23 October 2013
Chicken, broccoli, and coconut milk
I was about to leave the office a couple days ago when Bethany said, "so, any ideas for dinner?"
After giving the least helpful answer ever--that is, "Dinner??", accompanied by the classic deer-in-headlights stare--I mentioned that we had both chicken and broccoli. Bethany mentioned coconut milk. Ok! Chicken, broccoli, and coconut milk it is!
As you can see, this was super simple. As you can perhaps imagine, it was also delicious.
The big issue was defrosting the chicken, and even that turned out not to be such a big deal once we got the pieces actually separated. It's just hard to submerge a long thin row of chicken breasts in hot water when all you have is a medium-sized bowl or two.
Obviously we were eating meat, but I'm thinking you could do something very similar with a bunch of chickpeas or navy beans and a hit of extra spice for ultimate bean & green & coconut milk goodness.
This fed four adults and two children, with no leftovers.
Chicken and broccoli with coconut milk
a big yellow onion
5 chicken breasts or equivalent amount of meat/beans
~1 cup coconut milk
~2 heads of broccoli (we used 3 small heads)
salt, pepper, curry powder
Start by warming some oil or butter in a wide, deep saute pan (make sure you have the lid) while you chop up an onion. I'm pretty sure we just used standard veg oil for this one, but whatever you like should be fine. Special bonus if you have coconut oil around.
Dump the onion into the pan, stir to coat with oil, and cook for about five to eight minutes, or until it starts turning translucent.
When your chicken is reasonably defrosted, put the pieces into the pan with your onion. Cook to brown on one side. When there's some beautiful golden caramelization going on, flip all your pieces of chicken over and brown the other side.
Next, pour about a cup of coconut milk, well shaken, over the pan of chicken and onion. You can use more if you want a saucier end product. Season with salt, pepper, and curry powder (or the spice combination of your choice. We had curry powder, so that's what happened). Then put the lid on your pan, lower the heat slightly, and let cook for a good ten or fifteen minutes. You want to get the chicken cooked through, but also keep it moist. Coconut milk certainly helps with the moist & juicy aspect of the situation.
While you're waiting, chop a head of broccoli into reasonable pieces. Peel the stems and chop them too. Nose to tail, you guys. Plus broccoli stem is delicious. Speaking of broccoli stem, if you happen to have some CSA kohlrabi hanging around, you could peel & add that too.
When your chicken is closing in on done, dump your broccoli into the pan. Put the lid back on and continue cooking for another seven or eight minutes, or until your broccoli is done to your liking. Test to make sure the meat is cooked through, & let cook a bit longer if needed.
Serve everyone big chunks of chicken and spoonfuls of broccoli and onion. We had ours by itself, but this would obviously be excellent over a pile of rice or egg noodles too.
Wow, did writing this all out make me hungry. It was really good, you guys. Also, maybe I should have eaten something besides a piece of peanut butter toast so far today.
What delicious dinners have you randomly created lately?