Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Vietnamese chicken curry (Ca ri ga)

I think I have abandoned my blog long enough now since my last post! With the holiday season right around the corner and with the last minute planning for the holiday celebration at full gear, I was forced very close to the edge of my stress-tolerance threshold. But finally, my shopping mission has been accomplished,  presents have been wrapped, baked goodies for friends have been delivered, Christmas tree and light decorations have been put up.  And one more day before my oldest son is off for the winter break, then I can breath for a little. Well just a little, because then I will be off to the kitchen again to prepare for our  Christmas feast. I guess I won't be able to truly relax until the holiday is over.
Anyway, the weather has been very wet and cold lately. Winter is finally here, so are the cold, flu and other seasonal illnesses coming along with it. I got some chicken thighs last week to make chicken noodle soup for my sons when they started their sniffles. With the left over chicken thighs, I made some chicken curry for me and my husband and it went so well with this cold, rainy weather. My husband loves it served with vermicelli while I like to dip in my bowl of curry with fresh pieces of warm baguette. Either way, it made a comfort and delightful meal in this winter season.


1. 5-6  skinless, boneless chicken thighs (cleaned and cut into 2 inch cubes)
2. 2 medium carrots (peeled and cut diagonally into large chunks)
3. 3 small Yukon potato (peeled and cut into large chunks)
4. 1 large sweet potato (peeled and cut into chunky cubes)
5. 1 can of coconut milk
6. 1 can of chick broth (or homemade chicken broth)
7. 1 cup of milk
8.  5 tsp of curry powder
9. 4-5 stalks of lemongrass (bruised with a meat tenderizer) and 5 tbsp of ground lemongrass
10. Salt, mushroom seasoning, black pepper, sugar, fish sauce, garlic powder
11. Minced garlic (from 5 cloves)


- Marinate chicken thigh cubes with 2 tbsp of ground lemongrass, salt, pepper, garlic powder, sugar, black pepper. Set aside for about 1 hour.
- In a medium stock pot, add a couple tablespoons of oil and the remaining ground lemongrass along with minced garlic. Stir until fragrant and lightly brown.
- Add in the marinated chicken and keep stirring to brown evenly for about 10 minutes.
- In the meantime, in a large skillet, add a couple tsp of oil and brown the carrot, potato and sweet potato cubes for about 10 minutes until lightly brown (this step is to firm up the texture of the root vegetables so they won't fall apart later in the pot).

- Back to the chicken pot, after 10 minutes, season with the curry powder and pour in the coconut milk, chicken broth and milk.
- Drop in the pre-brown root vegetables, lemongrass stalks and season to taste with some fish sauce, mushroom seasoning, sugar and salt.
- Let the pot simmer for about 30 minutes until the meat and the root vegetables are tender but not falling apart.
- Transfer to a serving bowl, garnish with cilantro and sprinkle some black pepper to taste.
- You can serve this comfort food dish with vermicelli, bread or simply just some steamed rice with it. Enjoy!

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