Inspired by the delicious flavors of Tom Kha Gai Soup, I wanted to make a dish hearty enough to be a complete dinner. This broth is quite versatile...I used ingredients that my family enjoys but I have tried many variations: You can substitute shrimp or tofu for the chicken, try fingerling potatoes instead of sweet potatoes, or add broccoli, spinach, or green beans. One thing I have found is that sauteing the green vegetables separately ensures that they are cooked the way I like them - with a little bite. However, if you prefer to keep the dish washing to a minimum you can just add them to the broth for the last few minutes of cooking. I often make some brown rice and stir that in when serving.
FOR THE BROTH
1 32 ounce box chicken stock (about 4 cups)
2 cans coconut milk
1 3-inch piece ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
2 stalks lemon grass, tender center part only, cut into 3-inch lengths and smashed
3 kafir lime leaves (can substitute curry leaves)
1 chili pepper (seeds removed)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/3 cup fish sauce
cilantro stems (save leaves for use as garnish)
1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a large pot, bring to a simmer, and cook 20 minutes. Strain and return to pot. This step can be done ahead.
FOR THE CURRY:
olive oil or butter for sauteeing
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red pepper, seeded and cut into matchsticks
2 sweet potatoes peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
2 small zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and then chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
8 ounces snow peas
cilantro leaves for garnish
Bring broth to a simmer on stove. Saute the onion, garlic, and red pepper in a little olive oil or butter and add to the broth. Add sweet potatoes and cook 8-10 minutes, until almost cooked through. Add chicken and simmer 3-4 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
In the meantime, saute zucchini until just starting to brown. Add snowpeas and cook until bright green. Add to curry and serve. Garnish with cilantro leaves.