Tasty Weeknight Thai Curry Chicken packs a protein punch

This Jan. 1, 2018, photo shows a Thai chicken coconut curry in Bethesda, Md. This dish is from a recipe by Melissa d'Arabian. (Melissa d'Arabian via AP) MDMA101
This Jan. 1, 2018, photo shows a Thai chicken coconut curry in Bethesda, Md. This dish is from a recipe by Melissa d'Arabian. (Melissa d'Arabian via AP) MDMA101
Published January 3
Updated January 19

Boneless skinless chicken breasts save the day for so many busy folks who want to get a lean, protein-filled, affordable dinner on the table in a hurry.

I always have a package or two in my freezer. I buy them when they are on super-sale and freeze them, a strategy even more helpful if you seek out pricier organic or free-range versions.

Even if I forget to pop the frozen chicken in the fridge to thaw the night before I need it, I can always do a quick-thaw in a big bowl of cold water and still get dinner on the table fast.

This ubiquitous cut of meat is chock-full of lean protein. A 4-ounce serving is only 125 calories and has about 26 grams of protein, plus a smattering of minerals and B vitamins and only a gram or two of fat.

The downside to the boneless skinless chicken breast is that the flavor is a little lackluster. But what some call bland, I call a blank slate. And with so little fat in the meat, you have a little wiggle room to indulge a bit with other ingredients.

In my Weeknight Thai Curry Chicken recipe, for instance, I use full-fat coconut milk. A mere half cup for six servings of chicken is enough to create a luxurious mouth-feel without adding more than a few grams of fat.

In this quick weeknight-friendly recipe, I use Thai curry paste as a rub right on thin chicken cutlets, infusing them with a ton of flavor, and I serve the sauce as an accompaniment, rather than having the chicken swim in it.

A brief saute gives the chicken the right amount of char, and the coconut sauce is made flavorful with basil, green onion and garlic.

Food Network star Melissa d’Arabian is an expert on healthy eating on a budget. She is the author of the cookbook "Supermarket Healthy."

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