Helen Lord’s Vietnamese Chicken Curry


What is your role at Manchester Met?

Manager of MMU Futures.

What does that involve?

I manage the University’s employability award programme.

Which women inspire you and why?

Maya Angelou – apart from being an amazing author (and poet) she was such a strong and inspirational woman. She had an utterly fascinating, yet at times terribly difficult and sad life, yet she overcame the adversity she faced with strength, dignity and poise. She was a unique and fabulous woman!

What is the greatest challenge to women working in Higher Education?

Confidence – I have recognised that for a lot of women (including myself) lack of confidence is a real issue and can hold them back.

What is your favourite recipe?

Vietnamese Chicken Curry – a family favourite!

  • 450 g (1 lb) boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 tbsp groundnut oil
  • 2 onions, cut into eighths
  • 300 ml (10 fl oz) Chicken Stock
  • 400-ml (14 fl oz) tin coconut milk
  • 4 fresh tomatoes, cut into quarters
  • Handful of fresh sprigs of coriander

For the marinade:

  • 2 stalks fresh lemon grass
  • 4 whole garlic cloves
  • 2 red or green chillies, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp Madras curry paste
  • 2 tbsp Madras curry powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp Thai fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp water
  1. Cut the chicken into about 5-cm (2-in) chunks.
  2. Peel the lemon grass stalk to reveal the tender, whitish centre and crush it with the flat of a knife. Then cut it into small chunks. In a food processor, combine the garlic, chillies, sugar, curry paste, curry powder, salt, pepper, fish sauce and water and blend to a paste. Mix this with the lemon grass and chicken pieces, and stir until all the pieces are thoroughly coated. Leave the chicken to marinate for about 1 hour at room temperature.
  3. Heat a wok or large frying-pan over a high heat until it is hot. Add the oil and, when it is very hot and slightly smoking, turn the heat to moderate, add the chicken and stir-fry for 5 minutes or until the chicken begins to brown. Add the onions and stir-fry for 3 minutes. Add the stock and coconut milk. Bring the mixture to a simmer, reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Then add the tomatoes, stir well and continue to cook for another 2 minutes. Transfer the contents to a bowl. Garnish with coriander and serve.

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