Thai Curry Casserole

We found this recipe in a recent copy of our local “free” paper and immediately saw the potential…to tweak it.  There are a lot of things that might be considered “out of the ordinary” going into this dish, so it’s easiest to just name it for the primary spice mix that is used to flavor it.  Don’t let that fool you.  Instead, follow along for a great all-in-one meal that will taste as good the next day for leftovers as it will straight out of the oven.

Gather Up:

  • 6 chicken thighs, skin removed, de-boned, and cut into ~1″ chunks (about 1-1/2 lbs of actual meat)
  • Large bunch of fresh Kale (about 3/4 lb), center vein removed and chopped into large pieces
  • 1/2 lb shiitake mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, and cut into 1-1/2″ cubes (about 2 pounds)
  • 1/2 can coconut milk (not lite, and make sure to shake well – we want the good thick stuff)
  • 1-1/2″ piece fresh ginger root, peeled and grated fine
  • 2 tbsp Thai green curry paste
  • 2 tbsp low-salt Tamari (wheat-free soy sauce)
  • 1 tsp Chinese chili paste (the hot red stuff with seeds in it)
  • 3/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 3/4 tsp ground white pepper
  • about 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1~2 tbsp coconut oil as needed

After you’ve removed the skin and bones from the chicken thighs, and cut them into pieces, proceed to sauté the meat in coconut oil with the turmeric and white pepper.  When done, remove from heat and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Using your finger or a paper towel, spread a thin layer of coconut oil all around the inside of a 13×9 baking dish.  Prepare the mushrooms, squash, and kale by cutting as prescribed and separating into prep bowls.

Combine the coconut milk, grated ginger, curry paste, Tamari, and chili paste in a prep bowl or glass measuring bowl.  Whisk with a fork to mix well.

In a LARGE mixing bowl (trust me – pick the biggest one you have), combine the mushrooms, squash, chicken, and approx 3/4 of the kale.  Pour the coconut milk/curry mixture over top, reserving about 1/4 cup.  Toss to mix and coat well all of the ingredients in the bowl.

Spread the coated mixture evenly in the baking dish.  Place the remaining kale into the mixing bowl and pour over the reserved sauce.  Toss to mix this well, then spread evenly over the top of the existing ingredients in the dish.  Make sure to use a silicone spatula to scrap everything out of the bowl (it’s that good).  Sprinkle the sesame seeds over the top of everything.

Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil.  As the dish will be rather full, you may also choose to place it on top of a rimmed bar pan to contain any spills if they occur.  Place into the oven and bake with the foil on for 35 minutes.

Remove the foil and continue baking for another 25 to 35 minutes, until the squash is fork tender and the kale on top is brown and crispy (the additional cooking time will depend mostly on the squash).  Remove and let sit to cool slightly, then serve.  Dig in!


9 responses to “Thai Curry Casserole

  1. What a wonderful casserole. I love all of the flavours that go into it.
    I make a lovely Thai curry too that is so easy to make.
    🙂 Mandy

  2. My kids are slowly coming around to squash. I think this is actually a pretty frugal meal, which is important when one has a family of 7 and is attempting to eat in even a vaguely Primal way 🙂
    How different is butternut squash from sweet potato, in terms of healthfulness? I see that sweet potato has about twice as many carbs (6 per ounce of cooked, versus 3 per ounce for cooked butternut). Sweet potatoes grow really well where I live and are abundant this time of year (probably because they store well) and that makes them a lot less expensive than butternut. I think I’ll plan to make it with sweet potatoes once and make sure breakfast and lunch are low on the carbs, and be sure not to overindulge. I’m exclusively nursing a 7 month-old so I have some leeway, but I can’t let myself get too comfy with that 🙂
    I have been really enjoying your blog since Mark Sisson linked to it and look forward to your new recipes.

  3. Great to hear about the kids. It can be a challenge – our youngest is still hard to convince that vegetables are actually food. 🙂 Sweet potatoes do run higher in carbs (and therefore perceived sweetness). If you are using them in place of the butternut, which sounds wonderful, I’d seek the lighter-colored varieties versus the darker orange (which are often called yams in our area) because they are a little lower in carbohydrate and sweetness. I would also probably decrease the cooking time a bit, as sweet potatoes tend to cook tender in less time than the hard squash – perhaps go for only 20 minutes with the foil in place, then remove and finish cooking as long as needed for the potatoes to reach the level you want (this way the kale will still get plenty of chance to crisp up).

    Good luck, and let us know how it turns out!

  4. Lindsey in AL

    This was excellent, you guys! Husband and I really enjoyed it. The kids ate a little of each “part” and thought the kale was too spicy 🙂 Is it the Chinese chili paste or the green curry that makes it so spicy? They’re pretty good about about eating Asian flavors so I could easily flavor part of the recipe a little less spicy for them if I knew what was bringing the spice. Thanks for the great recipe!

  5. My bet is on the Chinese chili paste – that stuff can burn the hair in your nostrils if eaten straight! If you taste the green curry paste on its own, it has a touch of heat, but the chili paste is the real culprit.

    Glad you liked it…

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  7. Beverly Williams

    Casey, I just came across this recipe and have a question. I did not see anywhere the incorporation of the cooked chicken into the dish, but I presume that it goes in where everything goes into “the largest bowl” step. Is this correct? I am just introducing curry dishes to my husband and thought this would be a good choice.

  8. Hey – you caught me! Every so often I think faster than I type and end up leaving out something minor (or major).

    Yes, the chicken would go in the bowl with the squash, kale, mushrooms, and sauce to get tossed/coated before getting added to the baking dish.

    When I get back to my to my computer, I will update the original post. Thanks for catching me, and hope you enjoy it…

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