Thai Celebration Chicken

Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 25 min
Serves: 4

Kaeng Phet Pet Yaang is the feast dish reserved for very special Thai occasions – New Years, weddings, ordinations of monks and so on. Made with the classic roast duck it’s richer than I like, but substitute chicken and it’s still ultra creamy yet lighter and healthier. An amazing point of this recipe – it’s neither complicated nor time consuming, unlike many of my favourite Asian dishes and little slicing is called for. Let this be the star at your next special gathering and we guarantee it will be a new taste sensation for your guests and wow them as well.


2 - 3 boneless, skinless chicken breast(s)
1 2/3 cup (420 mL) coconut milk
2 tbsp (30 mL) Thai red curry paste
8 - 10 Kaffir lime leaves
2 tbsp (30 mL) fish sauce
1 pint grape tomatoes
20 oz (570 g) lychee nuts, packed in syrup
1 cup (250 mL) basil, coarsely chopped


1 Remove any fat from chicken. Thinly slice, then cut into bite-size pieces. Set aside. Open the can of coconut milk and spoon about a ½ cup (60 mL) of the thick white coconut milk collected at the top of the can into a large wide saucepan. Add the curry paste and place pan over medium heat. Stir gently for 3 minutes.
2 Then stir in the remaining coconut milk, fish sauce and tomatoes. Boil gently, uncovered and stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes while you slice the hard central ribs from lime leaves and discard them. Finely chop the leaves and stir into the sauce as soon as they are chopped.
3 Continue to boil gently, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until about half of the coconut milk is reduced and the tomatoes start to break down. This will take 5 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile drain all the liquid from the lycee nuts and roughly chop the basil.
4 When the sauce is reduced, add all the chicken strips. Stir constantly over medium heat until the chicken loses it’s pink color, from 3 to 5 minutes. Then add the drained lychee nuts and basil. Gently stir until nuts are hot, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with a few whole basil leaves and serve over rice.