Penang chicken and sweet potato curry – Thaitastic!


Penang chicken

Several healthy eating cookbooks contain ‘fakeaway’ chapters – reduced-fat recipes of our favourite takeaways – but none better than Justine Pattison who has dedicated an entire book to them. Penang chicken and sweet potato curry is a sumptuous Thai fakeaway that I’d be delighted to have served to me in a restaurant. The beauty of this is that you can enjoy restaurant quality food for just over 400 calories providing you follow the simple cooking method to the letter.

The sweet potatoes mean that you don’t need to add extra calories by having rice or bread, and the accompaniment of the stir-fried broccoli with chilli and garlic adds some extra zing and class for only 48 calories more. This is a really special dish to cook on a weekend ‘date night’. So crack open some vino, tuck into this and get ‘love is in the air’ blasting out by John Paul Young and you’ll be sorted :-).

If you love this, why not try another of Justine’s fakeaway crackerjacks – Ginger Chicken with Udon Noodles.

Recipe: Penang chicken and sweet potato curry

Calories: 355 calories per serving (for the chicken curry) + 48 calories if having the stir-fried broccoli with chilli and garlic accompanyment (see below) – 403 calories in total

Serves: 4

Book: Justine Pattison: Without the Calories – takeaway favourites

Prep time: Approx 30 mins

Cooking time: Approx 30-40 mins

Ingredients: Penang chicken curry: 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 650g), 3 tbsp Thai red or yellow curry paste, 400ml can reduced-fat coconut milk, 1 tbsp crunchy peanut butter, 1 tbsp Thai fish sauce (nam pla), 4 fresh, frozen or dried Kaffir lime leaves, 2 medium sweet potatoes (about 450g – peeled and cut into roughly 3cm chunks), 1 tsp sunflower oil, 6 shallots or 2 long banana shallots (finely sliced), fresh coriander (to garnish)

Stir-fried broccoli with chilli and garlic: 2 tsp sunflower oil, 300g trimmed tenderstem or purple sprouting broccoli, 2 thinly sliced garlic cloves, 25g peeled and thinly sliced fresh root ginger, 1 tsp dried chilli flakes, 200ml water, 1 tsp light soft brown sugar, 1 tbsp dark soy sauce, ground black pepper

Cost per portion: Approx £2.72 (chicken curry & stir-fried broccoli)

Method: Trim the chicken of any excess fat – a pair of kitchen scissors is good for this. Cut each chicken thigh in half. Put the curry paste into a deep non-stick frying pan, add the chicken and cook over a medium heat for 4 minutes, stirring until the chicken is lightly coloured on all sides.

Pour the coconut milk into the pan, add the peanut butter, stir in the fish sauce and Kaffir lime leaves and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Add the sweet potato pieces, return to a gentle simmer, cover loosely with a lid and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is tender and the sauce is thick and glossy. Add a little extra water if necessary.

About 10 minutes before the chicken is ready, pour the sunflower oil into a small pan and fry the sliced shallots for 8 minutes, or until golden brown, stirring frequently. Serve the chicken curry topped with the fried shallots and with stir-fried broccoli.

Stir-fried broccoli with chilli and garlic: Heat 2 teaspoons sunflower oil in a large wok or non-stick frying pan and stir-fry 300g trimmed tenderstem or purple sprouting broccoli, 2 thinly sliced garlic cloves, 25g peeled and thinly sliced fresh root ginger and 1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes over a medium heat for 2 minutes.

Pour over 200ml of water and steam fry the broccoli for a further 3-4 minutes until all the water has evaporated and the broccoli is just tender.

Sprinkle 1 teaspoon light soft brown sugar and season with 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce and some ground black pepper. Toss together for a few seconds before serving. Serves 4. Calories per serving: 48.

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