December 27, 2010

Coconut Ginger Chicken

Blustery winter days put me in the mood for a warm spicy dish.  After braving the ice and snow (and attempting not to slip and fall – again) nothing feels better than curling up on the couch with a big bowl of something savory atop fluffy rice and a spoon big enough to match.

The coconut milk and fresh ginger marry very well in this dish, with neither becoming too dominant.  I always remove the seeds in jalapenos to keep the spiciness from overwhelming me, but if you’re daring, feel free to keep the seeds in the dish for an extra kick.  Chicken thighs add a subtle depth of flavor to the meal, but there’s no reason not to swap the thighs for sliced chicken breast or even shrimp.  The next time I make this recipe, I might even use all three!  Even more delectable!  Enjoy!

Coconut Ginger Chicken
Adapted from Real Simple magazine, 2006
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves (without stems)
2 jalapeno peppers (with or without seeds)
2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
3 tbs olive oil (divided)
1 medium onion, sliced
1 small eggplant, chopped into 1-inch cubes
2 cans light unsweetened coconut milk (13.5 oz each)
2 tbs soy sauce
1 tsp salt
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, breasts or shrimp, cubed

Using a blender or food processor, combine the cilantro, peppers ginger and 1 tbs olive oil until well blended.  Heat the remaining olive oil in a large pan over medium heat and sauté the onion and eggplant until soft (about 8 minutes).  Add the coconut milk, soy sauce and salt.  Cook until simmering, then add the cilantro/ginger mixture and the chicken.  Continue to simmer until the chicken is cooked and the sauce thickens, about 20 minutes for chicken thighs (less for chicken breasts or shrimp).  Serve atop a heaping bowl of fluffy white rice and enjoy!

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