Concur with everyone, with this base recipe what I made is as good (and better than some) as what you can get in Thai restaurants.
I get Coconut Cream instead of milk. I like the creaminess it adds to the sauce. I use one box total (looks to be the amount of about 2 cans). I didn't purchase thai basil, kaffir leaves, or red chiles. I just added a squirt of lime juice. Oh, and I add 2 TB of CREAMY PEANUT BUTTER. Panang is a creamy coconut peanut curry, so I don't think this would taste right to me without any peanut. I eased back on the sugar (I just added a little bit of natural coconut sugar I happened to have) since the PB is sweetened.
I like to add veggies to the dish as well- 1 red bell pepper, a cup of frozen peas, 1/2 cup frozen green beans, and some steamed broccoli. The bell pepper I added right after adding the chicken. The rest of the frozen veggies I added when the sauce was just about done because they don't need much time to cook. The broccoli was steamed on its own and stirred in at the end.
The dish came out pretty darn spicy. I bet this depends on the brand of paste you get. I might not use the whole can next time. The problem for me is if its super spicy, I want to eat a lot of rice with it (extra calories).
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Concur with everyone, with this base recipe what I made is as good (and better than some) as...