Peel shallots or onion and
cut in half from top to root. Lay the cut sides flat
on a board and thinly slice. Very finely slice the
lemongrass, starting at the thinner end, stopping
towards the base when it gets tough (often
described as ‘woody’ and white in the centre).
Heat the oil in a wok or large
saucepan for a couple of minutes until the oil
separates (it looks more liquid at this point). Add
the shallots or onion. Fry for 3-5 mins, until soft
and translucent. Stir in the curry paste and cook
for 1 min, stirring all the time.
Add chicken pieces and stir
until they are coated. Add the lemongrass, fish sauce, sugar,
kaffir lime leaves and coconut milk. Bring slowly to
the boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered,
for 15 mins until the chicken is cooked. Stir the
curry a few times while it cooks, to stop it sticking
and to keep the chicken submerged.
While the chicken is cooking, strip
the leaves from the coriander stalks, gather into
a pile and chop very roughly. Taste the curry and
add a little more curry paste and salt if you think
it needs it. Stir half the coriander into the curry
and sprinkle the rest over the top. Serve with Thai
jasmine or basmati rice.