the spices in a dry pan, stirring continuously over medium-high heat until they’re fragrant. The cooking time varies depending on the spices used. Peppercorn sprigs, kaffir limes, gapi (Thai shrimp paste), grachai (Thai wild ginger), scud chillies and holy basil are all available from Thai grocers.