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You know what is an ultimate dealbreaker for me? PIcky eaters. Can’t stand them, can’t deal with them. The minute someone tells me tis, I can’t help but look at them with wary eyes. Diet restrictions aside, why wouldn’t you want to taste new things and have fun with food? I’ve never considered myself an adventurous person but when it comes to food, I’ll try anything. And in the past, I’ve done just that.

But alas, not everyone enjoys my food fervor. Case in point- my best friend J. If she had it her way (and she normally does) she’d stick to the basics: grilled cheese, toast, bean burritos, pizza, and any kind of fast food (especially Taco Bell and McD’s).  If she could live off toast and butter, she would. Go figure, the girl looks like a model too so maybe she knows a secret I don’t :)

For the past year, I’ve been trying to get her to try my new obsession: Thai food. While J has tried my mom’s Indonesian food, she refuses to try Thai food. “It’s just weird. And why would I eat that when I could get cheaper stuff @ McD’s?” she asks. I know, what am I going to do with her? 

There’s this little Thai restaurant close to my school that I think is one of the best places to go in Sacramento. Warm and inviting, the restaurant has that nice vibe that makes you want to come here every night. If I lived closer, I probably would! And the food? Oh dear, it will make you groan. I had one of the best curries here. Ever. No joke. Silky, creamy, flavorful. It was perfect. Ever since then, I’ve tried to mimic that dish and that brings me to this recipe.   

It doesn’t come close to heavenly yellow curry dish I had at that restaurant but I think it is a decent attempt. I know, I don’t sound too enthused but to be honest, I felt that it was more of an American take on Thai food. Next time I make it, I think I will amp up the curry paste as the curry didn’t have that kick that I wanted. If you are serving someone Thai food for the first time, then this might be the dish you want to start out with as all the flavors are slightly muted.

While nothing takes over and grabs your attention, it offers more like a brief glimpse in to Thai cuisine. It comes together really quickly, and I mean REALLY quickly. That might be why I didn’t necessarily fall in love with this dish. If the chicken and potatoes had been cooked longer and soaked up the sauce longer, I think this dish would’ve been awesome. I also left out the tomatoes and basil as I had none of these fresh ingredients on hand. But, word to the wise: try this dish out, cook it a little longer, and get back to me. Also, if you are a flavor addict like me, keep adding in the Thai curry paste to taste because the recipe doesn’t have enough of it in it. 

Thai Chicken Curry
Origin: Bon Appetit magazine
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Ethnicity: Thai
Difficulty: Medium

● 1 14- ounce can unsweetened coconut milk, * whisked to blend
● 1 1/4 tsp. Thai curry paste*
● 1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1/3-inch-wide strips
● 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
● 1 lb. chicken tenders, cut crosswise in half (I used chicken breasts)
● 4 small red skinned potatoes, boiled, drained, and diced
● 1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
● 1 tablespoon (packed) brown sugar
● 1 tbsp. fish sauce (nam pla)*
● 1 cup chopped seeded tomatoes
● 1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
● 1 tbsp. fresh lime juice
● 1 cup mixed frozen vegetables

Bring 1/4 cup coconut milk and curry paste to boil in large skillet over medium-high heat, whisking constantly. Add bell pepper, potatoes, vegetables, and onion; saute for 5 minutes.

Stir in chicken, remaining coconut milk, sugar and fish sauce. Cook until chicken is cooked through, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Stir in remaining 3 ingredients and simmer 1 minute. Season with salt.

*Available at Asian markets and some supermarkets nationwide.

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November 20, 2008 - 8:32 am

amy - Any chance you’d share the name of the restaurant? As a Sacramento Thai lover, I’m always up for discovering new places, especially for Thai :)

November 20, 2008 - 8:43 am

snookydoodle - wow Thai food . I ve never cooked it but I m willing to try. I always try new food even if it doesn t look appetising. This to the contrary looks so colourful and nice. Thanks for the recipe :)

November 20, 2008 - 10:24 am

Dana - Totally agree — I cannot stand picky eaters. When I was unmarried and on the dating scene, finding out that a guy was picky was a total dealbreaker. Thankfully, my husband is just as adventurous as I am :). We love Thai food and have it a few times a month!

November 20, 2008 - 11:23 am

Melissa - Is that corn and potatoes in your chicken dish?

November 20, 2008 - 11:46 am

Amanda - Amy, my go-to Thai place is Thai Palace on j street. Others I know enjoy Taste of Thai on Broadway but my meals there have been lackluster.

Melissa, yup those are veggies and potatoes. You can leave them out if you prefer.

November 20, 2008 - 12:15 pm

Maris - I am pretty picky, I won’t lie. But that’s not to say I won’t TRY new things. I’m more a case of once I know I like something I stick with it!

November 20, 2008 - 2:54 pm

Sophie - Thai food seriously makes up about 50% of the student diet here in Sydney. I eat it about three times a week! You can’t go past the $7 lunch specials – yum.

November 20, 2008 - 10:43 pm

alexisthetiny - Mmm, picky eaters, I used to be one, until my tastebuds and gag reflex matured and I stopped gagging on soft textures.

I think you do need more curry paste in there, a whole lot more. And curry is always better if you let it sit in the fridge for a couple of days. Talk about delayed gratification. =)

November 21, 2008 - 9:42 am

Charmian Christie - I adore Thai food but half my family can’t take any form of heat. It’s very frustrating.

But I am accused of being a picky eater because I hate processed food, refuse tinned corn and store bought salad dressing. I guess we’re all fussy in our own way.

November 21, 2008 - 12:45 pm

megan - i’m a huge fan on thai food though i have never tried to cook it myself. i’ve always thought of it as a little intimidating but you make it look easy :) i’ll have to keep the corn out though, as i’m allergic. weird, right? oh and if you don’t mind my asking, where did you find that pretty white serving plate? i love it :)

November 24, 2008 - 7:40 pm

Anna - I was picky as a child, but now I’ll eat pretty much anything (that’s vegetarian), and I find it difficult to understand how an adult can be picky.

I was at a wedding a few months back, and at my table of mid-twenty-something, one person ate the candied nuts out of her salad but left the rest because she ‘doesn’t like lettuce’ and another scraped the frosting off his cake, for no good reason. Bizarre behaviour!

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