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Green Chicken Curry

Adapted from “Real Thai” by Nancie McDermott (Chronicle Books, 1992)
Time: 25 minutes

1/2 cup coconut cream
1/4 cup green curry paste (see note)
1 skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
2 skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
3 cups coconut milk
1 1/2 cups quartered Thai eggplant or purple eggplant, cut
into 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
1 tablespoon palm sugar or brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 fresh kaffir lime leaves, optional
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
9 long thin strips red bell pepper.

1. In a medium-size heavy saucepan, bring coconut cream to a gentle boil. Cook until oil begins to glisten on the surface, 6 to 8 minutes. Add curry paste, and stir to mix well. Continue cooking over medium heat until curry paste releases a pleasing aroma, 1 to 2 minutes.

2. Add chicken breast and thigh pieces and stir to coat them evenly with coconut cream mixture. Cook until mixture thickens slightly, about 2 more minutes. Increase heat to high,and add coconut milk, eggplant, fish sauce, sugar and salt. Stir well. Stir in 6 of the lim leaves, if using. Adjust heat to maintain a gentle, active boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until eggplant is just tender, 8 to 10 minutes.

3. Remove chicken curry from heat, and adjust seasonings with more fish sauce, sugar or curry paste as desired. Transfer to a serving bowl, and garnish with basil leaves, red pepper and remaining 6 lime leaves. Serve hot or warm with rice.

Yield: 4 servings.

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