Chicken in Coconut Milk with Lemongrass

koselig_chickencoconutmilk

Another recipe in the Koselig Cooking series, this is a good one if you’re a fan of Thai flavors. 

Serves 4 to 6

1 whole roasting chicken (3 to 4 pounds)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cinnamon stick
2 whole star anise
1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro stems
juice of one lemon + zest, discard rind
1 stalk lemongrass, 5 inches of white part only, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
6 to 8 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 (14- to 16-ounce) can coconut milk
3 cups torn greens (spinach, kale, chard, mizuna, etc.)
2 green onions, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
Chopped cilantro, to garnish
Cooked rice, to serve

Pat the chicken dry and sprinkle it liberally with salt and pepper. Put the chicken, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours, or if you’re going to cook it right away, set it aside while you prepare remaining ingredients.

When ready to bake the chicken, preheat the oven to 375°F.

Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat, then add the oil. Put in the chicken, breast-side up, and let it sizzle for about 30 seconds. Carefully flip the bird and crisp the other side for another 30 seconds. Remove the pan from the heat, put the chicken on a plate, and pour off the fat in the pot.

Transfer the chicken back into the pot, breast-side up, and add the cinnamon stick, star anise, chopped cilantro stems, lemon, lemongrass, garlic, and coconut milk. Cook, uncovered, in the preheated oven for 60 to 90 minutes (depending on size). Spoon the sauce over the top of the bird to baste every 20 minutes or so. The chicken is done when an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thigh reads 165°F.

Remove chicken from the pot and put it on a plate. Pull out and discard the cinnamon stick and star anise. Put the pot with the sauce back on the stovetop over medium heat, add the spinach and stir until just wilted, about 10 seconds.

Carve the chicken and serve each piece over rice with sauce spooned over the top. Garnish with chopped scallions and cilantro leaves.

Basil Chicken (revised for Whole 30)

We are about to embark on a Whole 30, and I wanted to see if one of our favorite recipes could be compliant. Good news! It can! No sugar in this version, so I swapped out the water for apple juice; no soy either, so I used coconut aminos instead of soy sauce. I also upped the basil a bit, but that’s just a family preference.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 2 tablespoons Red Boat fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons coconut aminos
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced onion, plus 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 8 cloves garlic, finely chopped (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 1-1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 1/4 cups torn fresh basil leaves

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, combine apple juice,  fish sauce, coconut aminos, and crushed red pepper. Set aside.
  2. Heat a wok or large, deep skillet over medium-high heat until hot, about 1 minute. Add 2 tablespoons oil, then the sliced and chopped onion, and garlic. Stir-fry until fragrant and softened but not browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer the mixture into the bowl with the sauce mixture and set aside.
  3. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the skillet and heat for about 1 minute. Working in 2 batches if necessary, spread the chicken in a single layer in the pan without crowding and cook, undisturbed, until the edges change color, about 1 minute. Turn and continue cooking, tossing now and then, until lightly browned all over, 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Add the reserved sauce and onion mixture and cook, tossing occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through and evenly coated, 2 to 3 minutes longer.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat and add the basil, tossing until slightly wilted.
  6. Serve over cauliflower rice or spaghetti squash.

Basil Chicken

The basil smelled really good at the farmers’ market on Sunday, so we picked some up with the plan of making basil chicken (I totally forgot that Rebecca is growing a huge pot of basil on her back porch). This recipe comes from Rachael Ray with a few minor tweaks (e.g., she uses twice as much crushed red pepper).

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced onion, plus 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 8 cloves garlic, finely chopped (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 1-1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 cup torn fresh basil leaves

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, combine water,  fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar, and crushed red pepper. Stir to dissolve the sugar; set aside.
  2. Heat a wok or large, deep skillet over medium-high heat until hot, about 1 minute. Add 2 tablespoons oil, then the sliced and chopped onion, and garlic. Stir-fry until fragrant and softened but not browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and set aside.
  3. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the skillet and heat for about 1 minute. Working in 2 batches if necessary, spread the chicken in a single layer in the pan without crowding and cook, undisturbed, until the edges change color, about 1 minute. Turn and continue cooking, tossing now and then, until lightly browned all over, 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Add the reserved sauce and onion mixture and cook, tossing occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through and evenly coated, 2 to 3 minutes longer.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat and add the basil, tossing until slightly wilted.
  6. Serve the chicken over rice or noodles.