For deeper flavor, use a fork to poke holes in the chicken and top with coconut aminos (or tamari) to begin marinating. Set aside.
Heat a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add oil, shallot, ginger, and garlic. Sauté until translucent and fragrant. Turn down heat if browning too quickly.
Add curry paste and stir. Cook for 1-2 minutes more. Then add coconut milk, chicken broth, lemongrass (optional), salt, maple syrup, and Thai chili (also optional). The lemongrass and chili are both optional and infuse the broth with more flavor.
Bring to a very gentle boil over medium heat. Once simmering, add the marinated chicken and cover. Adjust heat as needed to avoid boiling (you’re looking for a consistent simmer).
Simmer chicken until cooked through, ~10-12 minutes. Then remove from pot and shred with two forks. Return to pot and simmer for 5 minutes more.
Taste broth and adjust flavor as needed, adding more salt to taste, coconut aminos for umami / depth of flavor, maple syrup for sweetness, or curry paste for more intense curry flavor.
If serving with noodles: Either soak in just boiling water for 5-10 minutes (or until tender) and drain, or add to the broth and cook until tender, ~ 5 minutes.
Serve as is or garnish with fresh herbs and lime wedges. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator up to 3-4 days or in the freezer up to 1 month. If freezing, it’s best to keep the noodles out of the broth (and make fresh as needed) as they don’t reheat well and can be quite fragile.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with coconut aminos, avocado oil, and Annie Chun’s Maifun White Rice Noodles and without optional ingredients. *To keep vegan, sub vegetable broth for the chicken broth. And you can try subbing 2 15-oz cans drained chickpeas or 1 cup dry red lentils, rinsed, in place of the chicken. We haven’t tried subbing beans or lentils in this recipe but suspect it would work. Add at the same time as the chicken is called for. Adjust cook time and flavor as needed. *Loosely adapted from Once Upon a Chef.