Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Spicy Thai Chicken and Rice Bowls

Sometimes something hits me square in the face and I can't seem to get it off my mind for a while.  I watched an episode of the Waltons last week that did just that and I've thought about it ever since.

Yes, I watch the Waltons occasionally.  So what?

Anyway, in this particular episode (and I am going to shorten the whole story so we won't be here all day), Jason is in what I call a coming of age struggle, where he wants to be included in "manly" activities, and be thought of as more of an adult and less of a kid.  He clashes with his father a bit over this, but eventually his father puts him in charge of watching over a controlled fire and being responsible for putting it out.  Jason is elated with this task and he carefully watches it and puts it out thoroughly.  Behind the scenes, though, one of his father's old army buddies who has come to visit carelessly throws down a cigarette and starts another fire in the same area where Jason had just put out his fire. 

There's a big scramble to put out the fire before serious damage is done, and Jason gets blamed for it and of course he questions himself and thinks he's responsible.  He feels awful for letting his father down and foolish about the whole incident.  The army buddy knows he was the cause of it, but lets Jason take the blame anyway.  But good ol' John Boy figures out what happened and he lets Jason know that it wasn't his fault, but it was the army buddy who had caused the fire.  Jason and John Boy keep this to themselves, though,  and don't tell anyone.  They know how much their father thinks of his friend and they don't want to ruin his good opinion of him.

At the very end of the episode, their father discovers the truth about who started the fire, and he makes a point to tell the whole family that it wasn't Jason who started the fire, but his friend.

And this--this is what got me and caused a lump in my throat--Jason looks at his father and says, "We knew that Daddy, John Boy and me."

His father looks surprised and asks "Why didn't you speak up, son?"

And Jason answers, "Just knowing seemed enough."

The father looks proudly at Jason, puts his hand on his shoulders and says "The boy would have spoken up.  But the man didn't."

Wow.  I think that is one of the most profound scenes I've seen on television in a long, long time.  They sure don't make shows like they used to.

I want to be just like Jason when I grow up.  He's a character full of character.
And there is no easy transition from the Walton Mountain to Spicy Thai Chicken and Rice Bowls, but yes, I do have a recipe to share since this is a food blog and all.  I made this earlier in the week and the family just loved it, which surprised me a little.  I've had some red curry paste in my cabinet for a long time, and when I came across this recipe in one of my older Southern Living magazines, I decided give it a try.  I did change it up somewhat, but I think it turned out pretty tasty and healthy to boot.

Here are my notes:

-The original recipe called for 3 tablespoons of curry paste, which would have been way too much for me.  If you like it spicier, then you could definitely put more than the 3 teaspoons that I did.

-I love the background flavor of the coconut milk.  In fact, next time I might use all coconut milk instead using part regular milk.

-I used chicken breasts than I thinly sliced, but the original recipe called for shredded chicken.

-I also have an abundance of peppers that I put up last year in my freezer, and since we are almost at garden time again, I needed to use them and this was a good dish to do so.

Spicy Thai Chicken and Rice Bowls

(Adapted from Southern Living)

Extra virgin olive oil to coat the pan
3 small chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
Salt and pepper to taste
1 medium onion, cut into thin strips
3/4 cup each red, green, and yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup milk  
1/2 cup light coconut milk
3 teaspoons red curry paste (or to taste)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
4-6 cups cooked brown rice

Coat the bottom of a large skillet with the olive oil and heat over medium-high heat.  Add the chicken and cook until done, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.  Add the onion and all the bell peppers and cook until crisp-tender. 

Meanwhile, whisk the flour into the chicken broth until dissolved. Stir the chicken broth mixture into the chicken and veggie mixture, then stir in the milk, coconut milk, red curry paste, lime juice and ginger.  Cook over medium heat, stirring often, 3-4 minutes or until mixture is thick and bubbly.  Serve chicken mixture over rice.

Pin It!


  1. Not sure I've ever watched an episode of the Waltons, but sounds good. :) And the recipe looks good too! :)

  2. I used to watch The Waltons with my mom all the time (her favorite show), but I don't remember the plot of hardly any of them. What a sweet message. Your recipe looks so good.

  3. Love how good this looks! YUM!!

  4. Hello from another Mississippi food blogger!! I saw this post on Foodgawker and the name of your blog caught my attention. Your pictures are beautiful! Can't wait to spend a little more time checking it out.

    1. Good to meet another Mississippi blogger, Lisa!

  5. This looks delicious, Lorie. I can't believe you still have peppers left in your fridge from last year's harvest. I am very impatiently waiting for them this season. Fingers are crossed for an overabundance this year!

  6. I came here from Pinterest, because I'm searching for a yummy Chicken Thai recipe for tonight. While your recipe looks good, and I'll probably use it, I was more impressed with the Walton's story. We LOVE the Waltons and have watched all the seasons, I think, except the last one. I don't remember this episode at all, but I love the description you wrote of it. And it's also the reason I love the Waltons so much. I sure wish they made good quality show like this still, that teach character. Anyway, I had to comment because I was so touched to read this story and to be reminded about right living. THANK YOU!