I always have my eye out for new ways to flavor chicken. We tend to eat far more chicken than beef and despite our preference for the more flavorful thighs and legs, the taste profile of chicken is not particularly sophisticated.
Fortunately, we have discovered that chefs from Africa and the Middle East use more spices to flavor their chicken dishes. This delightful recipe for Kenyan Coconut Chicken surfaced recently from the talented chefs at Chris Kimball’s Milk Street.
While my husband prefers the creamier texture of Melissa Joulwan’s West African stew, this slightly spicier version dazzles the palette. Either one of these recipes is sure to create a meaningful dining experience for family and friends.
Kenyan Coconut Chicken
- 2 pounds chicken thighs (boneless and skinless) halved and patted dry)
- kosher salt and ground black pepper
- 2 Tablespoons neutral oil
- 4 garlic cloves (medium) chopped
- 2-3 jalapeño pepper stemmed, seeded and finally chopped
- 1 Tablespoon fresh ginger finely grated
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 14 ½ oz. can of diced tomatoes
- ½ cup coconut milk
- ½ cup water
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 cup fresh cilantro lightly packed
- Heat 2 oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the chicken and brown without disturbing for 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a bowl and repeat with the remaining chicken.
- To the skillet, add garlic cloves, jalapeño pepper, fresh ginger, coriander. Cook, stirring until fragrant – about 30 to 60 seconds.
- Stir in diced tomatoes with juices, scraping up any browned bits and then stir in coconut milk and ½ cup of water.
- Stir in the chicken and any juices, then cook, uncovered, stirring and flipping occasionally, until a skewer inserted into the largest piece meets no resistance- about 20 to 25 minutes.
- Off heat, stir in the lemon juice and cilantro. Taste and season with salt and pepper.