Basil Curry Chicken with Coconut Rice

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I’ve never made curry before (unless you dare to count using curry sauce from a packet, then fine — I have) so this was my first go at it. and WOAH what an un-ironically NAILED IT situation this was. I think this is the best curry I’ve ever had (maybe I just love considering myself my own favorite cook?). All of these vegetables and flavors came together to create flavor magic. However, it was no simple feat. Which is funny, considering the recipe from Half Baked Harvest I used is called “Simple Summertime Basil Chicken Curry with Coconut Ginger-Lime Rice.” I wish I could consider a recipe that took at least an hour to prep alone simple.

Alright, whine-fest over. Let’s get to the recipe. Since there’s a zillion ingredients in this recipe, I attempted to simplify the cooking process by reading the recipe first and prepping all of the ingredients and arranging all of the ingredients in bowls according to which ingredients went into the pan at the same time. I also used my rice cooker instead of cooking the rice according to the original recipe. I’d like to think I saved some time with these moves, but who knows!

First, I added rice and water to my rice cooker, waiting to start the cooker until I was further along with the prep. Then I husked and cut off the corn kernels from three cobs of corn directly into a bowl. I chopped up some peppers and added them to the bowl with corn. I chopped up three small zucchinis and placed them in a separate bowl. I grated the garlic and ginger and put both in the same bowl as the zucchini. I diced up the chicken breasts and put in a bowl of its own. I measured out the curry powder and curry paste and placed both in a separate small bowl. I measured out the fish sauce and coconut milk and put both in a separate bowl. Then I chopped up some basil and placed it in a small bowl. Next, I chopped up the cilantro and put it in a separate small bowl. Last but not least, I chopped up the mango and jalapeno and placed both in a small bowl together.

Kidding — there’s more. I juiced a lime and zested the lime into a separate small bowl for the rice. I added coconut milk to the lime bowl, then added some grated ginger. And here’s what over an hour of food prep looks like:

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If you’re smart, you’ll enlist a friend, partner, family member, cat — anyone alive and willing to help to cut down on prep time. No one should ever have to do this much prep alone (*silently weeps into Surface screen while typing).

Once the prep was FINALLY done, I started cooking the rice in the rice cooker, simply by pushing the button. If only life were always that easy, RIGHT?!

Then I took a large skillet and added about a tablespoon of olive oil, heated the pan to medium and added the chicken. I cooked the chicken for about five minutes, then placed the chicken in ANOTHER bowl (dishes were super fun after this meal, I’m telling ya). I added another tablespoon of olive oil to the pan then added in the corn and green peppers, occasionally stirring like I’d do with stir-fry meals.

I cooked for about 4 minutes. Then I added in the zucchini, ginger and garlic bowl and cooked for another 5 minutes.

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I covered the pan with a lid to help soften the peppers and zucchini, since those typically take longer to cook.

While that was cooking, I added the chicken back in and tossed the ingredients. I then added the coconut milk, lime, ginger and basil to the cooked rice and stirred to combine.

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Once the time was up for the cooking vegetable mixture, I added in the chicken and tossed everything together. Then I added the curry powder and curry paste and tossed again, cooking for about a minute.

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Next, I added in the fish sauce and coconut milk, stirring to combine, covered with a lid a cooked for about five minutes. Then I removed the pan from the burner and added in the cilantro and basil.

Then it was time to plate this glorious meal. I first plated the rice, added some curry chicken and garnished with the mango and jalapeno mixture. Voila!

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Eat it and weep. SO SO SO SO GOOD. And I have tons of leftovers, so it’s a meal I can keep enjoying for several days instead of the usual boring desk lunch.

I say this all the time on this blog, but you really need to try this. This is definitely getting added to my awesome-foods-I-need-to-eat-on-a-regular-basis rotation.

Basil Curry Chicken with Coconut Rice

Ingredients

2 lbs boneless chicken breasts, diced

2 bell peppers, chopped

1 zucchini (or more, depending on what size they are)

2 cups of freshly cut corn from the cob (about 3 ears)

1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated

2 cloves garlic, grated

2 tbsp olive oil

2-3 tbsp red curry paste

1 tbsp curry powder

1/8 c coconut milk

1 tbsp fish sauce

1/2 c fresh basil, chopped

1/4 c fresh cilantro, chopped

1 mango, diced

1 jalapeno, seeded and sliced

Coconut rice

1/8 c coconut milk

2 c jasmine rice

1 tbsp ginger, grated

2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped

1 lime, juiced and zest

Directions

  1. Add rice and water to rice cooker.
  2. Cut corn from cobs and place in a bowl. Chop up bell peppers and place in the same bowl. Set aside.
  3. Cut up zucchini and put in another bowl. Grate garlic and ginger and add to the same bowl. Set aside.
  4. Dice chicken and put in another bowl and set aside.
  5. Measure out curry powder and curry paste and put in a small bowl. Set aside.
  6. Measure out fish sauce and coconut milk (the portion for the curry) and put in another small bowl. Set aside.
  7. Chop up basil and put in a small bowl. Set aside
  8. Chop up cilantro and put in another small bowl. Set aside.
  9. Chop up mango and slice the jalapeno and place in a small bowl together. Set aside.
  10. For the rice: measure out coconut milk and place in a small bowl. Juice and zest a lime and place in the same bowl. Add the ginger to the same bowl.
  11. In a large frying pan or wok, add a tablespoon of olive oil and set to medium heat. Add in the chicken and cook for five minutes, tossing frequently.
  12. Add corn and bell pepper mixture, stirring occasionally. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
  13. Add in zucchini, ginger and garlic, sauteing the mixture together. Cook for another five minutes, covering the mixture if desired.
  14. Add the chicken back in the pan and toss the ingredients together.
  15. Add in the curry paste and curry powder and mix until blended, cooking for a minute.
  16. Add the coconut and fish sauce, stir, cover and cook for another 5 minutes. Sauce should thicken slightly.
  17. While the curry is cooking, add the bowl of rice ingredients to the finished rice, and add some chopped basil. Mix until well combined.
  18. Once the curry is finished cooking, remove the pan from heat and add in the basil and cilantro. Plate the rice and curry, then garnish with mango and jalapeno mixture.

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