I have been trying to be more open minded about recipes lately. I no longer reject a recipe just because it calls for curry powder or coconut milk. In the past, I would turn up my nose at any recipe that didn’t have a flavor profile I immediately recognized. Mix cumin and soy sauce? Never. Makes no sense. My attitude these days is more along the lines of: “I like cumin and I like soy sauce, so I why won’t I like them together?” Also, I feel like I should trust the experts. If Fine Cooking says these flavors taste good together, then I am willing to try it.
This turned out to be a really nice, quick dinner. Serve over rice or couscous to soak up all of the juices and sauce. The chicken is marinated for a few hours and then seared. The marinade is reserved and then boiled and served as a sauce. If you don’t like the idea of using the marinade as a sauce you can either double it and reserve half before adding the chicken or you can serve it without the sauce. I thought it was juicy and flavorful on it own, mrChaos liked the sauce a lot (and by the way if you asked him he would tell you he doesn’t like curry powder or coconut milk)-so it’s up to you.
Lime and Coconut Chickenserves 4, prep 10 minutes, marinade up to 2 hours, cook 15 min, adapted from Fine Cooking, Winter 2006
- 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 3 tbsp oil
- zest of 1 lime
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp curry powder
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- pinch cayenne
- 1 small fresh hot chili, such as Thai or Serrano, minced (optional)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Fresh limes, cut into wedges
- Trim fat from chicken breasts. Starting on thick side of the breasts slice the chicken breasts almost in half, then open each like a book.
- Place each open breast between two pieces of plastic wrap, wax paper or inside a large, open, Ziploc bag.
- Using a small heavy pan, bottle or smooth meat mallet lightly pound out each breast into even thickness.
- Mix all remaining ingredients except fresh cilantro and limes.
- Add chicken and marinade to a large bowl or ziploc bag and chill in the refrigerator for up to two hours.
- Your chicken doesn’t take long to cook so you can use this time to get your dishes prepped and ready.
- Once you are ready to cook the chicken, remove each breast from the marinade.
- Pour the marinade into a small saucepan and bring to a rolling boil. Boil continuously for at least 2 minutes, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t burn.
- In a heavy skillet or grill pan, heat a splash of oil over high heat.
- Cook the chicken in batches to prevent over crowding the pan.
- Place the breasts in the hot pan and cook without turning for a couple minutes
- Flip the breasts over and cook until the other side is golden, it shouldn’t take long depending on the thickness of your chicken.
- Place cooked breasts on a plate in a warm oven or under foil while cooking the remaining chicken.
- Sprinkle with fresh lime juice and cilantro. Serve with sauce on the side.
If you typically have these ingredients on hand this is a quick, cheap main dish to throw together. It would be delicious on the grill or as kabobs as well.