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Chicken and Coconut “Paella”

Chicken and Coconut "Paella"

Tonight’s dinner was another winner from this cookbook! Tyler really named it right! The flavor is a lot different than what I normally make, and we loved it. The rice gets really creamy from the coconut milk, and the crust on the chicken is wonderful. It stays really moist, and the salad is the perfect compliment to the dish.

Chicken and Coconut "Paella"

Chicken and Coconut “Paella”
Tyler’s Ultimate: Brilliant Simple Food to Make Anytime

¼ cup coriander seeds
8 chicken thighs
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely minced
1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1 bay leaf
2 cups basmati rice
1 lemon, zested
1 ½ cups chicken broth
1 ½ cups coconut milk

Pea Salad
1 cup frozen green peas, thawed in a colander under cool water
small handful fresh mint leaves
1 bunch watercress
½ lemon, juiced
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

mint leaves
lemon wedges

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Coarsely crack the coriander in one ot three ways: pulse in a spice grinder; wrap the seeds in a tea towel and crush with a rolling pin or the bottom of a heavy pan; or grind in a pepper grinder on the coarse setting. Season the thighs well with salt and pepper and sprinkle all over with the cracked coriander. Heat a 3-count of olive oil in a large, deep, ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Lay the chicken thighs in the pan, skin side down and give them a good sear for 3 to 4 minutes to develop a nice crust. Turn and cook for 3 to 4 minutes on the other side to brown the meat. Take the chicken out of the pan.

Hit the pan with another tablespoon of olive oil and turn the heat down to medium. Add the onion, ginger and bay leaf and cook, stirring, for 3 to 4 minutes, until the onion is soft but not colored. Now you’ve got all this great flavor going on in the bottom of the pan – chicken drippings, ginger, onion and bay. Add the rice and season with salt and pepper. Stir for a minute or two until the grains are well coated with the oil. Stir in the lemon zest. Now add the broth and coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Tuck in the chicken thighs, put the whole thing in the oven, and bake, uncovered, until the rice is tender and bound by a creamy sauce and the chicken is entirely cooked through, about 30 minutes. Discard the bay leaf.

When the chicken is done, put the peas, mint, and watercress in a bowl. Add the lemon juice, olive oil, and salt and pepper and give it a good toss. Taste for seasoning. To serve, take a big spoon and scoop out some rice and chicken onto each of 4 plates. Garnish each plate with the pea salad.

Serves 4 to 6.

MacGourmet Rating: 5 Stars

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