How many days are actually in January and why does it feel like that answer is 2,345? It never fails. January always feels like the longest month ever. Always. Maybe because it directly follows the cheery holiday season. All the decorations are now put away, the festive twinkly lights are switched off, kids have gone back to school leaving in their wake unmade beds and piles of laundry you keep putting off, and the weather is cold and dreary (especially this year.....mother nature is wreaking havoc!). Now that we're empty nesters, I find January especially challenging to get my mojo and routine back. I miss my kids and all the noise in the house, their voices, their help cooking in the kitchen and all the conversations around the dining room table. I think that's why we tend to crave comfort food on dark winter nights. Big bowls of soup, or pasta or this very tasty coconut curry chicken, are like a giant hug. The smells of the spices, the methodical chopping of the ingredients, the aroma as it cooks on the stove is all comforting. When it comes to curry, you can use whatever is in your pantry, but I highly recommend using vadouvan curry. It has all the Indian spices with the addition of traditional French spices like fennel and shallots which creates a really beautiful warm, toasty and earthy flavor.
This coconut curry chicken recipe is one I turn to often. It's super easy to make (which is a plus, especially on night's you don't have time or don't feel like cooking) and it's also highly adaptable. The other night I had some red and yellow peppers that were looking a bit sad and wilted, and after about 30 minutes my husband and I ate steaming bowls of this (over rice, of course!) while we finished up watching Drops of God. OH MY GOSH....have you watched this series yet? It's on Apple+ and is amazing!! You absolutely need to watch it!
Can I use coconut cream instead of coconut milk?
Absolutely, but it will make for a richer, creamier curry. To lighten it up, use less coconut cream (start with 1/2 can) or add some chicken broth.
Can I use shrimp instead?
Yep! If you're not a fan of chicken, or want to switch things up, you can absolutely use shrimp or tofu.
Can I use different vegetables?
This is a really versatile recipe and you can absolutely use other vegetables. Bok choy, carrots, green beans, zucchini all work. You can also add chickpeas, butternut squash or eggplant. Because it's so versatile, it's a great recipe for helping you clean out your veggie drawer.
Can I use curry paste instead?
Curry powder and curry paste are very different. Curry powder is dry while curry paste is wet, and there isn't much ingredient crossover between the two besides cumin and garlic. Curry paste also has chilies in it and curry powder doesn't which means curry paste has a spicier flavor. Because of the spice, curry paste has a much more assertive and intense flavor. You can absolutely use either red or green curry paste in this, and the flavor will be delicious, but it will also result in a much different dish flavor wise.