I love Thai red curry, and I love satay. I also love quick and easy recipes that make enough for Mr. Scrummy and I to have for at least two dinners. So this one is a sure fire winner for me. Hope you like it too!
This recipe has taken a long time to star on this blog, and I’m not sure why.
Mr. Scrummy and I have been licking our lips over this chicken and butternut squash satay curry for … oooh, at least a couple of years. I’ve been really eager to share it with you, but have just never got around to posting it until now.
I think what happened is that we made it four or five times when living in Australia – and even passed the recipe on to Mr. Scrummy’s mum, who still makes it often when friends come round because she gets so many compliments.
Then when we moved to the UK, we made it in the slow cooker and … It. Just. Didn’t. Work. I think it was something to do with too much liquid and not high enough quality curry paste. To make our disappointment even worse, we’d invited a friend over for dinner that time, and raved about how good this curry was before we served it. It only took a few mouthfuls to realise … oops. Not so tasty after all. Awkward.
There was one more failed attempt to recreate this gorgeous meal that we’d always enjoyed so much, then we managed to nail it again. The key? Not skimping on the flavours or amounts of chicken, squash and peanut butter, and using the best quality red curry paste we could find.
Honestly, this is so delicious. It also makes LOADS – enough for six people at least. Or two hungry people to scoff on two consecutive nights, plus two portions for the freezer. Absolute winner!
I originally adapted this chicken and butternut squash satay curry slightly from a 2013 recipe on the popular food blog Pinch of Yum (thanks Lindsay – it’s now one of our favourite meals!). Lindsay’s recipe is a squash and coconut curry, but we really like to add chicken to ours. I use butternut squash in the UK, because that’s the type of squash that’s the easiest to find here, but in Australia we use whichever pumpkin or squash happens to be on sale.
Another little change we’ve made is to squish about half of the squash/pumpkin into the finished curry, which both thickens and sweetens it. Squish that squash!
We both really love this spicy, rich, creamy, nutty curry. It’s perfect served over rice and scattered with fresh coriander and crushed peanuts. And don’t forget the big splodge of natural yoghurt and a pile of poppadums on the side.
I’d like to try and master a slow cooker version of this eventually because it would make a perfect throw-in-the-pot-and-walk-away recipe (fewer tomatoes plus a bit of tomato puree maybe to reduce the liquid?) – if you get there before I do, please do let me know!
- 1 medium to large butternut squash, peeled and chopped into smallish cubes
- 1 teaspoon each chili powder & curry powder
- ½ teaspoon each cayenne pepper & turmeric
- 6 cloves garlic, crushed
- a decent piece of fresh ginger (about 2 thumbs’ widths), peeled and chopped finely
- about 800 grams to a kilo chicken thighs or breast, chopped into small pieces
- 1 can (400 grams / 14 ounces) coconut milk
- 3 tablespoons peanut butter
- 3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste (good quality – authentic Thai brands are good)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 x 400 gram / 14 ounce cans chopped tomatoes
- fresh coriander (cilantro), crushed peanuts & natural yoghurt (I use Greek)
- rice & poppadums
- Toss the butternut squash in a large bowl with the chili powder, curry powder, cayenne pepper and turmeric, and set aside.
- Heat up a big drizzle of oil in a heavy skillet, then cook the garlic and ginger together for a couple of minutes. Add the chicken and cook for another two minutes or so or until white.
- Add the coconut milk, then stir in the peanut butter*, Thai curry paste and honey.
- Add the butternut squash and spices and the tomatoes, and simmer for about 30 to 40 minutes* or until the chicken is cooked through and the squash is tender. Squish about half of the squash into the curry.
- Serve over rice, garnished with the coriander and peanuts, and with the yoghurt and poppadums on the side.
If you can’t find butternut squash, any kind of squash or even pumpkin is fine. I’d use about half a small pumpkin instead of a butternut squash. I find different types of pumpkin/squash cook at slightly different rates, so you may want to shorten/lengthen the cooking time a little accordingly.
*I find it works best to put a lid on the pan (if you have one) for the first two thirds of the cooking time (roughly!), then take it off for the last third to allow the sauce to thicken up a bit (then the sauce thickens even more when you squish the pumpkin/squash in!).
When adding the coconut milk and peanut butter, I'd recommend pushing the chicken out of the way so that you can easily mix them together in the bottom of the pan.
One last note - the spicy-ness of this dish can vary a bit according to the potency of the curry paste you use. Maybe go a little easier on it (and on the cayenne and chili powder) if you know you're using a really spicy paste (I find authentic pastes tend to be quite spicy). I find 3 tablespoons of paste to be about right for us, for a pretty spicy but not set-your-mouth-on-fire-all-day result, but at the end of the day it's down to personal taste. Good luck!