NOTE: An updated version of this recipe appears in my cookbook, The Ancestral Table.
Like I had mentioned in my Panang curry paste recipe, Panang (also spelled พะแนง, Penang and Phanaeng) curry is a mild Thai curry that gets its name from the Malaysian island of Penang. It is similar to Thai red curry but is richer and creamier, and typically uses crushed peanuts as a major part of the dish (I personally use cashews). It is often served with beef, pork, chicken or shrimp in Thai restaurants in the United States, although beef is the traditional meat used in this dish. We love to make this curry with all of these meats, but typically we use chicken for its taste and texture.
2-3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, sliced into bite-sized pieces
1 can (13.5 oz) coconut milk
1 can Maesri Panang paste or 2 heaping tbsp homemade Panang curry paste
2 tsp coconut oil
1/4 cup cashews, chopped
10 Thai basil leaves
1 tsp fish sauce
optional: Thai chili peppers to taste
In a skillet, heat the oil on medium heat for a couple minutes, then add the curry paste, stirring together. Sauté for 3-5 minutes, until aromatic.
Add 1/3 of the can of coconut milk and sauté, stirring together, for another two minutes.
Add the chicken and another 1/3 of the can of coconut milk, stirring together. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to med/low. Simmer, uncovered, until the chicken is cooked through. Should take 8-10 minutes.
As the chicken is cooking, chop your cashews and set them aside.
Add the chopped cashews, Thai basil leaves, fish sauce, and the remaining 1/3 can coconut milk. This is also a good time to add some crushed Thai chiles if you’re looking to spice up the dish. Raise the heat to medium and simmer for another few minutes, until the leaves are soft and slightly darkened.