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Thai Coconut Chicken

Have you ever perused a recipe and wondered how that specific combination of ingredients could possibly taste good? When that happens to me I usually feel compelled to make it as soon as possible. This particular recipe has been on the site and deserved a remake as it was my most consistently made dinners when we were first married (8 years certainly does fly). If you read it through and feel your forehead wrinkling due to the unusual combination of ingredients, you’re going to have to trust me. I could eat this sauce with a spoon.
Though I made it in the past with whole wheat pasta, this time I used gluten free. It worked well, and I’d assume zoodles would work, too. This is one of those recipes that can be customized in certain areas, but not others. Namely, don’t touch the sauce. It’s a perfectly balanced blend of salty, sweet, and spicy with big flavor hits from the garlic and ginger. Can you sub garlic or ginger powder? Yes, but as I’ve said before, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Lastly, make sure to use the coconut milk that comes in a can, not the carton found in the dairy section. Though Leo gobbled this up, Tessa complained about the kick (man I can’t wait till this girl wises up). If you envision this being the case for your young ones, omit the crushed red pepper.
Thai Coconut Chicken
Serves 2 -4
4 oz. (about 1/4 of a box) spaghetti or linguini (GF or WW will work fine)
4 c. broccoli florets
1 c. thinly sliced bell pepper
2 chicken breasts, cut to 1 in. squares
3/4 c. light coconut milk
1 tbsp. tomato paste
3 tbsp. peanut butter
1 tbsp. fresh ginger
4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
1 bunch scallions, light green and green parts only, thinly sliced.
1. Cook pasta in salted (about 1 tsp.) boiling water until al dente. Reserve 1 c. pasta water and drain.
2. In a large glass bowl, place broccoli and peppers. Add 1/4 c. water to the bowl. Microwave for 3 minutes, stir, and microwave for another 3 minutes until crisp tender. Drain of excess water and set aside.3. In a mixing bowl, whisk coconut milk, tomato paste, peanut butter, ginger, garlic, pepper and 1/4 tsp. salt until combined.
4. In drained pot over medium high heat, spray nonstick spray. Add chicken along with remaining 1/4 tsp. salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink.
5. Add coconut mixture, vegetables, and pasta to pot with chicken and stir to combine. Let cook until heated through. If mixture seems dry, add reserved pasta water, 1 tbsp. at a time. Serve, topped with scallions.

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