How quickly the weeks pass by ..
The other evening The Chef casually said .. “Have you decided what you're going to make for this month's food swap?”
“Not really .. I've got time .. it's still a ways away” .. thinking .. thinking .. “Isn't it?”
I forever have things I'm wanting to cook .. bookmarked .. pinned .. printed .. written on random lists scattered around the house .. all good places to start in my quest for a dish fitting this month's theme .. Food From Around the World
Thai Chicken quickly made the short list .. not only is it delicious .. but non-fussy .. without exotic ingredients to source .. a meal I hoped we'd look forward to eating in our everyday
Many of the recipes I thumbed through featured all or some of the flavors considered traditional in Thai food .. fish sauce, heat, ginger, coconut milk, and cilantro
In the end I shied away from those that incorporated coconut milk into the sauce .. choosing instead to glean the flavor from a bed of brown coconut rice.
(Philosophy .. the hit in calories & fat wasn't worth it to me .. one cup of coconut milk contains about 550 calories .. 480 of those coming from fat. Yes, for sure, it's healthy fat .. but too much of a good thing is still .. too much)
The recipe begged an open canvas for veggies .. I used what we had on hand .. a red pepper .. onion .. mustard greens. Along the way I also discovered .. chicken pieces that are browned prior to being added to the sauce .. are much prettier on the plate you serve to your Sweetie
The final product was a home run ..much better than I expected .. and will definitely be finding a home in our dinner rotation. Loved the scents of fresh cilantro, garlic, and lime as it cooked .. As we sat down for dinner .. the chicken in combination with the rice didn't disappoint
Made me think of the new food word I've been reading about lately .. umami .. the 5th element of Asian cooking .. that this dish was absolutely brimming with.
Couldn't help but think of other uses for this wonderful chicken .. additions to my lunch-time salads .. toppings for pizza .. add-in protein for a soup that begs a flavor boost .. omelets & frittatas
Thai Chicken with Brown Coconut Jasmine Rice
- 2 chicken breasts boneless, skin-less (~ 1 1/2 pounds), cut into 1" cubes
- 2 1/2 Tbsp fish sauce
- 1 Tbsp coconut sugar or brown organic
- 1 1/2 Tbsp lime juice
- 1/3 c soy sauce
- 1 1/2 tsp white vinegar
- 1 1/2 Tbsp coconut or olive oil
- 1 Tbsp fresh ginger
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 3 fresh red chiles seeds and ribs removed, cut into thin slices, or 1/4 teaspoon dried red-pepper flakes
- 1 red bell pepper
- 3 cups mustard leaves ** optional
- 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro minced
- Lightly salt & pepper the chicken & brown in a medium saucepan (** Note .. we're not cooking it all the way through here .. just browning it ever so slightly for presentation)
- Whisk together 1 1/4 c water, fish sauce, sugar, lime juice, soy sauce, and vinegar .. set aside
- In a large saucepan .. heat coconut oil .. add garlic & ginger & sauté until fragrant .. about 30 sec - 1 min.
- If using peppers .. add them now & cook until they are soft (~ 1 min)
- Add the bell pepper & sauté another minute or two
- Stir in the fish sauce & raise the heat to high. When it's just on the verge of boiling .. add the chicken & stir to mix well.
- Reduce the heat to low & simmer until the chick in finished cooking throughout (10 minutes or so)
- Serve with coconut rice .. spooning the chicken & its sauce over the rice .. garnish with cilantro.
~ Adapted from epicurious .. here
Coconut Brown Jasmine Rice
- 1 cups water
- 3/4 cups canned unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 tsp coconut sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cups brown jasmine rice well rinsed, drained
- 1/4 cup un-sweetened coconut lightly toasted
- Combine 1 cups water, coconut milk, sugar, and salt in heavy large saucepan.
- Bring to simmer, then stir in rice.
- Cover, leaving slight opening for steam to escape.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 12 minutes.
- Cover tightly, remove from heat, and let stand 10 minutes.
- Transfer rice to bowl; sprinkle with toasted coconut.