This Smokey Red Curry Coconut Chicken will have your guests guessing what the secret ingredient is. It’s moist and spicy, with a touch of smoke.
You all know how much I adore Thai flavors…lemongrass, chilies, kaffir lime, fish sauce, and the fragrant curry pastes that include these ingredients. Last year, I made a Grilled Coconut Curry Chicken that fast became a family favorite. However, I’m always experimenting in the kitchen, and decided to add two ingredients to this recipe, which would change the flavor profile and reduce the amount of fat, all for the better.
Substituting non-fat Greek yogurt for half the coconut milk reduced the fat in half, yet retained the moisture I was looking for in this chicken dish. Adding some smoke using cherry chips was the other “secret” ingredient, lending a richness in flavor and beautiful hue to the chicken.
Recently, I’ve been playing around with smoke on my grill. Although I’ve been curious about smoking for a while, I haven’t tried it largely because I didn’t know how to do it and hadn’t taken the time to study it more.
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of tasting some spectacular smoked foods, as part of some cooking demonstrations (Chefs Alex Talbot and Chris Plum) at the Culinary Institute of America. Smoke can add savory notes without salt, lending it as an ingredient in low-salt cooking. Since returning to the East coast, I’ve been spending some time reading up on smoking foods, including Barton Seaver’s new cookbook, Where There’s Smoke.
Investing in a smoker is not in my budget at the moment, so I’ve been playing around with smoking on my gas grill. Although true smoke afiaciandos frown upon gas grills – they believe charcoal is the way to go – the convenience of a gas grill suits me for now. I’ll be experimenting more with smoke as an ingredient as I’m curious how it affects the perception of rich and savory foods with less salt needed.
I hope you’ll give this Smoked Red Curry Coconut Chicken a try – the complex flavor is well worth the experiment.
Smokey Red Curry Coconut Chicken Marinated in Greek Yogurt
- 1/2 cup non-fat or low-fat Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- Juice from one lime
- 3 1/2 - 4 pounds chicken parts on the bone
- cherry wood chips
In a large bowl, combine Greek yogurt, coconut milk, curry paste, turmeric, fish sauce, and lime juice. Add chicken and cover all pieces well. Cover and marinade at least a few hours, or overnight. Place cherry wood chips in smoker box and heat until smokey. Place chicken over direct heat, cover and grill for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, move chicken to one side of grill and cook over indirect heat, covered, until cooked through, about 25 minutes.