Thai Red Curry Chicken is a wonderfully spicy collaboration between juicy chicken, tender hot peppers, and fluffy potatoes. Wrapped up in a hot red curry sauce, its level of heat isn’t to be underestimated. Tone it down with naan bread or rice, and enjoy each and every bite!
In this Thai-inspired chicken curry recipe, I pile on the herbs, vegetables, sauces, and seasonings for a complex palette of bright, hot, sweet, and savory flavors. That perfect balance between sweet and spicy is what makes Thai dishes so irresistible!
Red curry chicken is hot, but not as hot as you’d expect an Indian curry to be. And, as opposed to Indian curries, it relies heavily on the use of fresh vegetables and mild, creamy ingredients to cool things down while also giving the sauce a delicious consistency.
I use my homemade Thai Red Curry Paste in this recipe. I find this to be more cost effective (and delicious!) than using premade, store-bought condiments.
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Yellow Potato - A relatively starchy, sweet, and buttery spud. You can replace with your potato of choice.
- Chicken - I prefer either thigh or breast meat. Regardless of the cut you use, it should be sliced thin.
- Thai Red Curry Paste - A simple paste made with chiles and other strong spices. It’s far more delicious when made at home, but you can also find it in an Asian supermarket.
- Fish Sauce - A “fishy,” salty, and savory sauce. Soy sauce makes a good substitute.
- Peanut Butter - This nutty ingredient complements the coconut milk while thickening the sauce.
- Kaffir Lime Leaves - These leaves are citrusy and floral. While common in Asian supermarkets, this herb can be difficult to find in some stores. You can replace it with a teaspoon of lime zest, if necessary.
- Coconut Milk - The thin, sweet liquid found in a coconut. If you dislike the taste or would just like another option, replace with Greek yogurt or heavy cream.
- Fresno Chile or Jalapeño - Fresno chiles and jalapeños have a similar level of heat, so both would be acceptable in this recipe.
- Bell Peppers - You can use whichever color you prefer.
- Mint & Thai Basil - A mix of fresh, peppery, and aromatic herbs to sprinkle on top of your completed red chicken curry.
HOW TO MAKE RED CURRY CHICKEN
- Boil the Potatoes. Boil the yellow potatoes in salted water until softened all the way through. Remove from the water, cover, and set aside for later use.
- Begin Cooking the Chicken. Heat oil in a skillet and add the paste. Stir for a couple of minutes, then add the chicken. Stir fry for 6 minutes.
- Stir in the Seasonings. Pour in the fish sauce, peanut butter, sugar, kaffir lime leaves, chiles, and coconut milk. Stir together and let simmer for 3 minutes.
- Add the Vegetables. Throw in the bell peppers and boiled potatoes. Continue cooking until the chicken is cooked through. Meanwhile, the sauce will cook down and thicken.
- Serve. Scoop onto a bed of fluffy white rice and top with mint and basil. Serve with some sliced lime wedges to spritz on top.
Is red curry the hottest curry?
Yes, generally. You can get a feel for the heat of a curry depending on its color: green is the most mild, yellow has medium heat, and red is the hottest. Remember that Thai curries aren’t as spicy as Indian curries.
You are, of course, able to modify the spiciness of your red curry chicken to your liking. You can use more cream or milk, less paste, or opt for less spicy peppers.
What does Thai red curry chicken taste like?
Thai red curry chicken is spicy, bright, and creamy. It’s a savory and acidic dish, toned down and sweetened with peanut butter and coconut milk. With additional citrus notes added by the herbs, it’s a pleasant mix of heat and freshness.
How long is red chicken curry good in the refrigerator?
Cooked chicken will remain fresh in the fridge for up to 4 days.
To reheat, simply pour all of the curry contents back into the skillet and stir over medium heat until warmed all the way through.
Thai Red Curry Chicken
- 2 cups yellow potato peeled and cubed
- 1 lb chicken thigh or breast meat sliced thin
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- ⅔ cup Thai Red Curry Paste
- ¼ cup fish sauce
- ¼ cup peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 4 kaffir lime leaves (optional, See Note 1)
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 red fresno chile or jalapeño sliced (See Note 2)
- 2 cups mixed bell peppers sliced thin strips
- 1 tablespoon mint (See Note 3)
- 1 tbsp Thai basil (See Note 3)
- Cook potato in salted boiling water until fork tender (about 10 minutes). Drain and set aside, covered.
- In a wok or large skillet over medium heat add the oil and curry paste. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring often.
- Add the chicken and cook for another 6 minutes.
- Add the fish sauce, peanut butter, sugar, kaffir lime leaves, chili, coconut milk and stir. Bring to a simmer and cook for 3 minutes.
- Add sliced bell peppers, cooked potato cubes and cook another 3 minutes until chicken is cooked through. Sauce should thicken and reduce.
- Sprinkle chopped mint and basil on top. Serve with steamed rice and sliced limes to squeeze on top.
- Thai basil and Kaffir limes leaves can be found in most Asian markets in the vegetable section. Kaffir limes leaves give off a wonderful floral, lime type aroma and flavor. A teaspoon of lime zest can be a substitute.
- The fresno chile looks like a red jalapeño pepper. For the heat a substitute can be a regular jalapeño or go HOT with a Birds Eye Chile.
- This uses fresh Thai basil, but regular basil may be substituted if you can't find.
*The information shown below is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.