Recipe: Coconut-Chicken Curry

All you need to get me excited about dinner is say the word "curry." I really could eat it at least once a week.

The good news is that there are many recipes out there that make it a quick fix, like this recipe from May's Better Homes and Gardens magazine.

The recipe gives you two choices: You can go the speedy and easy route by using canned coconut milk or you can branch out and extract your own coconut milk from an actual coconut.

Yield: 4 servings

1 1/2 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces

1/2 cup red curry paste

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large onion, coarsely chopped

1 1/4 cup fresh coconut milk or 1 13.5-ounce can unsweetened or reduced fat coconut milk

1 1/2 cups matchstick-sliced carrots

1 teaspoon finely shredded lime peel

hot cooked rice

toasted coconut curls (optional)

fresh snipped cilantro

In a bowl combine chicken and curry paste; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil, onion and chicken mixture. Cook over medium heat for eight to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until chicken is tender and no longer pink.

Remove chicken from skillet. Carefully add coconut milk to skillet, scraping up crusty bits. Add carrots and lime peel. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for five minutes.

Return chicken to skillet. Simmer for another five minutes, or until liquid thickens slightly.

Serve with rice, coconut curls and snipped cilantro.

To make fresh coconut milk: Cut the tip of a young coconut. Pour out liquid and scoop out meat. Combine liquid and meat in a blender and blend until smooth. Add enough broth to make 1 1/4 cups.

To make toasted coconut curls: Separate coconut meat from the shell in large pieces. Slice thinly with a vegetable peeler. Arrange slices on a baking sheet. Bake in a 350 oven for two to three minutes.

-- Emily Simnitt