Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Thai Green Curry Chicken Wings

     Noodle House Style Extra Spicy Hot Chicken Wing Appetizer!
     Thai food has a reputation for being spicy hot food, but the reality is that not all Thai food is extra spicy.  Some of the most delicate flavor combinations can be found in Thai cuisine.  On the other hand, if a customer in a Thai restaurant requests something like Spicy Hot Option #10, then be prepared for some super fiery chile pepper heat!  
     Thai curry differs from Indian curry in many ways.  One common factor is that the spiciest curry in both Thai and Indian cuisine happens to be Green Curry.  
    Thai Green Eggplant is the foundation of Thai Green Curry.  Green Thai Chile Peppers and Green Serrano Peppers give Thai Green Curry its spicy kick.  The balance of spice flavors is very complex, yet the list of spices in Thai Green Curry is not a mile long.  The list of spices for an Indian Green Curry can fill an entire page.  Thai Green Curry is an example of getting the most flavor from the fewest ingredients. 

     The easiest way to make a good Thai Green Curry at home, is to use a good pre-made Thai Green Curry Paste product.  The best Thai Curry Pastes can be found at Asian food markets.  Thai Green Curry Paste usually has Thai Green Eggplant in the list of ingredients.  Kaffir Lime Leaves are also in the paste.  Kaffir Lime Leaves are usually added late in the recipe while the curry simmers, so the Kaffir Lime Leaf flavor can easily be noticed.  In America Thai Green Eggplant and fresh Kaffir Lime Leaves are not always easy to find, so a good Green Thai Curry Paste product is a real convenience.

     Many chefs oversimplify the cuisines of foreign cultures, in order to boast their own cuisine.  Those same chefs usually say things like "All Thai food is just boiled in coconut milk and no ther cooking method is used."  A statement like that is not exactly correct!  
     Thailand is a very big country and there are many regional cooking styles.  Stir fry and roasting is part of Thai cuisine, especially in the north.  Every Thai entree is not simply boiled in coconut milk.  In fact, Thai stir fry is usually done by cooking coconut milk until it becomes coconut oil, then the stir fry process begins.  Purchasing coconut oil saves cooking time.  
     One of the best Thai stir fry recipes that I learned was given to me by a good cook that lived in Issan, Thailand.  Issan is farm country and this Thai cook did his own quail hunting.  His Issan style Stir Fried Quail recipe was tasty beyond belief!  

     The chicken wings for today's recipe are fried before simmering in the curry sauce.  This Thai Green Curry Chicken Wings recipe is not a thin soupy Thai coconut milk curry version.  The Thai Green Curry in this recipe is thick enough to cling to the wings.  This is the style of chicken wings that American snack food fans like. 
     The rice for today's recipe is basically meant to be an edible garnish.  A combination of Brown Basmati Rice and Black Jasmine Rice produces an interesting color.
     Basmati and Black Rice:
     This recipe yields 2 portions.
     Those readers that use a rice steamer already now how to get the rice cooking task done.  Both Black Jasmine Rice and Brown Basmati Rice do require just a little more water than regular white long grain rice.
     Boil 2 1/2 cups of water in a sauce pot over high heat.
     Add 1/2 cup of Black Jasmine Rice.
     Add 1/2 cup of Brown Basmati Rice.
     When the liquid returns to a boil, reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Cover the pot with a lid.
     Simmer and steam, till the rice becomes tender.
     Keep the rice warm on a stove top.

     Thai Green Curry Chicken Wings:
     This recipe yields 1 appetizer portion that can be shared by 2 guests.
     *This recipe is Spicy Heat Level #10!
     Step 1:  Cut the wing tips off of 5 or 6 chicken wings.  (Save the wing tips for making broth.)
     Cut through the wing joint to separate the drumettes and wings.
     Step 2:  Heat some coconut oil in a high sided pot or wok to 360ºF.  The oil should be about 3" to 4" deep.
     Step 3:  Season the wings with sea salt and black pepper.
     Dredge the wings in regular wheat white flour.
     Fry the wings, till the flour coating starts to become crispy and light golden brown. 
     Use a fryer net to place the wings on a wire screen roasting rack to drain off any excess oil.
     Step 4:  Heat a sauté pan or mini wok over medium/medium low heat.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of coconut oil.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of garlic paste.
     Add 1 teaspoon of ginger paste.
     Add 1 teaspoon of minced galangal.  (Thai Blue Ginger.)
     Add 1 or 2 minced Green Thai Peppers.  (Extra spicy hot!)
     Sauté for about 10 seconds, till the vegetable become aromatic.
     Step 5:  Add 2 tablespoons of Thai Green Curry Paste.  (The paste should have green eggplant in the ingredients.)
     Stir the paste in the hot oil for a few seconds, till it becomes aromatic.
     Step 6:  Add 1 cup of water.
     Add 1 cup of coconut water.
     Stir till the green curry paste blends into the liquid and the liquid becomes a very thin sauce.
     Add 1 tablespoon of lime juice.
     Add 1 tablespoon of minced cilantro.
     Add 1 minced green onion.
     Add the reserved fried chicken wings.
     Step 7:  Bring the sauce back to a gentle boil.
     Reduce the temperature to very low heat.
     Add 1 cup of coconut milk.
     Simmer and reduce till the sauce is a medium sauce consistency that can easily coat the wings.
     Place a ring of the Brown Basmati & Black Jasmine Rice on a plate.
     Mound the Thai Green Curry Chicken Wings on the center of the plate.
     Pour any excess sauce over the wings.
     Sprinkle thin bias sliced green onion slivers over the wings.

     The spicy heat from these saucy wings will bring new meaning to hot lips! 

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