Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Experiment #32: Ginger Coconut Chicken with Coconut Rice

I was kind of in a rut with making food for my family.  We are still learning what our little one likes to eat and so far, we found he loves salmon, the bok choy shiitake with tofu dish I make, tortillas with beans and cheese and tomatoes and eggs.

I have been making some times the same dishes over and over again and I was feeling pretty uninspired.  I decided that I needed some inspiration and that I really should use a cookbook that I had purchased recently which was Tyler Florence's infant, baby, toddler cookbook called Start Fresh. I really enjoyed Tyler Florence's recipes in general and I have his Real Kitchen book.

After looking through the recipes I landed on his Ginger Chicken with Coconut.  It looked easy and was one dish meal so I thought I would try it.  Tyler said that many children are partial to the mild sweet/sour accents of coconut, ginger and lime that you find in many Thai dishes.  I didn't know if my little one would like it but I thought I would try.

My modifications were that I forgot the cilantro and the lime, by accident really, but I am sure they would taste good in the recipe and I added more onion, because my onion was medium sized and not small like Tyler called for in the recipe.  Tyler calls this recipe Ginger Chicken with Coconut, but I didn't feel that it described the recipe enough.  It is so much more than this, because it has a lovely rice pilaf.

Ginger Coconut Chicken with Coconut Rice adapted from Start Fresh by Tyler Florence
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (I used organic, free range)
Salt and Freshly ground black pepper
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 can (13.5 oz.) coconut milk (I used a light organic coconut milk)
1 1/2 cups organic chicken broth (Tyler calls for organic chicken stock)
1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice (I used organic basmati)
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a heavy roasting pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat until shimmering.  Season the chicken with salt and pepper and brown lightly on both sides, 5 to 7 minutes.  Transfer to a plate and set aside.

I wiped the pan with a paper towel to take some of the oil and fat from the pan before proceeding.

Add the onion and ginger to the pan and cook until the onion is translucent, 3 to 5 minutes.  Pour the coconut milk and broth and bring to a boil.

Add the rice and cook until some of the liquid has been absorbed by the rice 5 to 7 minutes. (I assumed he meant to write to lower the heat a bit during this step.  I didn't think it should be boiling here.)  Arrange the chicken on top of the rice and sprinkle with coconut.

Bake until the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165F and the rice is tender.  Tyler said 20 to 25 minutes, but I ended up cooking it for 15 minutes and the chicken and rice were done.  Just remember that everyone's oven is different and check earlier so you don't overcook the chicken.

Tyler does say that there should be some liquid left in the pan.

Tyler said that this recipe makes 4 adult servings or 6 to 8 kid servings.  I really didn't feel that it made 4 adult servings.  1 boneless skinless chicken thigh is not very much chicken for an adult.  I would say 2 1/2 adult servings maybe.

The recipe was a smashing success.  This recipe was delicious and flavorful.  Tyler was right, kids do like this!  Thanks Tyler for a wonderful recipe.  I would definitely make this again.  Yum!

Modifications for next time:
I would add more boneless skinless chicken thighs.  There was more than enough rice to supplement more chicken.  I would say the ratio of chicken to rice was off.  There was too much rice per serving, and I love rice.  Other than that.  I would do nothing different, but I suppose I should try it with the cilantro and lime as in the original recipe sometime.

Link to purchase the book Start Fresh:

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