Its Secret Recipe Club time again and I was pleased as punch when I received my May assignment of Foodness Gracious. I met Gerry at an earlier reveal so was familiar with his blog when I got the email from Group C leader, Angie, that assigned me his site. I have visited his blog many times and bookmarked several recipes so making my choice was an easy one. Gerry, originally from Scotland, lives in Southern California with his wife and two very cute kids and a mischievous Lab named Daisy. Gerry’s enthusiasm and love for cooking show through in all his posts whether he is preparing a simple meal or a dish for a special occasion.
I selected this recipe for Thai Coconut Chicken because we love Thai food at my house. I have several recipes I use often but what appealed to me about Gerry’s recipe are (1) I thought it looked delicious, (2) it doesn’t have a list of 2 dozen ingredients that so many Asian recipes call for, and (3) I can put it together quickly when I’m short on time. The leftovers reheat nicely if you should happen to have any. I saved out just enough for my lunch the next day, but ordinarily there isn’t a speck left. I learned a new technique from Gerry’s instruction to add bruised lemon grass, chunks of peeled ginger and chilies to the coconut milk/broth combination and let it steep for a few minutes. I let mine simmer for about 30 minutes and the infused flavors were delicious.
Almost any vegetables can be added to this recipe and I had a few scallions and a red pepper half, so in they went. I sauteed them along with the mushrooms in a little olive oil for 3-4 minutes, then added them to the chicken and broth mixture. I added this step to the recipe but think that next time I will omit it as unnecessary. I also made coconut rice (recipe to follow) but it really wasn’t necessary because the chicken mixture is so flavorful.
- 4 cups coconut milk, (2 cans)
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 pound chicken breast cut into strips
- 3 stalks lemongrass
- 10 thin slices fresh ginger
- 2 minced fresh chile's if you like it hot (I used just 1)
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms (I used cremini)
- ½ cup scallions sliced into 1 inch pieces
- ½ cup red pepper, diced
- 3 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon sugar (I used brown sugar)
- salt and pepper
- chopped cilantro to garnish.
- Combine coconut milk and stock and bring to a boil, add chicken and cook for 10 minutes. Take out chicken and set aside.
- Add smashed lemongrass, ginger and chile's to milk and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove these 3 last ingredients and add chicken back to milk.
- In a medium skillet saute mushrooms, scallions and diced red pepper in 1 tablespoon olive oil until barely tender, about 3-4 minutes. Add to the milk and chicken mixture. Add fish sauce, lime juice and sugar and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper, adjust taste with more lime or fish sauce and spoon into bowls. Garnish with fresh cilantro. Serve with rice.
Have you ever wondered why you don’t see chop sticks in Thai restaurants. In Thailand it’s customary to use spoons and forks, and knives are conspicuously absent from the table. Most Thai food is already bite sized in the cooking, and its unusual to have to cut anything into pieces, so they omit the knife in most cases. Occasionally chopsticks are used for bowls of rice or noodles. Customarily the spoon is held in the right hand and the fork in the left. The fork never goes into the mouth. It is used to push food onto the spoon which is the only utensil that is put into one’s mouth. As for sticky rice, the custom is to eat it with the fingers. Mangoes and sticky rice are my favorite Thai dessert, but I’ll stick to a fork and spoon.