This riff on fiery Massaman curry, commonly cooked in a clay pot with potatoes and peanuts, combines coconut milk, Asian fish sauce and judicious amounts of bottled Thai red curry paste (made with red chiles, shrimp paste, garlic and ginger) to create a piquant sauce for chicken. In this recipe, Grace Parisi omits the potatoes to save time, but keeps the peanuts for a crunchy finish.
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2/3 cup unsweetened coconut milk
2 to 3 teaspoons Thai red curry paste
1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2-inch strips, or skinless, boneless breasts, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
In a small bowl, whisk the coconut milk with the curry paste and fish sauce until combined.
Heat a large wok or skillet until very hot. Add 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil and heat until just smoking. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add it to the wok in a single layer. Cook over high heat, turning once, until the chicken is browned but not cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and pour off the fat in the wok.
Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil to the wok. Add the shiitake caps and stir-fry over high heat until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and stir-fry for 1 minute. Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the wok. Add the red curry mixture and the water and bring to a boil. Add the frozen peas and simmer until the liquid is slightly reduced and the peas are warm, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the chicken curry to a serving bowl and garnish with peanuts and cilantro. Serve immediately with rice and lime wedges.