Red Curry of Whole Baby Chicken & Minced Prawns with Sweet Basil & Asian Vegetables

TR_RED_CURRY_OF_BABY_CHICKEN_AND_MINCED_PRAWNS_WITH_SWEET_BASIL_AND_VEGETABLES_0637This one has been a strong favourite from customers since even the pop-up days of Farang, the whole roast chicken screams ‘roast dinner’, when marinated in a spicy red curry it screams even louder ‘Farang’. Sharing food and enjoying the experience ‘family style’ is how it’s done in Thailand and this dish is built to share so get stuck in. I’ve always used baby chicken in the restaurant to make this, which are perfect for sharing between two, however it works deliciously with larger chickens if you adjust the cooking times to suit. It’s a simple way to infuse the whole chicken with the flavours of the red curry. Serve this carved up in front of friends or family with bowls of rice and no one will be disappointed. Like in this recipe, you can cook the chicken straight away however for a fuller affect, leave the chicken marinating in red curry paste overnight before roasting.

Serves 2 / GF
1 baby chicken, roughly 250-300g
200g, red curry paste (for best results make it yourself, recipe in my book ‘Cook Thai’ 😉
1 tablespoon palm sugar
50g, prawns, shells, heads removed and de-veined, minced using a meat cleaver, keep the heads and prawns to one side
20g, baby corn, sliced into thin roll-cuts
20g, white daikon, peeled and sliced into thin roll-cuts and braised in water until (optional)
2, long red chillies, sliced into roll cuts
2, long green chillies, sliced into roll cuts
20g, green beans, topped and tailed, cut into 2cm long chunks
250ml, prawn stock, the recipe tells you how to make this
150ml, coconut oil, crack (vegetable oil can be used instead but is not as tasty)
200ml, coconut cream
2 tablespoons, wild ginger, krachai, peeled and thinly sliced (regular ginger will work too)
10g, Thai basil, picked
10g, coriander, washed and picked
2-3 tablespoons, fish sauce, to taste
1 teaspoon, sea salt

Firstly, get all the prawn heads that you collected and add them to 300ml of water. Bring this to the boil and then turn down to a simmer, make sure to skim the scum off the surface of the water, simmer for 20 minutes and then strain to produce a light prawn stock. Meanwhile heat the coconut oil in a wok, when bubbling, add the red curry paste and keep stirring and scraping regularly until paste begins to split like scrambled eggs. You will also notice that the smell of the ingredients changes from raw, to fragrant. I find as you cook out curry pastes you can smell each ingredient cooking at different times, I assume this is based on the water content of each vegetable, eventually the smell becomes one which is a clear sign that it is ready. At this point add the palm sugar and continue to scrape and cook for a further minute until the paste has darkened slightly, then add 2 tablespoons of fish sauce and allow to cook into the paste for one minute, don’t add too much as it is strong and you can always add, but never take away.

Now it’s time to let the curry out. Add 200ml of the prawn stock and 100ml of the coconut cream. Now remove half of this curry paste and allow to cool, once cool coat the chicken in the seasoned and cooked curry paste thoroughly, at this stage you can leave the chicken to marinate for a few hours, ideally overnight or you can cook straight away. Pre-heat an oven to 220 degrees centigrade and proceed to roast the chicken for 35-40 minutes until the skin is crisping and the curry paste marinade has become slightly charred and smells delicious. Check that the juices are running clear and that the chicken is hot throughout before removing from the oven. Once cooked, remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

In the meantime, return to the rest of the cooked-out curry paste. Bring this back to a simmer and then add the daikon, green beans and baby corn. Stir to combine and then cover and bring to a simmer, cook out for around five minutes until all vegetables are cooked. At this point the curry would have thickened a little, so finish off the remaining prawn stock and coconut cream and add the minced prawns. Cook out for 3 minutes until all prawns are pink in colour and cooked throughout. Next add Thai basil, green and red chilli roll-cuts, fish sauce to taste and sliced krachai, then fold these ingredients in and serve immediately. The curry should be spicy, creamy, aromatic, sweet, fishy and salty all at the same time, adjust in the direction that suits you.

Serve the chicken whole with the prawn and vegetable curry over the top and if you like, a few sprigs of Thai basil on top for decoration, serve with steamed jasmine rice.

Cheers for reading,

Sebby Holmes Head Chef / Director, Award winning Thai Restaurant Farang London

Smoked Chicken, Wild Mushrooms, Sweet Basil, Coconut & Galangal Soup

Poached chicken, coconut & galingal soup (photo by Kaleem Hyder)

Photo from Farang by Kaleem Hyder

I have just spent the weekend in sunny Birmingham at the BBC Good Food Show cooking with the Thai Embassy on the Thai World Stage to help promote Thai produce and cuisine. I’ve never been to Birmingham before, although I have to say it felt like more like Kingston, Jamaica at 34 degrees- it’s been an absolute scorcher!

The show was a good crack actually, apart from it taking place at the NEC in Birmingham which has to be one of the most boring places on the planet- it reminded me of the film ‘The Truman Show’, where you feel you will walk through a door and hit a cardboard cut out of another door if you’re not careful. All the same the show was great and I’ve come back excited to get another recipe up on ‘Articuleat‘.

In this heat I wanted to cook something quick, effortless, light and tasty as fuck so I went for this soup. This soup can be made in many different variations, a few of which can be found in my book ‘Cook Thai‘ if you ever feel like giving them a go. It only takes a few bits and pieces and around 10-15 minutes to make and all of the ingredients can be found easily in most supermarkets these days. If you’re feeling really exotic throw in some king prawns to this soup too- awesome!

Ingredients Serves 2 / Vegetarian option

1 chicken breast, skin and fat removed, sliced into rough 2cm by 2cm pieces, directions for smoking in recipe  (do not use if vegetarian, ha)

1/4 butternut squash, roughly 50g, peeled and sliced into rough 2cm by 2 cm pieces (pumpkin can be used instead)

8 Thai Shallots, peeled and slightly bruised in a pestle

2 green birds eye chillies, bruised in a pestle

2 kaffir lime leaves, torn slightly

2 sticks lemongrass, chopped into 2 cm long pieces and bruised in a pestle

10g, galangal, peeled and chopped into 2 cm long pieces and bruised in a pestle

2 coriander roots, cleaned, washed and bruised in a pestle

½ teaspoon coarse sea salt

2-3 tablespoons fish sauce (soy sauce if vegetarian)

200ml chicken stock (vegetable stock if vegetarian)

300ml coconut cream

10g, Thai sweet basil (normal basil will do)

50g, assorted wild mushrooms (I use enoki, shittaki and emoji mushrooms)

1 lime, juiced

Method

Before I get started with the recipe I’ll delve a little into explaining how to smoke the chicken. In this recipe I cold smoke my chicken which can be done very easily when you’re at home. This means that I will be adding the smoke flavour from the wood to the meat, without cooking it. All you need is some smoking wood chips, a pan, a colander and some cling film. Place a small handful of wood chips into the pan and heat the pan up until the wood chips set alight within the pan. Once this happens put the flames out with a little water, this will cause the chips to smoke heavily. at this stage place the chicken in the colander and then put the colander upon the smoking pan, then quickly cling film the whole thing so it is air tight with no smoke leaving the cling film. This will leave the chicken inside a smoke vacuum, with minimal oxygen so the wood chips will not be hot but will smoke a lot. If this is left untouched for 20 minutes the smokey flavour would have penetrated the meat, the longer you leave it the smokier the flavour.

Firstly, in a small sauce pan bring a little water to the boil and then submerge the squash into it, then turn down to a simmer, continue to gently cook for around 3-4 minutes until soft but not quite cooked and then remove from the heat and put aside for a few minutes (at this stage you might as well leave it in the hot water as we are to use it straight away).

Next place the chicken stock, 100ml of the coconut cream, 2 tablespoons fish sauce, sea salt, galangal, coriander roots, birds eye chillies, lemongrass, lime leaves, butternut squash and Thai shallots and mushrooms into a medium sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Once simmering add the chicken pieces and continue to cook gently for 4-5 minutes until all chicken is cooked and all vegetables have softened with flavours infused.

Finish by adding the rest of the coconut cream and the sweet basil and the dishing out into bowls. Lastly check the seasoning, it should be creamy, salty, a little spicy, aromatic with a fresh hint of lime at the end, adjust if needs be.

Thanks very much for stopping by at ‘Articuleat’ and I hope you have enjoyed your stay. I always look forward to your feedback so please don’t hesitate to get in touch for any reason whatsoever – I will reply as swiftly as possible.

 

See you next time,

Cheers,

Sebbyholmes

 

Green Curry of Mussels, Monkfish, Wild Ginger, Asian Vegetables and Sweet Basil with Vermicelli Noodles

 

#thaifood #greencurry #londonrestaurants #sebbyholmes

Photo taken by Yavez Anthonio

The last year has been absolutely mental, Farang has gone from having one street food stand in a market in Brook Green (which is literally at the point where I wrote my last Articuleat post) to having a range of street food stands across London, to now having a restaurant in Highbury and a book, ‘Cook Thai’ that has just been released across the country. The time has finally come for Articuleat to begin again, this blog is for all the bits and bobs that are worth a mention, my little corner of the internet for recipes banter and bullshit- welcome to it.

Ingredients (Serves 2-3 / GF)

For the curry

2kg, large mussels, washed, beards and barnacles removed

200g, monkfish, skinned and sliced into 2cm thick chunks

150g, thin rice vermicelli noodles, blanched for 1 minute in boiling salt water and then refreshed under cold running water

20g, baby corn, sliced into thin roll-cuts

20g, white daikon, peeled and sliced into thin roll-cuts and braised in water until softened (about 5 minutes)

3, long red chillies, sliced into roll cuts

3, long green chillies, sliced into roll cuts

10g, green beans, topped and tailed, cut into 2cm long chunks

150g, green curry paste

200ml, fish stock

150ml, coconut oil (crack)

300ml, coconut cream

1 tablespoon wild ginger, grachai, peeled and thinly sliced (regular ginger will work fine)

20g, Thai basil, washed and picked

10g, coriander, washed and picked

2 tablespoons, fish sauce

1 teaspoon palm sugar

1 lime, chopped into cheeks for garnish

½ teaspoon sea salt

For the curry paste (makes around 1kg of paste)

150g, fresh birds eye chillies, stems removed, roasted over a barbecue or in an oven for around 10 minutes until softened and a little smoky

150g, fresh long green chillies, stems and seeds removed, thinly sliced, roasted over a barbecue or in an oven for around 10 minutes until softened and a little smoky

250g, banana shallots, peeled, roughly chopped (use Thai shallots if possible)

250g, peeled garlic

100g, peeled lemongrass, topped and tailed, outside shell removed, sliced into small chunks

30g, galingale, peeled and cut into small chunks

20g, coriander roots, cleaned and finely sliced

30g, fresh red turmeric, peeled (watch the hands, this stuff stains)

20g wild ginger, krachai, peeled and roughly chopped

1 tablespoon, roasted gapi paste, fermented shrimp paste (leave this out if vegetarian)

1 tablespoon, whole white peppercorns, lightly toasted in dry pan

3 teaspoons, whole coriander seeds, lightly toasted in dry pan

2 teaspoons, cumin seeds, lightly toasted in dry pan

2 pieces, roughly 2g, mace, lightly roasted in pan

1-2 teaspoons coarse sea salt

Method

Firstly make the curry paste. Using a pestle and mortar individually pound up all the fresh ingredients separately until they are combined into one complete paste. For example, start with the lemongrass, as it is tough, chop it into small chunks to make it easier on yourself then pound using a pestle and mortar until all is mixed into one paste. Next pound the galangal, as it is also tough, using the same process, then the chillies, garlic etc. Once all are pounded individually, combine them in the pestle until they are all together as one paste.

Meanwhile toast the spices in a pan. However, bear in mind that these all toast at different rates so start with the coriander seeds, moving constantly, as soon as they start to smoke a little add the mace and cumin. Keep moving these for one more minute and then add the whole white peppercorns and remove from the heat. The heat from the hot spices is enough to toast the white peppercorns, if they remain on the heat they will pop and explode. Once toasted, spice-grind these spices to a fine powder and pound them into your curry paste. Keep pestle and mortaring away until you are left with a slightly moist, slightly coarse paste, with no identifiable chunks of any ingredients, everything should be equally pounded into a paste with no lumps.

Store the paste in an air tight container with cling film acting as a barrier against oxidisation. In a fridge, the paste will last for 2-3 weeks. It will slowly lose flavour over time, the paste turning brown in colour is an obvious sign of oxidisation which will change the flavour. 

Next, heat the coconut oil in a wok, when bubbling, add 200g green curry paste and keep stirring and scraping regularly until paste begins to split like scrambled eggs and darkens slightly. You will also notice that the smell of the ingredients changes from raw, to a fragrant, as all the ingredients cook together as one. At this point add the palm sugar and allow to cook into the paste for one minute until the paste darkens slightly as the sugar caramelises.

Now it’s time to let the curry out. Add all the fish stock and half of the coconut cream, the daikon, green beans and baby corn. Stir to combine and then cover and bring to a simmer, cook out for around five minutes until all vegetables are cooked.

Next drop in the monkfish tails and the mussels and put the lid back on to simmer for a further 3-4 minutes until the monkfish is cooked through and the mussels have all opened, discard any that remain closed. At this point the curry would have thickened a little, so finish off the remaining coconut cream and the fish sauce. Lastly, add Thai basil, green and red chilli roll-cuts, fish sauce to taste and wild ginger, fold these ingredients in carefully as you don’t want to destroy the fish, then serve immediately.

Serve the curry in a bowls, place portions of the cooked noodles in the bowls and then serve the loose curry over the top of the noodles. The curry should be thick enough to coat the noodles, rich, creamy, salty, spicy and fishy, the magic is in the balance.

Thanks for stopping by at Articuleat and I hope that you have enjoyed your stay. I always look forward to your feedback so please don’t hesitate to get in touch for any reason whatsoever – I will reply as swiftly as possible.

See you next time,

Cheers,

Sebby Holmes

 

#greencurry #thaifood #londonfood #farang

Photo taken by Yavez Anthonio