By Lisa Golden Schroeder
I’m really hungry for something slightly creamy and sort of rich. Not so rich that I feel a bit sick after eating a plateful, but rich enough to meld with a big spoonful of rice. A splash of something tart, like lemon or vinegar, will cut through the richness and balance everything out. I’m not a huge heavy cream lover—at least not in savory recipes—but coconut milk can hit the spot. I know not everyone is a coconut fiend like I am, but partnered up with spices and a few vegetables it offers that nutty note to a sauce without being overwhelming. So a simmered cut-up chicken, that proverbial chicken in a pot, is once again the ultimate comfort food.
Even though we’re on the cusp (or you may be there already) of grilling season, I won’t abandon the economy and satisfying results of cutting up a whole chicken and stewing it up. I just bought a new pair of really sharp kitchen shears that make short work of dividing up a chicken into manageable parts. A nice 3-1/2 or 4 pound bird feeds six grown-ups nicely when divvyed up into two breasts, two legs, two thighs, and two wings. Or keep the wings attached to the breast halves for heartier servings. For the following recipe the most serious time you’ll spend is prepping the chicken—be sure to really brown it nicely, so once you add the coconut milk and tomatoes the skin won’t get too flabby, and a good sprinkle of coarse salt before serving will add back texture to each bite. Once the chicken is done, and I’d remove the breast pieces first as they cook faster than the legs and thighs, you can cook the sauce down a little to thicken it. But you might want to leave it alone, to be soaked up by that spoonful of rice.
|BRAISED COCONUT CHICKEN with TOMATO & CILANTRO||
- 1 (4 pounds) Just BARE® Whole Chicken, cut into pieces
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- Coarse salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, cut into thin wedges
- 1 medium green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
- 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 can (14 ounces) unsweetened coconut milk
- ½ cup chopped cilantro
- Lime wedges, if desired
- Season chicken with coriander, salt, pepper. Brown pieces in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Remove from pan.
- Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté onion and green pepper about 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, coconut milk, and ¼ cup cilantro; cook and stir 2 minutes.
- Return chicken to pan; cover and cook over low heat, turning chicken occasionally, for about 30 minutes for breast pieces and about 45 minutes for leg pieces or until chicken is no longer pink in center and near bones (165˚F internal temperature).
- Serve chicken with sauce, sprinkled with remaining ¼ cup cilantro and a squeeze of lime.