Thai Summer Bean Stew with Chicken
- TOTAL TIME: 1 HR
- SERVINGS: 4
This is a quintessential summer dish, with coins of corn, tender beans and chicken in a tangy basil-and-cilantro-laced coconut-curry sauce. Replacing full-fat coconut milk with a combination of light coconut milk and low-sodium broth makes the recipe less rich without sacrificing flavor. Use at least three types of beans; start with string beans, wax beans and favas and add flat Romano beans, haricots verts, cranberry beans or limas. If you don't have the time or the patience for shelling and peeling fresh fava beans, frozen shelled edamame make a perfect substitute.
- 1 pound chicken cutlets, about 1/4 inch thick
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving
- 1 pound fresh fava beans, shelled
- 1 cup light coconut milk
- 2 teaspoons Thai green curry paste
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 10 basil leaves, plus more for garnish
- 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, plus more for garnish
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- 1 pound mixed green beans and yellow wax beans, cut into 1 1/2-inch lengths
- 2 ears of corn, shucked and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch thick rounds
- Steamed jasmine rice, for serving
- Light a grill. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and rub with 1 tablespoon of the oil and the lime juice. Grill the chicken over high heat until browned and cooked through, about 21/2 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a carving board.
- In a medium saucepan of boiling water, cook the fava beans just until bright green, about 2 minutes; drain and rinse under cold water. Working over a bowl, pop the beans out of their skins with your fingers.
- In the same saucepan, whisk half of the coconut milk with the green curry paste. Whisk in the remaining coconut milk, 1/2 cup of the chicken broth, the fish sauce and the sugar and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat for 5 minutes. Transfer the sauce to a blender. Add the 10 basil leaves and the 1/4 cup of cilantro and puree.
- In a large skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the onion and cook over moderately high heat until lightly browned. Add the green beans and yellow wax beans and the corn and cook over high heat for 2 minutes, tossing frequently. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of broth. Cover the skillet and simmer the beans until tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in the coconut-curry sauce and the fava beans and simmer until just heated through. Season the stew with salt and pepper.
- Slice the chicken cutlets crosswise into 1/2-inch strips. Ladle the stew into shallow bowls. Top with the chicken strips and garnish with basil and cilantro leaves. Serve with lime wedges and jasmine rice.
This lightly spicy curry stew needs a white wine with a touch of sweetness to offset its moderate heat, like a Gewürztraminer from California's Monterey County.