Coconut milk and I have a sort of love affair. We met later in life after years dating that boring old skim milk, which my parents totally approved of. Skim milk, parents? Seriously? Thank goodness we don't do arranged marriages in this country. I haven't seen skim milk in ages and I don't intend to ever again (his handsome older brother, cream, well, that's another story; and raw whole milk and I are totally friends). But anyway, enough metaphors with sordid milk references. This recipe is seriously good. The chicken's great. The rice is great--coconut rice, where have you been all my life?. It's a one-pot meal that's fairly easy to put together. The coconut milk gives it a creamy, hint-of-sweet,-while-still-feeling-wholesome-and-good kind of taste, which I love.
Here's what you do:
One Pot Curried Chicken with Coconut Rice
Adapted from The Bad Girl's Kitchen (which adapted it from Everyday Food)
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 50-60 minutes
Cost: $8.65 (that's about $.86/serving)
chicken: 6.00, curry powder: .25, garlic: .10, onion: .20, tomato paste: .10, coconut milk: 1.50, rice: .50
Note: I halved this as I do with many new recipes. It made plenty for our family, but we're not huge eaters. If you guys are big eaters or have older kids, make the full recipe. Halving it made it easier to cook the chicken all at once and reduced the cooking time somewhat for the recipe. I liked that.
Note on chicken: You can use a whole chicken cut up or dark or light meat; I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts because Kip likes them better and because they cook faster than chicken on the bone.
4 lb chicken
4 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (ours was closer to 1/4)
1 Tbsp vegetable oil (I used olive)
5 cloves garlic
3 Tbsp minced garlic (about a 3 inch piece)
1 medium yellow onion, diced small
2 Tbsp tomato paste
2 C rice (I used boring old white)
1 can coconut milk (the cheap stuff is okay in this recipe)
2 C water
Preheat oven to 350. Toss chicken with curry powder, cayenne pepper, and 1/2 tsp salt. Heat oil in a Dutch oven (what I used) or another oven-safe pot (with an oven-safe lid). Cook chicken until browned on all sides. It should be nearly done, though it doesn't have to be cooked entirely through because you'll be cooking it more. Note: If you want this meal faster, cut your chicken into strips or pieces. If you have large breasts, thighs or whatever (by which I mean not you personally, but the chicken with whom you have chosen to work), it could add an extra 30 minutes of cooking time to this recipe. So if you want a 45-minute meal, then cut your meat into strips.
While your chicken is cooking, grate/mince your garlic, ginger, and onion (I always grate my onions because Kip hates big pieces of it. Then I can grate the ginger too).
Remove chicken and set on a plate. In the remaining oil/drippings (add more oil if you need to), cook your onion for 5-6 minutes or until it's translucent. Add garlic and ginger and cook for a minute. Add tomato paste and stir till combined. Add rice, coconut milk, and stir. Add 2 cups water. Stir to combine. [Note: This makes a lightly coconut-flavored rice. If you want more coconut, try using 2 cans coconut milk and 1 C water. I haven't tried this, but fully intend to the next time I make this because I heart coconut.]
Bring this to a boil.
Reduce to simmer. Put chicken on top of rice. [Note: If your chicken has the skin on, place it with skin side up.] Cover with a lid and put in your oven for another 20-30 minutes (again--I halved the recipe--if you're making this full recipe, it could take longer--I'm guessing 40 minutes). [Another Note: Want to decrease your cooking time? If your chicken is nearly cooked through anyway, let the rice simmer covered for a couple minutes stove top. Then add chicken and add it all to the oven. Could you do it all stovetop? Um, probably, but I haven't, so I can't make promises.] You want to cook it until the liquid is absorbed into the rice and the chicken is cooked through (160-165 degrees).
Remove from oven, add salt to taste, and serve garnished with cilantro. I suppose you should serve this with a vegetable on the side if you are a good person and whatnot, though I cannot entirely promise that we did this. I think peas would be a nice compliment, though if we ate a veggie with it, it was probably broccoli.