Chicken Pumpkin Thai Curry

    6 cloves garlic, peeled
    2 shallots, peeled and chopped
    1-inch fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
    2-inches lemongrass, sliced finely
    1 tbsp coconut oil    
    2 tbsp red curry paste
    1 can (14 oz) full-fat coconut milk    
    1 tsp fish sauce    
    1 lb sweet pumpkin, butternut squash or other hard squash, peeled, seeded and diced
    1 lb chicken breast or boneless thigh meat, diced
    Limes and Thai basil or cilantro, for garnish


    Aromatic base: In a food processor, combine the garlic, shallots, ginger, and lemongrass. Pulse to break into very fine pieces. Add 1 tablespoon of water or more to make a paste.  Reserve 3 tablespoons (about half) of this mixture for the recipe and refrigerate or freeze the other half for the next time you make a Thai curry.
    In a large pot over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon coconut oil. Once it starts to shimmer, add 3 tablespoons of the aromatic base from above and 2 tablespoons red curry paste. Stir and cook this with the oil, about 30 seconds.
    Then, add the squash or pumpkin, coconut milk and fish sauce. Bring the coconut milk to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook the squash just until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Then, add the chicken and cook 5 more minutes or until it’s no longer pink and cooked through.
    Garnish with lime wedges and sliced Thai basil or cilantro.

                                                                                                by Steph Gaudreau