We have a huge love of Thai food in our household. The Frenchman and I went to Thailand for our honeymoon, and were lucky enough to spend a day learning how to prepare a few of the thai dishes that we love so much. Ever since, the freezer has been well stocked with galangal, and thai basil, we even have a kaffir lime plant growing in the kitchen windowsil, just to make sure that we can get regular curry fix! One of the things we learnt to cook was massaman curry - I hadn't tried , or even heard of it before, but it's really quite delicious; a little bit milder than red or green curry, but still really fragrant and quite creamy... I guess a thai equivalent to korma, but a lot less sickly (to my tastes anyway) and with maybe a litte bit more of a kick. We do follow the recipe we learnt there, but a while ago, I also found a Good Food magazine recipe that mixed massaman flavours with a roast ... we've had it a few times, although I'm surprised we haven't had it more, as I'm always amazed by quite how simple and delicious it is, so I thought I'd share.
Massaman curry roast chicken
Whole chicken, about 1.8gk/4lb
two thumb-sized pieces root ginger (or galangal if you can get hold of it)
1 stick lemongrass, bashed with a rolling pin
1 lime, cut into quarters
70g Massaman curry paste*
1 tbsp oil
450g baby new potatoes, any larger ones halved
400ml can coconut milk
1tsp brown sugar, any type (or palm sugar if you have it)
200g/8oz green beans trimmed
1 tsp fish sauce
2 tbsp unsalted peanuts, crushed
1) put the chicken in a roasting tin or large casserole. Roughly chop half the ginger and put into the cavity of the chicken with the lemongrass and half the lime, then tie the legs together with string. Mix 1 tsp of the curry paste with oil, rub it all over the chicken, then season with salt and pepper. Heat the oven to 200c/fan 180c/gas 6, cover the chicken loosely with foil, then put it in to roast. After 35 mins, take the foil off the bird. Add the potatoes to the tin, then stir them around in any juices. Roast for another 40 mins until the chicken is cooked through and golden and the potatoes are tender
2) Take the chicken out of the tin and leave to rest, loosely covered. Put the tin on the hob and add the remaining curry paste. Grate in the remaining ginger then fry for 2 mins until fragrant. Stir in the coconut milk and sugar, then boil for about 5 mins until the sauce is slightly thickened.
3) Tip in the beans, simmer for 4 more miins (or until tender) then splash in the fish sauce, any resting juices and squeeze over the remaining lime. Scatter with the peanuts for the authentic Massaman flavour. Carve the chicken and serve with the potatoes (the recipe says rice too, but we never do)
* I have found that if you want to buy it, massaman paste can be quite difficult to get hold of, but if you can't rind it in the supermarket, have a look on ebay (this is also where I bought our lime tree seedling too, which a year and a half later is still going strong) Alternatively, if you're looking for all of the authentic ingredients, here is where I get our thai ingredientshttp://www.thai-food-online.co.uk I would also really recommend their kiwi knives, which are amazingly good quality, but really affordable.