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February 20, 2013

Jarred peppers the secret ingredient in easy, low-fat chicken curry

It didn’t seem too much to ask for. I wanted a coconut chicken curry that is fast, delicious and not loaded with fat. Turned out to be easier than I expected.

It didn’t seem too much to ask for. I wanted a coconut chicken curry that is fast, delicious and not loaded with fat. Turned out to be easier than I expected.

Let’s start with the sauce. The key is to make it rich and flavorful without resorting to the usual culprit — full-fat coconut milk. I considered light coconut milk, but have found curries made with it to be thin and uninspiring. Fat, after all, is yummy.

My solution was to start with a small amount of light coconut milk and doctor it up. Pureeing into it a jar of roasted red peppers and a small onion was just the trick. This provided the sauce with body as well as both sweet and savory flavors. A hefty dose of curry powder and some lemon grass added during cooking rounded it all out.

To cook, all I did was bring my sauce to a simmer in a large sauté pan, then add my chicken. To bulk out the recipe with good lean protein, I also added a can of chickpeas. I tasted it as it cooked and felt it was missing something sweet. But I wanted to avoid sugar if I could. So I tried added grated carrots. Perfect! More healthy veggies and just the right amount of natural sweetness.

While you could use boneless, skinless chicken breasts in this recipe, I prefer thighs. They have a richer flavor and don’t get tough the way breasts can.

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