Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Chicken Khao Soi Recipe

Evidently, spring time in New York means plenty of rainy, dreary days, perhaps purposefully placed to make New Yorkers insane with glee over a day with some sunshine. All of this rain has really upped my cravings for something warm and comforting. In an attempt to make a healthy and flavorful soup on a recently dismal day, I made Bon Appétit Magazine's recipe for Chicken Khao Soi and it was delicious. The earthiness of coriander, turmeric, and curry is balanced beautifully by the creaminess of the coconut milk broth and the brightness of the cilantro and lime.

I didn't have all of the ingredients on hand--I used fresh, poblano chiles instead of dried, New Mexico chiles, dark brown sugar instead of light, olive oil instead of vegetable, and Thai-style rice noodles instead of Chinese egg noodles.

Using the food processor really simplifies creating the Khao Soi Paste. The fragrance of the paste as it comes together is heavenly and the colors are incredibly vibrant. Just don't forget to secure the top of your food processor as I did--those spices leave quite the stain!

Chicken Khao Soi Recipe from Bon Appétit Magazine
Makes About 6-8 Servings


Khao Soi Paste:
4 large dried New Mexico chiles, stemmed, halved, seeded [I used fresh Poblanos]
2 medium shallots, halved
8 garlic cloves
1, 2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro stems
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon curry powder [I accidentally used 1 tablespoon, but the flavor was really incredible!]

2 tablespoons vegetable oil [I'm half Italian, so I used the olive oil that is permanently stocked in my pantry]
2, 14oz. cans unsweetened coconut milk [I use unsweetened coconut milk a lot, either in making coconut jasmine rice, in smoothies, or in baking]
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, halved lengthwise
1 pound Chinese egg noodles [I used Thai rice noodles]
3 tablespoons (or more to taste) fish sauce
1 tablespoon light brown sugar [I used dark because...well, why would you use light brown sugar? Dark tastes so much better]
Kosher salt [to be honest, I didn't use salt at all; the depth of flavor from the other spices was more than enough]
Sliced red onion, bean sprouts, cilantro sprigs, crispy fried onions or shallots, chili oil, and lime wedges for serving [I went with bean sprouts, cilantro, and chili oil]

To make the Khao Soi Paste, places chiles in a small, heatproof bowl, adding boiling water to cover, and let soak to soften for about 20 minutes. Drain the chiles and reserve the soaking liquid. Using a food processor, purée chiles with the shallots, garlic, ginger, cilantro stems, coriander, turmeric, curry powder, and 2 tablespoons (or more, as needed) of the soaking liquid, until the consistency is smooth.

To make the soup, heat oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. Add the khao soi paste and cook, stirring constantly, until slightly darkened, about 4-6 minutes. Add the coconut milk and broth and bring the liquid to a boil. Add the chicken, reduce heat and simmer until chicken is cooked through and tender, about 25 minutes. Using tongs, transfer chicken to a plate and shred with a fork.

Cook the noodles according to the package directions (for the rice noodles, this meant covering them with boiling water in a heatproof bowl for a few minutes and then draining). Add the chicken, fish sauce, and sugar to the soup and stir to combine. Divide the soup and noodles among bowls and serve with toppings (which are a must! the soup itself is incredibly rich and the brightness of the cilantro, lime juice, and chili oil is incredibly refreshing).


Until next time,

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