Red Chicken Curry

Red Chicken Curry
It is the end of September, I have harvested a dozen Green Chestnut winter squash from my garden. I invited my good friend Nellie to come and have a cooking party. Nellie is from Thailand, she said she has a good Thai dish which will really showcase the winter squash. She made this red curry with chicken, winter squash, eggplants and asparagus beans. As a principle, Nellie explained, you can put just about any meat or vegetable in a curry. Here's how she made the red chicken curry:

1 can (28oz) coconut milk;
1 lb. chicken breast, cut into 1/2 inch pieces;
1 small winter squash, cutup into 1" irregular pieces (~4-5 cups);
2 Black Dragon eggplants, cut into 2" pieces;
5 red Thai peppers, seeded and sliced into 1/4 in. strips;
1/2 lb. asparagus beans, cut into 1" sections;
1 t. fish sauce;
5 cloves of garlic;
2-3 T. red curry paste (depending how hot you'd like it);
a few Thai basil leaves
2 kaffir leaves, thinly sliced

Remove the lid of the coconut milk, spoon the solid into a saute pan, cook until it begins to sizzle. Add 1 T. curry paste, mix until incorporated, add some coconut milk, and more curry paste. Continue until all 3 T. curry paste is incorporated with the coconut milk. Reserve 1/2 C. of coconut milk and add the rest in the saute pan. Add 2 C. water. Bring it to the boil. Add chicken pieces. Cook for 10 minutes until chickens are tender. Add squash, cook for 5 minutes, add eggplants, asparagus beans. Simmer, covered for 15 minutes. Add the Thai basil, stir in the last 1/2 C. coconut milk, add the kaffir leaves just before serving. Serve with Jasmine rice and a bottle of red wine...                    

After dinner note:
The winter squash is amazing in this dish. It is creamy, sweet and great to soak up the delicious curry sauce. The eggplants provided additional texture and body to the dish, and the asparagus beans provided a little crunchiness and a nice flavor. The chicken is tender and delicious. Nellie says the chicken can be substituent with beef, fish or shrimp. 

I can see how other vegetables can be easily incorporated into this dish, such as green peppers, tomatoes or even zucchinis. It is a very gardener friendly dish. This will sure become of dish that will frequent my dinner table. Good friends, good food... what more can I ask for?

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