Recipe: Curry-Lime Chicken with Seasoned Coconut Rice and Broccoli

Looking to redeem myself for that terrible minted pea pasta dish from the other week, I went in search of a flavorful, summery recipe that would make my parents forget that the not-so-delicious pasta dish had ever happened. I came across this recipe for lime and coconut chicken while browsing through recipe posts on Pinterest and I just knew it had to be good. Unlike the minted pea dish, I was more familiar with the flavors in this dish and how they would interact with each other. I whipped up a complimentary side dish of seasoned coconut rice and fresh broccoli and the result was absolutely delicious. My dad claimed he tasted “flavors from the Caribbean,” my mom said something about South America or Thai food (not sure which one, or why she thought of them), and I was thinking of Indian food with that delicious curry flavor coming through. This dish is packed with intense flavor and freshness and it’s perfect on a warm summer day (and it definitely helped erase the mint-and-pea combo from our memories).

Serves: 4
Prep. time: 15 minutes (plus at least 2 hours for the chicken to marinate)
Cooking time: Approx. 30 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Special equipment: Grill, grill pan, or George Foreman (or similar) grill

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • Approx. 1/3 cup coconut milk, as needed for the marinade-turned-sauce
  • 2-4 cups cups broccoli florets
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Lime wedges (approx. 2 per person)

For the marinade

  • 3 tbsp. oil (I used olive oil, but peanut oil or veggie/canola oil would be good choices)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 1&1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. curry powder
  • A pinch of ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. sugar

For the rice

  • 2 cups white rice
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Zest of 2-3 limes
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin, or to taste
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander, or to taste
  • 1 tsp. curry powder, or to taste
  • 1 tsp. ground tumeric, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup shredded, sweetened coconut, chopped
Directions
Prepare the marinade for the chicken in a liquid measuring cup. Put chicken breasts in a large Ziploc bag, pour in the marinade, and place the mixture in the fridge for at least two hours, to allow the chicken breasts to fully marinate. After the chicken breasts are finished, remove them from the bag and set aside on a plate in the fridge. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Pour the marinade into a small sauce pan and set aside. In a medium pot, prepare the rice according to package instructions. Substitute 1/4 of the water for the rice with the coconut milk. While the rice is cooking, fill a medium-sized pot with water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the broccoli florets and cook for 3-4 minutes, until tender, but still firm and green. Drain them and return them to the pot; cover and set aside to keep warm. When the rice reaches the last 12 minutes of cooking, throw the chicken on the grill and grill until tender and cooked through. Set it aside on a plate; cover with foil. In the meantime, bring the marinade to a boil—this will become a sauce for the dish, but you MUST boil it for AT LEAST 2 minutes to make it safe to consume (it’s had raw chicken in it, so you have to cook that out over high heat). Once it’s boiled for a few minutes, add a little coconut milk to tone it down (it’s very flavor-packed)—you can also add a splash of water. Add cornstarch-and-water mixture to thicken if needed. Keep over low heat, stirring occasionally. When the rice is done, add all of the remaining ingredients (seasoning, zest, coconut) for it and mix. Plate the chicken, rice, and broccoli, and serve with cilantro, lime wedges, and the marinade-turned-sauce. 
The curry and lime are the prominent flavors in this meal, but the coconut and mixture of cumin, coriander, and tumeric add depth to the dish. The sauce is powerful on its own, but perfect drizzled over the rice and chicken, and of course the broccoli, which soaks it right up. Definitely a dish with some new and unique flavors (at least for our family), and definitely a winner.
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