I don’t ever remember making Massaman Chicken until I met Mr. Simplyladdie. I remember him always ordering it when we visited Thai restaurants. I believe his favorite was at Wasabi, a local restaurant off U.S. Highway 1 in Cary, NC. Here’s my take on Massaman Chicken that I make just for him.
- 1 lb. chicken breasts or thighs, cut into pieces approximately the same size.
- 4 small size Yukon gold potatoes, cut into quarters
- 1 small onion, cut into 1-inch strips
- 2 kaffir lime leaves
- 2 1/4 cups coconut milk, divided
- 1 can (4 oz) Massaman curry paste
- 1-2 tablespoons of sugar, to taste
- 1-2 tablespoons of fish sauce, to taste
- 1-2 tablespoons of tamarind juice, to taste
- 1/4 cup of roasted peanuts, optional
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On medium heat in a heavy bottom pan, reduce 1 cup of coconut milk until the coconut oil has separated from the milk. I use the coconut milk in cartons because the coconut cans generally have a lot of fillers in it that don’t allow it to separate. The one in the carton is usually 100% coconut milk. Your mixture should look like the picture below as it separates.
Now add the Massaman curry paste and stirring constantly as you fry it for about 5 minutes to release all the aromatics.
After 5 minutes of frying, add your chicken breast (or choice of meat) and the remainder of the coconut milk. Add enough water to cover the chicken. Stir to combine and let it come to a boil.
Once it comes to a boil, add the sugar, tamarind juice, potatoes, and onions. Simmer for about 25 more minutes or until the meat is tender.
I also added 2 kaffir lime leaves because it gives the curry that unique taste. The curry will taste like it has been braising all day long. Just remember to discard the kaffir lime leaves before serving.
After everything is cooked and tender, taste it! Season it again to your liking. The curry should be a little sweet, in this case, a little creamy from the rich coconut milk with hints of salty, sour, and spicy.
Serve with a bowl of steamed rice. Sprinkle with peanuts, if desired. My husband likes it with cashews (not pictured here). Try it out and let me know what you think.