Thursday, September 6, 2012

Panang Gai แพนงไก่ Panang Curry With Chicken

It has been months since I last shared a recipe for kaeng or Thai curry with you. I think it is is only fitting to do just that after my recent post on Thai curry pastes.

Panang (sometimes written as phanaeng) is indeed named after the charming Malaysian island of Penang. However this is the Thais' interpretation of what a curry from their southern neighbour is, so don't expect to find anything similar when you are in Penang next. For that reason Panang joined a group of other famous dishes that simply do not exist in the country/city that they are named after such as the likes of mee Siam, Singapore noodles and Mongolian beef.

This is a relatively mild dish that can be enjoyed by the whole family; it is extremely aromatic and full of flavour, made extra creamy with the added crushed peanuts in this version of mine. I often add some greens to brighten up the curry, a trick I picked up from my grandmother - by doing so it also saves me the trouble of making another vegetable dish when I am feeling lazy.

serves 2 with rice as a one dish meal or 4 as part of a Thai meal
you'll need;
vegetable oil for cooking
300 g of chicken thighs, cut into cubes, marinated with a little fish sauce
a handful of green beans, topped and tailed and halved, blanched
1 small broccoli, cut into manageable florets, blanched
1/3 cup of coconut cream (Ayam brand)
3 heaped tbs of Panang curry paste, homemade or shop bought
3/4 cup of coconut milk (Ayam brand)
2 tbs of fish sauce
2 tbs of palm sugar
2 kaffir lime leaves, finely shredded
3 bird chilies, sliced
2 heaped tbs of unsalted peanut, dry roasted and pounded (optional)

Cut and marinate the chicken and prepare the vegetables and herbs.

Brown chicken pieces with a little oil in batches until golden all over. You may omit this step but I think it greatly improves the final result.

Heat up 1/3 cup of the coconut cream and when oil starts to split add in the curry paste, mix well and fry the paste in the cream/oil mixture on medium heat for a minute.

Add coconut milk, bring it to a simmer, season with fish sauce, palm sugar, half of the kaffir lime leaves and chili.

Return chicken and blanched vegetables to the wok and simmer until the chicken is cook through, add crushed peanut and check for seasonings.

Sprinkle with the rest of the shredded kaffir lime leaves and sliced chilies, serve with plenty of steamed rice.


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