Thai Chicken Soup/Stew

Don't eat the Thai chili pepper on top...it's just for pretty factor.

Don’t eat the Thai chili pepper on top…
it’s just for pretty factor.

This week is all about trying all new things in my kitchen. Everything I’m making I’ve eaten in restaurants and really love them, but they are not flavors I’ve ever cooked with. This involved buying things like red curry paste, hot, hot chili peppers, garam marsala (which I’m so totally in love with), coconut milk, and turmeric. We started the weekend with this Thai recipe, then moved on to Caribbean jerk, and then tandoori and butter chicken. Stay tuned!

Once again I messed with a recipe and added and subtracted stuff to make what I thought would be good, and it was. I have had Thai curry chicken soup a couple of times – in cafeterias of all places – and I loved it. I finally got the guts to try to make it, and though it’s slightly labor intensive – mostly because I used a whole chicken that had to be cut up, deboned and skinned – I really enjoyed making it and will do it again. I can’t decide if it’s a soup or stew, though, because there’s so much stuff in it it’s more stew-ish, but the recipe calls it soup… I’ll let you decide. I just know it turned out perfect!

The original recipe I pulled from the most was from were a Thai peanut chicken noodle soup from closetcooking.com (I don’t like peanuts in my dinner so I left all the nuts out) and because I’ve had Thai basil chicken, I added basil in, and I think it was just the thing!

Hubby went back for thirds, told me I should make this at least once a week, and I’m looking forward to having some for lunch tomorrow if he left me any. This makes about 6 quarts of soup. And it was really pretty, too, which is always a plus. *grin

Another thing… The soups I’d had in the past had just a slight sweetness to them, and even after adding the sugar, my broth was not sweet at all. I found out that the yam fixed it. It was the perfect marriage of sweet and spicy by the time everything was cooked together and the flavors blended.

Here’s the recipe how I made it:

  • 1 can coconut milkmae-ploy-red-curry-paste-50g.-thai-food.-89-p
  • ¼ cup red curry paste (I used 1 – 50g pack of Mae Ploy)
  • 1 quart (4 cups) low-sodium/fat-free chicken broth
  • 1 whole chicken cut up and skin removed
  • 2 small yams, peeled & cubed (about 4 cups total)
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 Tblsp fish sauce (or soy sauce)
  • 2 Tblsp brown sugar (I used imitation brown sugar)
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 10-12 big fresh basil leaves, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 4 cups bean sprouts
  • 2-3 green onion tops, chopped (for garnish)
  1.  In a large stockpot, heat the coconut milk and curry paste. Add the chicken broth, lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, turmeric and heat while prepping the chicken. I used a whole chicken, cut it up and skin removed, but didn’t use the wings and backs. I saved those to freeze for another pot of soup at some later date.
  2. Peel and cut up the yam and add it to the pot at the same time as the chicken and simmer about 20 minutes until chicken is cooked and yam is soft.
  3. Remove the yam and chicken from the pot. Remove bones from chicken pieces and shred or chop the meat. Mash the yam.
  4. Add the yam, mushroom, pepper and basil to the pot and bring back to a boil. Boil 5 min.
  5. Add chicken and boil another 5 min.
  6. Just before serving, add in the bean sprouts. I served this in big soup bowls with green onion tops for garnish. Perfect for a full dinner soup.
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