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Mar 28, 2013 10:05 AM

Thai curry using bone-in chicken thighs?

I began making another dish using skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs when the group called in, all of whom decided they had a hankering for a Thai curry. Doesn't matter if it's Panang, Red or Green - I've got everything to hand and aim to please and now that the thought is in my head - I quite fancy it, too!

I've already browned the thighs and removed the skin, and was thinking of proceeding from there. The only thing is, I seem to recall the last time I tried using bone-in chicken, I did it slowly in the oven (covered) and the coconut milk coddled -- and, no - it didn't boil that I can remember.

Does anyone have advice? Should I do it on the stove top, bang it in a crock pot, or finish cooking the thighs in broth (poached) to be added to the sauce later? (The latter kinda seems a shame since it seems the bones would enrich the sauce with a deep chicken flavour.) Alternatively, go ahead with the original Chicken Tetrazzni and be dammed-LOL!


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  1. Hmmm... I have to preface this by saying I am NOT a curry expert, but I'm thinking about this like a braise or stew. Other Hounds please tell me if I'm way off base here but here's something you could try:

    Brown the thighs in a dutch oven. Remove the chicken from the pot and remove the skin. Use the remaining fat in the pot, toast your curry spices and then deglaze the whole thing with a couple of inches of good chicken stock. Nestle the thighs and any drippings into the stock, cover, and braise your chicken until tender (20-30 minutes or so?) Then you can remove the thighs, let them cool slightly and pull the meat off into chunks or chop it up. Throw it back into the cooking liquid and stir in your coconut milk at the end. That should prevent it from coddling, while still getting that wonderfully rick boney flavor, and getting your chicken deeply flavored with spices.

    You mentioned above that you already browned the thighs, so you could toast your spices in some ghee, chicken fat, oil, etc. and then proceed with the deglazing from there.

    Anyone else think that could work?

    1 Reply
    1. re: EggyEggoo

      that would be fine if hes going for a stock based curry, but from what I can infer he wants a coconut milk based curry. OP, you can poach them in coconut milk (just the milk/water, not the cream part, that way there will be no curddling) and then use that milk along with extra coconut cream to make the curry base. With most forms of coconut milk(unless heavily homogenized) there should be a cream layer on top, and the milk layer on the bottom

    2. If you are using canned coconut milk, you can add the thin, watery part to cook with and then stir in the thick, coconut cream toward the end. But I usually use frozen milk and simmer without having the sauce separate.

      1. I Thailand they would use a cleaver to hack the thighs into a bunch of little pieces, with the bones in. They cook faster, and you get the flavor from the bones.

        1 Reply
        1. re: arashall

          Bingo! - That is the missing step; geez, I should have thought of that! Thanks Arashall! Chopping the bones releases the flavour, whilst reducing the cooking time so the coconut doesn't curdle during the time it takes to cook the meat near the bones! Duh!

        2. The coconut milk is supposed to separate, that is how Thai curry instructions all tell you to cook it.