This is on of the best Thai curries I have been able to make, stands up to any that I can get in my local Thai restos (these being Chao Thai, Sriprahpai, Nusara Thai). The head note could scare off anyone as it says that this is the hardest in a challenging book, but I found it has only one extra step. That step is dry roasting the curry ingredients before grinding the curry paste. As Thompson points out, deep frying the chicken, potatoes, and onions is optional.
I have changed the amount of sweeteners used. Thompson calls for a cup of pineapple liquid and from 2 tablespoons to 1 cup of palm sugar. I have stuck to 1 to 2 tablespoons palm sugar tops and no pineapple liquid at all. Possibly a bit less what Thompson had in mind (what a Magnolia cupcake?) but the result calls for seconds and thirds each time.