Skillet-Braised Green Curry Chicken

Winner, winner, chicken dinner—perhaps an 11 on a scale of 1 to 10. Chicken curries are often made with boneless, skinless chicken. Here, bone-in, skin-on thighs (and in our case, breasts) are cooked until the skin is nice and crisp; the contrast of that rich crackle with the bright, aromatic sauce was just magical! Certainly impressionable enough to serve to guests.


I often tweak a recipe to align with our own culinary predilections. In this case, I cooked closer to 3 1/2 pounds of chicken and included two bone-in breasts (I prefer white meat) along with five thighs. And usually two cloves of garlic never cuts it, so I minced up four. And the most perplexing ingredient quantity was only 2 ounces of baby spinach, really?? I nearly quadrupled the amount, and as you can see by the photos, it didn’t overwhelm the dish.

For some reason the chicken pieces took between 10-12 minutes (the recipe suggests 6-8 minutes) to crisp and brown to my expectations; but the remainder of the directions were spot on. When everything was ready, we spooned the contents over cooked Thai rice noodles which not only made for a fabulous full-on meal, it also provided a striking presentation.


Skillet-Braised Green Curry Chicken

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 2 to 2-1/4 lb. bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 Tbs. Thai green-curry paste; more to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 13- to 15-oz. can coconut milk
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbs. fish sauce
  • 1 packed tsp. light brown sugar
  • 2 oz. baby spinach (or much more like 7 oz. as we did)
  • 1 medium lime, cut into wedges
  • 1 Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
  • Hot cooked rice or rice noodles


  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large cast-iron or other oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, and season with 1 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper.
  3. Add the chicken to the skillet skin side down, and cook until the fat is rendered and the skin is crisp and golden, 6 to 8 minutes (do not flip; the chicken will cook more later).
  4. Transfer the chicken to a large plate. Remove all but 1 Tbs. of fat from the pan.
  5. Add the onion to the skillet, and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes.
  6. Add the curry paste and garlic, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  7. Add the coconut milk, bell pepper, fish sauce, sugar, and 1/4 tsp. salt. Scrape up any brown bits at the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon, and bring to a simmer. Season to taste with additional curry paste.
  8. Return the chicken to the pan skin side up, along with any accumulated juices from the plate.
  9. Transfer to the oven uncovered, and braise until a thermometer inserted in the thighs registers 165°F, 20 to 30 minutes.
  10. Transfer the thighs to a plate, leaving the sauce in the skillet. Add the spinach to the skillet, and stir until wilted. Season to taste with juice from a couple of the lime wedges, salt, and pepper.
    The 7 ounces of baby spinach wilted down a lot more than shown here.
  11. Pour the sauce onto a serving platter or divide among plates, then nestle the chicken into the sauce and sprinkle with the cilantro. Serve with rice or noodles and the remaining lime wedges.

Adapted from a recipe by By Christine Gallary from Fine Cooking

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