Thai Coconut Chicken
We all know I love a good Asian feed, especially one that I have come up with myself……the only inspiration being my imagination at 4am in the morning. This Thai Coconut Chicken dish had the basis of most Thai meals that I cook, the quintessential aromatics of lemongrass, kaffir lime & fish sauce. These ingredients are what make it Thai inspired, but it got me thinking……why not pair it with classic mash & veg? Why not take meat and veg to a new level , shake things up a bit and knock the old classic off its perch? Well, that is exactly what I did and it’s about bloody time!
I used thigh fillets for this recipe as I just think they are juicier and have loads more flavour, particularly when oven baked, but feel free to use breast if that is your preference. Leftover coconut cream is suitable for freezing, just pop it in your next curry…..
Prep time: 20 Minutes
Marinating time: Minimum 30 minutes or as long as you like
Cooking time: 30 Minutes
$$ Medium Budget
600gm of chicken thigh fillets (approximately 4 large)
2cm piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1 red chilli, roughly chopped (seeds removed if you don’t want heat)
1 stalk of lemon grass, white part only, finely sliced
1/2 a red onion, roughly chopped
5 kaffir lime leaves, centre vein removed and finely sliced
1/2 a bunch of coriander, roughly chopped
2 tbs of fish sauce
Juice of 1 lime
1 tbs of brown sugar
100ml of coconut cream
1 cup of shredded coconut
2 spring onions, cut into 4cm batons and finely sliced, for garnish
1 cup of coriander leaves, for garnish
Fresh chilli slices for garnish (optional)
A couple of tbs of coconut cream for drizzling (optional)
For the Veggies:
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
Grated zest of 1 lime
Juice of 1/2 a lime
50 ml of coconut cream (approximate)
Sea salt and pepper
1-2 bunches of baby bok choy, halved or quartered lengthways, depending on the size
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Place the ginger, garlic, chilli, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, red onion, coriander, fish sauce, lime juice, sugar and coconut cream in a food processor (small, if you have one) and blitz until you have a nice fine paste.
Remove any excess fat from the thigh fillets and place them between two sheets of baking paper. Give them a light bashing with a rolling pin so that they are of an even thickness all the way through. This will mean they cook evenly and quickly.
Place the thigh fillets in a marinating dish and use half of the paste mixture to generously cover the fillets top and bottom and in all of the nooks and crannies. Leave to marinate for at least half an hour.
Take the rest of the paste and place it and the coconut in a small bowl. Use a spoon to combine the mixture and then place it in the fridge until you are ready to use it.
While the chicken is marinating, slice your spring onions and place in a a bowl of iced water with the coriander leaves. Drain before serving as a garnish.
Line a shallow baking tray and place the thigh fillets in it, making sure you get all of the marinade as well. Divide the coconut mixture between the thigh fillets, packing it down nice and tightly on top so that each fillet will have a nice crust. bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until the crust is gloriously golden and crispy.
Boil the sweet potato in a large pot of salted boiling water for about 15 minutes. Pierce with a knife to check if it is tender and then drain well, mash with a masher and add the coconut cream, lime zest, lime juice and a generous seasoning sea salt and pepper. Stir with a wooden spoon until smooth and creamy.
Steam the bok choy until bright green and just tender (approx 3-4 minutes)
To serve, divide the mash between four plates and lightly flatten with the back of a spoon. Pile on your baby bok choy and then top with a Thai Coconut Chicken fillet (being careful not to dislodge the crust) and place a lovely pile of the fresh herbs on top. Scatter over the chilli slices, drizzle over a little coconut cream and any remaining pan juices and serve with lime wedges.
Leftover coconut cream? You may like to cook this as it would make a cracking dessert after this meal…….