Culinary SOS: Thai green chicken curry from a San Luis Obispo restaurant

Los Angeles Times

Dear SOS: Recently my best childhood friend treated me to a creekside birthday dinner at beautiful Novo Restaurant in San Luis Obispo. We both had the Thai green chicken curry, and it was absolutely incredible. I tried an online recipe that was good but just didn’t reach the level of excellence that Novo’s creation did. I would love to have the privilege of getting that recipe if possible!

Julie Simonsgaard

Thousand Oaks

Dear Julie: Novo was happy to share its recipe for this wonderfully rich and flavorful soup-like curry, which it serves with rice and chapatis on the side. Enjoy!

Novo’s Thai green chicken curry

Total time: 2 hours

Servings: 6 to 8

Note: Adapted from Novo Restaurant in San Luis Obispo. Laos powder, which is dried, ground galangal root, is available at Thai markets.

Thai green curry paste

2 serrano chiles, seeded

1/2 onion

1/4 bunch cilantro

Rind of ¼ lemon

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

3/4 teaspoon salt

Scant 2 teaspoons ground coriander

Heaping 1 teaspoon ground cumin

Heaping 1 teaspoon Laos powder

Heaping 1 teaspoon turmeric

1/4 cup canola oil

Coarsely chop the chiles, onion, cilantro and lemon rind, and place them in a blender. Add the black pepper, garlic, salt, coriander, cumin, Laos powder and turmeric. With the blender running, slowly add the canola oil to make a paste. This makes a generous cup of curry paste, more than is needed for the remainder of the recipe. The paste can be frozen, then thawed as needed to be used in recipes.

Thai green chicken curry

2 (14-ounce) cans coconut milk

1/2 cup Thai green curry paste, more if desired

2 stalks lemon grass, cut into about 2-inch pieces and smashed (with a mallet or the heel of a knife)

2 tablespoons fish sauce

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 1/2 pounds chicken thigh meat (from 4 to 5 pounds whole thighs)

2 jalapeños, seeded and chopped

1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped

1. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, whisk together the coconut milk, curry paste, lemon grass, fish sauce and salt. Add the chicken and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook, gently simmering, until the chicken is tender, 30 to 45 minutes.

2. Taste, adding additional curry paste if desired, and adjusting the seasonings and flavorings if needed. Remove the lemon grass pieces (or ask your guests to refrain from eating them). Stir in the jalapeños and cilantro before serving. This makes about 8 cups of curry. Ladle the curry into bowls.

Each of 8 servings: 440 calories; 28 grams protein; 5 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 36 grams fat; 22 grams saturated fat; 93 mg cholesterol; 1 gram sugar; 999 mg sodium.