Hawaiian Style Chicken Panang
When I invited Gordon Lum to do an episode on our Cooking Hawaiian Style TV show, I asked him what his most popular dish is. He said that "hands-down, Hawaiian Style chicken panang" was his most popular dish. Whenever he made it for pot lucks or one of Popo June Tong's foodie group gatherings, that people would rave about this dish. What makes this dish so special? Macadamia Nuts! This dish is perfect in every way...perfectly spiced, balanced and it has that something extra special which is attributed to the use of macadamia nuts. This is a must try recipe!
2 lbs. boned chicken thighs
2.5 tablespoons panang curry paste (2 oz Mae Ploy brand)
19 ounces coconut milk (or 1 can Mae Ploy brand)
3 tablespoons roughly ground Island Princess Hawaii macadamia nuts (unsalted)
2 tablespoons turbinado or raw sugar
3 finely diced Kaffir Lime leaves
2 teaspoons fish sauce to taste
1 sliced bell pepper (any color)
1 sliced onion
1 cup flour (for dredging)
4 tablespoons oil
Hawaiian salt to taste
pepper to taste
4-5 Thai Basil leaves (optional)
Rinse then dry the boned chicken thighs. Lightly salt and pepper the thighs on both sides and then dredge in flour, shaking off the excess flour. Heat the Dutch oven and add oil. Sear both sides of thighs until it becomes a light golden brown (about 70% cooked). Set thighs aside. While they are cooling, slice the bell pepper/onion; finely dice the Kaffir Lime leaves, and roughly grind/chop the macadamia nuts. After the chicken thighs cool, cut into chunks.
Heat (about 1/4 cup) the oil and add the curry paste, searing the paste for a minute. Add the chicken chunks and stir until the chunks are coated with the paste. Add the peppers and onion and stir until they are also coated. Add the coconut milk, Kaffir lime leaves, turbinado sugar, macadamia nut, and fish sauce to the pot. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 10-15 minutes. Garnish with basil leaves.