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Easy family favourites with Dominique Woolf: Thai Green Curry Traybake

by Dominique Woolf

published on 22 April 2022

To say a TV programme changed my life might sound a tad dramatic, but when I entered The Great Cookbook Challenge with Jamie Oliver on Channel 4, that’s exactly what happened. I honestly didn’t know if I could get past the first round, let alone make it to the final. Unlike other cooking competitions, this wasn’t just about the food – it was first and foremost about the concept for a cookbook. And not only that, but it came with the prize to end all prizes – a publishing deal with Penguin Michael Joseph. One month on, I still can’t believe I won it.

Being half-Thai, I’ve always had a passion for East and Southeast Asian cuisine and cook it most days. The idea for my cookbook, Dominique’s Kitchen, came about after friends told me how much they too loved East and Southeast Asian food, but either didn’t know where to start or lacked the time for anything complicated. I wanted to show them how easy it actually was to use these flavours every day and the concept for the book evolved from there.

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Dominique Woolf

Over the next few months, I’ll be sharing a number of family-friendly recipes from Dominique’s Kitchen with you, including several I cooked on The Great Cookbook Challenge. First up is this throw-in-the-oven traybake, inspired by the timeless Thai green chicken curry.

Having grown up with Thai curries, they are one of my staple go-to meals. Perhaps surprisingly, I never make my own paste and instead always have a stash of the ready-made variety to hand (I would recommend a good quality Thai brand paste if possible) along with several tins of coconut milk. However, as much as I adore them in all their aromatic, saucy glory, there are times when I want to switch it up. 

This recipe uses the same ingredients but in a very different way. A traybake, as we know, is the godsend of simple cooking, allowing time to clear the kitchen (or dare I say relax) while the oven does its thing. I first made it when we were entertaining one Saturday evening and I’m pleased to say we had scraped plates all round. My kids love it too – simply adjust the amount of curry paste in the rice to suit.

Thai Green Curry Chicken and Rice Traybake

Preparation time: 15 minutes. Cooking time: 1 hour.

Ingredients (serves 4)

4 tbsp Thai green curry paste

300ml water

300ml coconut milk

2 tsp fish sauce

300g jasmine rice, rinsed well

6–8 chicken thighs (approx. 1kg), skin on, bone in, fat trimmed

200g edamame beans or peas, or a mix

To serve

100g natural yoghurt

2 tsp sweet chilli sauce

1 lime, cut into wedges

a handful of coriander, chopped

red chillies, finely sliced (optional)

Method

Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas mark 6.

Put 2 tablespoons of the curry paste into a large roasting tray or oven dish (approx. 25cm x 35cm) and gradually mix in the water to loosen. Pour in the coconut milk, add the fish sauce and a couple of pinches of salt, and stir to combine (don’t worry if the coconut milk is lumpy at this point, it will dissolve as it cooks), then mix in the rice.

Slash each chicken thigh twice, then coat with the remaining 2 tablespoons of curry paste. Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt flakes, then place the chicken on top of the rice skin side up and cover the dish with foil.

Bake for 30 minutes, then discard the foil. Move the chicken to one side while you give the rice a stir, then replace the chicken. Bake for a further 15 minutes, then take the tray out of the oven and mix the edamame beans or peas into the rice. Return to the oven and cook for a further 15 minutes, or until the rice is done and the chicken is completely cooked through.

Taste the rice – if you’d like more heat, move the chicken to one side and stir in extra curry paste, to taste (loosen with water first, if needed). Check the seasoning and adjust with salt or fish sauce, if needed. If you like a crispier skin, turn the grill to high and grill the whole dish for a minute or two, or until the skin is crispy. Put the yoghurt into a small bowl and stir in the sweet chilli sauce.

Serve with wedges of lime, sprinkled with chopped coriander and chillies, and with the yoghurt at the table for drizzling.

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Dominique Woolf

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