The perfect way to get your veggie quota in a super delicious way! This wonderful Chicken, Carrot and Chickpea Coconut Curry is loaded with healthy veggies, lean protein and fabulous flavor!
Make-ahead, one-pot, super-healthy and fabulous-flavor loaded. Am I done? That’s most of what you need to know about this delicious Chicken, Carrot and Chickpea Coconut Curry
Well, maybe a few more things…
I said this curry was loaded with fabulous flavor. It starts out with onions, garlic, curry powder, fresh ginger and lemongrass all sautéed together in a few spoonfuls of coconut oil. Sautéing all these ingredients together, helps them “bloom” which just means their flavor is intensified. There’s also a splash of fish sauce. A word about fish sauce: DO NOT smell it. Take it from me, it stinks. But just a dash adds delicious, authentic Thai flavor that can’t be obtained with anything else.
You’ll definitely get your quota of veggies in this one-pot wonder. There’s onions, carrots and potatoes in the sauce. After simmering in chicken broth until nice and tender, these veggies are pureed until silky smooth with an immersion or regular blender. Then there are more veggies; another generous helping of carrots and lots of healthy chickpeas are simmered again until tender.
At this point you’re almost done. My favorite technique for keeping chicken super tender in a dish like this is so simple. You just slip thin-sliced, bite-size pieces of chicken into the simmering sauce, bring it back to a simmer, cover the pot and turn off the heat. Walk away for 10 minutes and when you return, the chicken will be perfectly done and melt-in-your-mouth tender. Chicken tends to get tough and dry when it’s over-cooked – that doesn’t happen with this easy method!
Guess what? More veggies! Yup, the last step is to add mushrooms (sautéed) and a bag of tiny, sweet, frozen peas. They’re already cooked so they’ll just finish thawing in the hot liquid and add lots more great nutrition and a pretty polka dot of green.
I like to garnish the already beautiful curry with tiny-diced red bell peppers, as well as fresh basil and cilantro leaves. You could also use just one of these, or, if you’re in a very “herby” mood, add fresh mint leaves along with the basil and cilantro. I found lots of tiny basil leaves in my herb garden. If yours are large, just slice them into thin ribbons. Do use at least one type of fresh herb when serving this dish, you’ll love the fabulous layer of flavor it adds.
So there you have it, I guess there was more to say than I thought about this Chicken, Carrot and Chickpea Coconut Curry. Oh yeah, one last thing – I like to make it a day in advance, as the flavors keep getting better as they have a chance to meld. That’s a good thing – it not only makes this a perfect company dish, but also a wonderful treasure to have stashed away for quick, easy meals on busy weekdays. It reheats beautifully in the microwave, so it’s also great for work lunches.
Serve this curry with rice, couscous, new potatoes, naan, flatbread – or on it’s own. Enjoy!
P.S. Have trouble getting rice just right? I recently purchased a rice cooker. This Aroma 8 cup Rice Cooker comes highly recommended by Cooks Illustrated. And for good reason – the rice comes out perfect, like the kind you find at a good Asian restaurant. You can also make the rice ahead of time and it keeps it warm and perfectly cooked. I really like that it has a very small footprint too, so it doesn’t take up much space when storing.
LOTS OF PEOPLE ASK WHAT KIND OF COOKWARE, SMALL APPLIANCES, CUTLERY, ETC. I USE IN THE KITCHEN. HERE’S WHAT I USED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE.
- 2 teaspoons butter
- 8 ounces fresh mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 large onion
- 3 medium cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh lemongrass
- 2 teaspoons curry powder*
- 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 10 medium carrots divided
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce**
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 large potato
- 1 can light coconut milk
- 2 14- ounce cans chick peas rinsed and drained
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast
- 10 ounce bag tiny frozen green peas
- ½ medium red bell pepper finely diced, for garnish
- basil mint and cilantro leaves, if desired for garnish
Melt butter in a large Dutch oven or soup pot. Add mushrooms, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a grind of black pepper. Sauté until mushrooms are tender, golden brown and liquid has evaporated (mushrooms will be dry at first, then give off a watery liquid which will evaporate as they cook). Remove from pan to a small bowl, cover and set aside.
While mushrooms are cooking, scrub and roughly chop 5 of the carrots and thinly slice the remaining 5 (no need to peel unless skin is very dirty and rough). Peel potato and roughly chop it. Roughly chop the onion. Thinly slice the chicken into bite size pieces and refrigerate until ready to use. Set everything else aside in separate bowls. Remove peas from freezer and set aside to thaw.
Heat coconut oil in same Dutch oven (or soup pot) over medium-low heat until melted. Add onion and cook until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, lemongrass and curry powder. Continue to cook for a minute or two until nice and fragrant.
Add chicken broth, carrots, potato, brown sugar and fish sauce** and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until carrots and potato are very tender, about 20-25 minutes.
When carrots are soft, carefully blend the soup in batches in a regular blender*** or use an immersion hand blender and puree until smooth. Add coconut milk and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Return to pot (if you used a regular blender) and add sliced carrots and drained chickpeas. Bring sauce to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook until carrots are very tender, about 20-25 minutes.
With sauce simmering, add sliced chicken. Stir and return to a simmer, then cover and remove from heat. Allow to sit for 10 minutes, covered, then add peas and reserved mushrooms. Stir to combine.
Serve garnished with finely diced bell pepper* and fresh basil, cilantro and mint leaves. You can also use just one of the herbs. If leaves are large, slice into thin ribbons.
If you don't have a favorite curry powder, I really like this Frontier Curry Powder. It's got lots of flavor but it's not too spicy. ** I really like Red Boat Fish Sauce. It's won lots of awards and is very high quality. I said this in the post but I'll repeat it here. Don't smell it. Take it from me, it stinks. But just a dash adds delicious, authentic Thai flavor that can't be substituted with anything else. If you like things really spicy, add a tablespoon or two of red curry paste to the curry and ginger/lemongrass mixture in the recipe.