There has been a recent explosion of the demand for interesting and flavoursome dishes from around the World. What I have discovered is that some of these dishes get altered to satisfy different tastes and cultures. For example, here in France, very spiced food has to be toned down quite a bit – the French do not have a lot of hot spice in their diet – but gradually the food from other cultures has crept into menus.
This past summer we put a Thai Chicken dish on our menu with a warning that it was slightly hot! After a slow start the locals soon came to appreciate the different flavouring that went into the dish and some even asked for it to be made hotter!
The following recipe is my version of a Thai Green Chicken Curry which I cooked wrapped in a fresh banana leaf and served with jasmine rice. I realise that to create really authentic Thai dishes you need the proper ingredients and experience in the culture and cuisine of the country. I use a good quality paste which, in my opinion, contains many of the flavours that you would expect.
Here’s what you need for 4 portions
4 skinless chicken breast fillets
2cm piece of root ginger
1 red bell pepper
1 clove garlic
handful of fresh mangetout
4 banana leaves each about 20cm square
400ml coconut milk
1 dessert spoon sugar
100ml dry white wine
1 dessert spoon Thai Green Curry Paste
Jasmine rice to serve with
- Place each chicken breast in the middle of the banana leaf. Thinly slice some of the pepper and ginger and place on top of the chicken. Wrap the leaf around the chicken and either steam or put in à pre-heated oven at 180C for about 15 minutes. The chicken will take slightly longer to cook because of the banana leaf wrap.
- In a saucepan drizzle a little olive oil and add chopped onion and garlic, sliced pepper and ginger and the mangetout. Put over a medium heat to start cooking down the vegetables.
- Turn up the heat, add the curry paste, sugar and wine. Let the alcohol cook out of the wine and reduce it by half.
- Add the coconut milk and turn the heat down. Allow to simmer and then divide between the four plates when ready to serve.