Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Island Chicken

While I'm going through my cookbooks, trying to organize my thoughts and plans for my New Year's Resolution, I still have the other part of my resolution to keep up: blog at least twice a week.***  I got this recipe from a girl I know in Texas.  It supposedly makes 12-14 servings at 150 calories per serving, but I don't see 4 chicken breasts making 12 servings! Maybe 8, and 225 isn't terrible for a dish with coconut milk. But regardless of the serving size, it still sounds delicious!

 ***My camera batteries died, so I've had trouble keeping up with my resolution.  In fact, you'll see that there are fewer photos than usual in this edition.  But I have new batteries, so this week you'll get three posts!***

From the left: pineapple, water chestnuts, peas, grater, coconut, ginger, coconut milk, grated carrot, chicken thighs (not pictured...)

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts- cubed with fat removed
1 can Light coconut milk
1 can pineapple chunks in 100% juice (20 oz)
1/2 tsp powdered ginger (I've used fresh before, too)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 cup shredded carrots
1 can chopped water chestnuts
1/4-1/2 cup shredded coconut (depending on how much you like shredded coconut)
1 cup frozen peas, or snow peas, if in season

Do the prep work first: open the cans of pineapple and water chestnuts, shred the carrots.  I'm using chicken thighs instead of breasts.  I've browned them in a pan with a little bit- 1 or 2 tbsp of coconut milk and butter, much like I did in the Moroccan Stew, and removed the skin.

Brown the chicken and remove the skins.
Drain the pineapple juice into a stockpot and add 1/2 the can of coconut milk, the soy sauce and the ginger. Stir together and add the chicken.

Everything in the pot except the peas. Add them toward the end so they don't overcook!
Cook on a medium-low heat so that it boils gently to finish cooking the chicken. When the chicken is barely done, take it out and remove it from the bones. (Or don't- I didn't!) Put it back in the pot, add the carrots, water chestnuts, pineapple, coconut, and the remaining coconut milk. Allow to cook for a few minutes until carrots soften, then add the frozen peas. Heat through, serve over rice. :)

The new USDA 'plate' shows that you should have more veggies than anything else. Which is what we have going on right here. More veggies!
I served this with roasted root vegetables, a la the Pioneer Woman, and green beans.

The verdict: This dish is lightly sweet and a little bit plain.  But I feel like it needs something- maybe fresh ginger, or just more ginger; maybe some caramelized onion. Everything tastes better with onion!  Or maybe a bit of spicy Thai curry. The root vegetables provided a good flavor contrast to the chicken and rice- earthy sweetness as opposed to the crunchy tang of the waterchestnuts and the tart-sweet of the pineapple.  The green beans and the rice were much needed neutral flavors to stabilize what could have been an overly sweet meal!

What's cooking in your kitchen?

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