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Coconut Pepper Chicken

Home & Garden

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Ginger and coconut work magic together, and this recipe is no exception. 

It was on Boxing Day that I followed my nose to the kitchen and found my gourmet aunt concocting this Thai-inspired curry.  Much to my disappointment, its consumption was destined for a get-together on the other side of the family (of which I’m not a part!).  So I bought the ingredients and made it later during the Christmas holidays, and a couple times since then.  It’s always a big hit with guests.  

This recipe is very simple and delicious.  You can leave the jalapeno pepper out of the sauce, but be forewarned that the cayenne in the spice rub will still give it a fair bit of kick.  I suppose you could reduce that, too, but the spiciness can always be tempered with steamed basmati rice and plain yogurt on the side.  

Coconut Pepper Chicken


1 tbsp ground coriander

1 tbsp ground cumin

2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper

1 tsp salt

˝ tsp turmeric

˝ tsp cayenne

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 4 pieces each

2 tbsp oil

1 large onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (optional)

1 cup tomatoes, fresh chopped or canned diced

˝ cup coconut milk

2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

2 tbsp pistachios (optional)

Combine coriander, cumin, pepper, salt, turmeric, and cayenne.  Add chicken pieces and toss to coat.  Let sit 15 minutes at room temperature, or longer in the refrigerator.  

Heat oil over medium heat and sauté onion for 10 minutes or until browned.  Add garlic, ginger, and jalapeno, if using, and sauté for 5 minutes.  Add chicken and cook 5 minutes.  Add tomatoes and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.  Add coconut milk; simmer 5 minutes or till chicken is cooked through.

Garnish with cilantro and pistachios, if desired.  Serve over steamed basmati rice.   

[From Essentials of Home Cooking, by Bonnie Stern]



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Sunday, January 29, 2012