Thai Panang Chicken Curry
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This is a recipe I learned in my Thai restaurant cooking class.  I make it once a week and our kids love it.  Their friends stay for dinner when they learn what I am making and when they smell the Panang curry being prepared. We take this dish, even a vegetarian version, to pot luck dinners out and it causes a sensation.  The fish sauce called for in this recipe can be Thai or Vietnamese and you can find it online if it is not available near you.  The same goes for the Thai curry paste. Ingredients: 2-3 lbs boneless skinless chicken cut into chunks – omit for a vegetarian version 1-2 large handfuls of chopped vegetables cut into chunks.  I use broccoli, peas, red and green pepper, mustard greens or spinach – whatever is on hand 2 cans of 13 ounces each of coconut milk 5 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and chopped ½ of a 4 ounce can of Panang curry paste - I use Maesri brand 2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce – again, omit for a vegetarian version 1-2 tablespoons sugar to taste 2-3 tablespoons peanut butter to taste Thai holy basil leaves for garnish (optional) Warm the coconut milk in a large pot or wok, but do not let it boil because it will scald and stick to the bottom of your curry pot.  Add the curry paste and the garlic and stir it frequently while it simmers until the oil in the paste starts to separate out and forms a thin film on top of the simmering coconut milk.  The film will be reddish colored.  Still, do not let it boil furiously. Add the chicken and simmer until the chicken is just about done.  This will take 5-10 minutes depending on how hot you have simmered the coconut milk.  Do not overcook the chicken at this point because there are other ingredients to add and cook further. Add the sugar, peanut butter and fish sauce and simmer for 5 minutes. Add all of the vegetables and simmer them until they are done to your liking.  I don’t cook mine long because I like my vegetables crispy – about 2 or three minutes. Just before serving, toss in half of the optional basil leaves and save the rest of the basil leaves to toss on the finished dish as a garnish. Serve over rice and enjoy!