Did y’all ever watch the painter Bob Ross on PBS back in the day? He was so calming and peaceful. I was always mesmerized by his “happy little trees.” If he didn’t like how a stroke hit the canvas, he wouldn’t treat it as a mistake. He wouldn’t scrap the painting. He would just turn it into something that could still work for the masterpiece. That’s how I like to approach my cooking. Like each recipe is a journey full of choices and directions to go in. That’s kind of how I landed on this flavorful Coconut Chili Chicken Curry. It’s a saucy, tangy, sweet, and spicy dish that I had originally imagined as something else, but I ended up turning it into a “happy little tree”…and I couldn’t be happier with the final dish.
Some of the ingredients in this Coconut Chili Chicken Curry might not be things you regularly stock in your pantry. The sesame chili oil is usually something I get at my local international store or on Amazon. This oil is so flavorful and has a rich nuttiness to it. If you can’t get this, you can easily heat a neutral cooking oil and add in dried red chili flakes. Liquid Smoke is another one of my favorite ingredients. I use the Colgin brand which is available on Amazon. As Bob Ross said, “this is your world, make it your own!”
Like this recipe? You might also enjoy my Shrimp & Veggie Rice Noodles, Kerala-Style Mutta (Egg) Curry, or Spicy Orange Sesame Beef recipes. If you have any questions when making this recipe reach out to me @thefamiliarkitchen on instagram. I’d LOVE to see how it turns out for you and answer any questions you might have!