Thursday, June 29, 2023

Thai Green Chili with Chicken

This dish is a variation of a Jamie Oliver recipe. It’s basically chicken cooked in a delicious green herb sauce with coconut milk. And just like Jamie, you’re totally allowed to bung things in…in a very high spirited way. 

Jump to Thai Green Chili with Chicken

Jamie calls his recipe a “Curry”. I’ve left out a signature “Curry” spice – turmeric - so I call mine a “Chili”. Changed name aside, it’s a good example of how to create a great recipe by combining many highly flavored ingredients and then enriching them with coconut milk for a super-savory, creamy sauce.

I didn’t want to call it Thai GREEN CHICKEN Chili, because I don’t find the word GREEN in front of the word CHICKEN particularly appetizing, so I just added "With Chicken"…

Anyhoo, I like to brown the chicken separately in a big sauté pan, while I attend to other parts of the recipe. I ultimately cook it in a saucepan, because I want to keep as much of that yummy sauce as possible, so I don’t want it boiling away in a big wide pan. These are the steps:

  • Brown the chicken in a large sauté pan. 
  • Remove the chicken to a large saucepan.
  • Soften onions in the sauté pan with all those nice browned chicken bits.
  • Whirl up the green sauce in a food processor or blender.
  • Pour the sauce over the cooked onions in the sauté pan and then add the whole thing to the chicken in the saucepan.


Also, the chicken is fabulous in this dish, but not crucial, so you could totally stir fry a whole host of vegetables – snow peas, mushrooms, carrots, squash, peppers and onions to name a few – and simmer them in the sauce for a bit and you’d have a great dinner.

In most recipes, I cook the carrots and red peppers after the onions are cooked BEFORE adding any other ingredients. But in this dish I find it’s okay to just add them to the sauce and chicken without any softening and they cook just fine right along with the chicken.

Thai Green Chicken Chili (serves 3 - 4)

6 boneless chicken thighs
Kosher salt
1 tbl. olive oil 
2 onions, peeled, halved, halved again and cut into slices
2 jalapeños, halved and seeded (wear gloves!)
1 bunch of cilantro, stemmed and washed
1 bunch of basil, stemmed and washed
2 scallions, chopped roughly
1 thick slice of ginger, peeled
2 cloves of garlic, peeled with center stem removed
1 lime, zested first then juiced
½ tsp. salt 
1 can coconut milk, stirred well (It's easiest to do this in a separate bowl or measuring pitcher. And 👎 to lowfat coconut milk. Just go for it.)
4 carrots, cut into thick matchsticks
1 red pepper, cut into thick matchsticks
Optional: 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup vegetable or chicken stock for reheating leftovers*

For garnish:
1 lime, sliced
3 scallions, sliced into thin rounds
chopped cilantro  

Season the chicken thighs with kosher salt. Heat olive oil in large sauté pan over medium high heat. Cook for 3 or 4 minutes on both sides until lightly browned. Remove chicken to large saucepan. 

To the same sauté pan (don’t wipe it out), add sliced onion with a big pinch of Kosher salt and cook on medium high until you hear a sizzle. Turn down heat to low. Cover (even if your lid is smaller than your pan, it’s fine.) and cook for 10 minutes until completely soft, stiffing occasionally.

Meanwhile, add jalapeños, cilantro, basil, scallions, ginger, garlic, lime zest, lime juice and salt to blender. Blend to chop roughly. Add one can of stirred coconut milk. Blend until smooth. 

Pour green sauce over onions and bring just to a simmer. Pour entire contents of sauté pan over chicken. Add carrot and red pepper slices. Bring to a simmer. Cover and cook, simmering gently for 25 to 30 minutes until chicken is done. Garnish with lime slices, scallions and chopped cilantro. Serve over rice. 
*If reheating the chicken and sauce on top of the stove, add a 1/4 to 1/2 cup stock to the pan just to loosen the sauce a bit.

- By the way, click here for Jamie’s AMAZING method for having fresh chilies always available. -

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