Donal Skehan's... What to eat now
Recipes, restaurant recommendations and more hidden gems from Donal’s Little Black Book
Fragrant Thai Chicken Stew
This is very similar to a Thai green curry but it's a lot lighter in terms of spices, sticking mainly with the fresh ingredients like ginger and lemongrass. Don't worry if you don't have a food processor, just chop the paste ingredients until they're as fine as you can get them and it will work just fine.
You will need
3 large thumb-sized pieces of ginger, peeled and roughly sliced
A small handful of kaffir lime leaves, or zest of 2 limes
3 garlic cloves
1 red chilli, deseeded
3 stalks of lemongrass
1 tablespoon of sunflower oil
8 chicken thighs, boneless and skinned, sliced in half
A good grind of black pepper
1 x 400g tin of coconut milk
2 tablespoons of fish sauce
240g of basmati rice
6 spring onions, finely sliced
A large handful of coriander, roughly chopped
In small hand blender, blitz the ginger, lime leaves, garlic, red chilli and lemon grass until finely chopped. Heat a frying pan over a high heat and add a little sunflower oil.
Season the chicken pieces with the pepper and brown off in the pan until you have a nice golden colour on either side. Remove the chicken pieces from the pan and place on plate with some kitchen paper.
Pour the remaining oil and scrape any crispy bits into a medium sized high-sided pot and place over a medium high heat. Add in the blitzed ingredients and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes until they release lots of great fragrant smells. Add the chicken back in along with the coconut milk and fish sauce.
Cook over a gentle heat for 10 minutes until the sauce has reduced a little and the chicken is thoroughly cooked through.
While the chicken is bubbling away, get the rice on. Rice can get people a little panicked but the easiest way to think about it is that it is one part rice to two parts cold water. What I do is measure the rice in a glass and then use the glass to pour in the water, that way it's easy to see the volume you need to add.
Add the rice and water to a pot, cover with a lid and simmer over a medium heat for about 15 minutes or according to the instructions on the packet.
Serve the chicken over the rice and give a generous sprinkle of spring onions and coriander.
People often ask me where I source my Asian ingredients and the answer is always the same... Asia Market. If you haven’t visited one of their Dublin stores, they’re well worth a trip, even just to explore the vast array of products and ingredients. You can pick up coconut oil, curry pastes and a whole host of Asian ingredients at a fraction of the cost you would pay in a supermarket.
One of the things I love most about Thai food is that it uses herbs as a key ingredient rather than a limp garnish on the side of a dish.Plates piled high with an assortment of herbs, chillies and dipping sauces are placed at the centre of the table, allowing you add more flavour or spice to any dish. Coriander is a key ingredient in many Thai recipes and can easily be grown in a pot on a sunny windowsill. That means you’ll have it on hand when you make my Thai chicken stew!