If you have a crowd to feed…. What am I saying! Nobody has a crowd to feed these days. I got my chicken thighs on a 3 for 2 offer and ended up with more than I needed. Having said that, we ate this on the day we cooked it, the day after and also froze a few portions that got eaten a few days later. For simplicity, divide the recipe by three if you are feeding three hungry people, by two if you are feeding four and so on. Having said all that, I really do have to say “My, my that is one tasty thigh”. This is a really delightful recipe. Don’t be put off by the quantity and diversity of ingredients. It is really easy to prepare and diversity is good.
As this is an easy to prepare dish, let’s get straight into it. The ingredients list is as follows;
- 12 large free range chicken thighs (bone in, skin on)
- 6 shallots
- 5-6 stalks of lemongrass
- 2 red chillis
- 3 limes
- Bulb of garlic
- 8cm / 3″ piece of root ginger
- 6 or so curry leaves
- 1 piece of cinnamon stick
- 1 bunch of corriander
- 800 ml of good quality coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon of fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon of fenugreek leaves
- 1 teaspoon of white pepper
- 1 teaspoon of dried cumin
- 1 teaspoon of ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon of coriander seeds (no reason except I didn’t have enough ground coriander)
- 2 teaspoons of turmeric
- 1 teaspoon of tomato paste
The first thing to do is to fry the chicken in a little oil. If you are using good quality chicken, it will have a fair bit of fat. This gets released during the frying, so don’t use too much oil to start.
While the thighs are frying, peel and chop the lemongrass quite small. Peel and roughly chop the ginger, garlic and shallots. Roughly chop the chillis, and most of the coriander. Place it all into a blender (along with the cumin seeds (of using). Add the fish sauce.
Blitz this to a paste. I had to divide my ingredients as my small blender thing was struggling with the quantities.
Add the paste to a little oil in a large casserole(my big wok was too small for this pile of food). Fry it to partly cook the paste. This is a really important step as it concentrates and enhances the flavours of all the paste ingredients. when the past is thick and starting to stick to the base, your eyes should be watering.
Add in the chicken and toss to cover with the paste. Add in all the other ingredients holding back the limes and a very few of the remaining coriander leafs, for decoration.
Give this a good stir to combine the ingredients as best you can. The colour will be a lovely deep yellow and the kitchen will smell like a Bangkok backstreet.
Pop the casserole into a 180ºC (380ºF) oven for two hours. When this is cooked, the chicken will fall off the bones. The meat will be tender and the whole dish will be packed with delicious flavour. Serve it over Thai Fragrant rice and don’t forget to sprinkle on the coriander leafs and squeeze over some lovely lime juice.
When the Wife tasted her, she remarked “My, my, that is tasty.” Hence my title “My, my, Thai thigh”. It was an absolute delight and I do encourage you to try preparing it for you and those closest to you.