In case you're tired of roasting squash, pureeing it in soup or heaven forbid sick of baking pies, here's a great way to have your squash and eat it too. Sorry! I couldn't resist.
Loaded with the subtle heat of Thai red curry paste and mellowed with unsweetened coconut milk, this recipe from Williams-Sonoma is just about ideal, although I'll admit to making some changes in cooking method and ingredient quantities. You know we don't do "pansy" flavors in this house so I had to add more oomph and I didn't see the point in throwing out all the nutrients from the squash by cooking it separately then adding it to the chicken, never mind having to wash another pot.
Check out the original recipe by hitting the link above, but for convenience I've included my version below. Naturally, in addition to the significant increase in the amount of spices, you'll notice I substituted butternut squash for the Sugar Pie pumpkin. They wanted an arm and a leg for that little sucker, and I wasn't about to pay the price. I also combined fresh cilantro, mint and basil together, sprinkled some into the bottom of the bowl before I put the curry on top and garnished with the rest. It adds an incredible amount of flavor to the dish as does the addition of shredded coconut to the rice. I'm thinking it might be a tad bland without it and who wants that?
Anyway, give it a try and let me know what you think. We rather enjoyed the flavors and texture of the tender, moist chicken and slight firm bite of the squash. Just be careful with your heat after you've added the coconut milk so the mixture doesn't curdle and please don't overcook the squash, OK?
Thai Chicken Curry with Butternut Squash (from JBug’s Kitchen adapted from Williams-Sonoma)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound skinless boneless chicken thighs cut into bite sized pieces
Salt and coarse ground black pepper
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1-1/2 pounds peeled and diced butternut squash (half of a medium squash cut into half inch cubes)
1/2 cup low sodium chicken stock
3 shallots, chopped
4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2 heaping tablespoons Thai red curry paste
1 teaspoon Thai Chili paste
2 tablespoons water
1 – 14 ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons slivered fresh basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
Fresh limes as garnish
Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper and sprinkle with cornstarch. Mix to combine and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Meanwhile heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat until shimmering. Add chicken to pan and cook until chicken starts to turn golden in color – about 3 to 4 minutes. Add squash to pan along with chicken stock. Cover pan, lower heat to simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Remove cover and continue to cook for 4 more minutes until liquid has reduced and squash is tender but still crisp.
In a food processor combine shallots, garlic, Thai curry paste and chili paste along with 2 tablespoons water and pulse until mixture is almost smooth. Move chicken/squash mixture to one side of sauté pan and add puree. Bring to a boil then combine with chicken, squash mixture and cook for additional 5 minutes. In a small bowl combine fish sauce, lime juice, brown sugar and coconut milk. Add to sauté pan, lower heat to a slow simmer and cook, stirring occasionally until mixture is warmed through. To serve - Combine basil, cilantro and fresh mint together. Sprinkle some on the bottom of each serving, then ladle curry on top. Serve with coconut rice and garnish with fresh lime. Serves 4.
A year ago - Thai Shrimp Curry
Two year's ago - Apple Pear Cake with Hazelnuts and Butterscotch