Adventures in Cooking // Real Simple Cooking Challenge Day 1

Posted by Casey // dreams and bones. on Wednesday, February 1, 2012. Filed under: , ,

So I had a great idea recently.. after drooling and stomach growling while looking at Real Simple's recipe website.

What if I challenged myself to make 7 days of meals out of recipes I found via Pinterest and Real Simple? So far I have practiced with homemade quinoa patties, lots and lots of veggie mixes, and sriracha aioli salmon with herbed vegetable stir fry.

Today, to officially kick off the challenge, I tried Real Simple's  Thai Red Chicken Curry.

Note: Real Simple and I are not affiliated in anyway, nor have they sponsored this post. All opinions are solely my own!

I made a few tweaks based on groceries available at the store and what I had at home.

Instead of red curry paste, I used an 11oz bottle of Trader Joe's Thai Red Curry Sauce and reduced the amount of coconut milk I had to about 1/3 of a can. Instead of long grain wild rice, I used Trader Joe's cappinelli noodles. I know, I know, an italian noodle in a Thai dish, what was I thinking? Well, I love Thai thin noodles and had a craving for that over rice.. so I substituted what I had.

1 cup long grain wild rice // or // ½ package cappinelli noodles.
8 small chicken cutlets (1 ½ pounds total) // I used chopped fajita style chicken pieces and used a chopped Boca chicken patty for myself.
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil (substituted since I don't buy canola oil)
2 bell peppers, sliced (I used ½ green bell pepper and  ½ red bell pepper, a compromise since the boy does not like vegetables too much)
1 15-oz can coconut milk; 2 tablespoons red curry paste // or 1 11oz jar Thai Red Curry Sauce & 1/3 can coconut milk
¼ cup torn fresh basil leaves
1 lime, cut into wedges // unnecessary if you use the sauce


Step 1: Cook the rice (or noodles) according to package directions.

Step 2: Meanwhile, season the chicken (or fake chicken, I recommend trying Gardein) with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.

Step 3: Cook the chicken in batches until golden brown and cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Remove from skillet and cut into strips. I skipped the "batches" part of this step, because I had pre-cut chicken. Start cutting your peppers during while the chicken is cooking, if you haven't already.

Step 4: Add the bell peppers and ¼ cup water to the skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until just tender, 3 to 4 minutes. [Note: I added the basil during this step, rather than step 6. This is up to your preference!]

Step 5: Add the coconut milk and curry paste and simmer for 4 minutes. Stir in the chicken.
 as you can see, instead of spooning the mixture over rice,
 I added noodles to the pan to absorb the flavors. It was an amazing decision.
Step 6: Spoon the chicken curry over the rice and sprinkle with the basil. Serve with the lime.

 and voila! 
There you have it, a perfectly delicious homemade Thai meal.
Maybe not the prettiest pictures this time around, but soon that will change. :)

Be sure to visit again tomorrow for another day of Adventures in Cooking!

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