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Chicken Curry with Sweet Potato and Lemongrass

Chicken Curry with Sweet Potato and Lemongrass
  • Meal

    Dinner

  • Cusine

    Vietnamese

Ingredients

1/2 cup coarsely chopped lemongrass, from 2 medium stalks

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped peeled ginger

1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons Madras-style curry powder, preferably Sun brand

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional

1 can full-fat, unsweetened coconut milk, not shaken

2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil or neutral oil, such as canola

4 large boneless, skinless chicken thighs , each cut into 3 pieces

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 1/4 pounds sweet potatoes , peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

3 to 5 fresh cilantro sprigs, coarsely chopped

Directions

Make the curry paste: In a food processor, whirl the lemongrass into a fine texture, about 3 minutes, pausing occasionally to scrape down the bowl. Add the ginger and pulse to finely chop. Add the onion and pulse again to chop. Add the curry powder, black pepper, and cayenne (if using) and whirl until you have a fragrant yellow paste, about 30 seconds. Prep the coconut milk: Do not shake the can of coconut milk. Open the can and remove 1/3 cup of the thick cream at the top of the coconut milk. Stir the remaining lighter milk, and set both aside. Begin cooking the curry: In a 3- to 4-quart pot over medium-high heat, melt the coconut oil. Add the lemongrass paste and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until fragrant and no longer raw and harsh smelling. Lower the heat as needed to avoid scorching. Add the chicken and 1/2 teaspoon salt, stir to combine, and cook for 1 minute to meld the flavors. Add the coconut milk and a little water to cover the chicken. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, cover, and adjust the heat to gently simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the sweet potatoes: Uncover the pot, add the sweet potatoes, and return the curry to a simmer. Continue cooking for 10 to 12 minutes, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender. Finish the curry: Turn off the heat, stir the coconut cream into the sauce, and let rest on the burner’s receding heat for 10 minutes, uncovered, to blend and mature flavors. Taste and season with salt (unsalted curry powder may require an additional teaspoon), and splash in a bit of water if the flavors are too strong. Serve immediately, garnished with the cilantro.