Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Crispy Spiced Chicken with Coconut Veggie Rice
It really makes me feel better when I read other cooks admitting to having severe lapses of laziness. I'm feeling really lazy this week, to the point where I've actually chosen to exercise the past two nights instead of making dinner. This may sound weird coming from someone who loves to cook, but I don't think it is. The fact is wether you love to cook or not, sometimes just the thought of digging out a pan is enough to make you want to hide in the closet with a bag of Fritos and a six pack, which I've also done before, except on the couch.
Anyway, I'm finally up to cooking tonight, mainly because I found a recipe that includes the veggies in the rice, keeping me from having to cook two side dishes (a culinary 2 in 1!) I adapted it from a lovely Food and Wine book my mom gave me years ago called 'One-Dish Meals.'
I actually found that the chicken cooks better when you brown it off in the oven after searing while the rice and veggies finish on the stove (no hardship on my part, given the fact that I can sit down and drink some wine, while the magic happens.) Not to mention the fact that the pan searing/oven roasting combo makes the chicken skin extra crispy (almost chip like!), which let's face it, is the only way to eat it, if you're going to eat it...
Indonesian Coconut Rice with Chicken and Zuchinni
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 bone in, skin on chicken breasts (actually and technically - two SPLIT chicken breasts, skin on and bone in)
1 teaspoon salt, plus 1 1/2 - 2 teaspoons
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
2 teaspoons ground cardamom, plus 1/2 teaspoon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander, plus 1/2 teaspoon
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
1/2 cup minced shallots or onions
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 (13) oz can light coconut milk (or regular)
2 small yellow (summer) squash, diced
1 carrot, diced
1/3 cup green beans, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 3/4 cups low sodium chicken stock
1 1/2 cups long grain rice
Remove chicken breasts from fridge and set out for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350. Meanwhile, season your chicken breasts with 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon cracked pepper, 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom, 1/2 coriander, and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Heat a large dutch oven over medium, high heat. Add oil, and allow to heat through - about 1 minute.
Add chicken breasts, skin side down, and let cook for 10-12 minutes (lowering heat slightly if it begins to smoke/spit too much) until skin is a nicely bronzed golden brown. Flip to the other side, and cook another 8-10 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare an aluminum foil-lined, rimmed baking sheet to transfer chicken to, sprayed with nonstick spray.
Transfer chicken to baking sheet and put in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.
Meanwhile, add your shallots to the same dutch oven, seasoning with another teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper, and 1 teaspoon garlic powder. Cooking, stirring every so often, for 5-6 minutes until softened. Add the squash, carrot and green beans and cook another 5 minutes. Stir in the rest of the seasonings (the cumin, additional coriander, cardamom, and cinnamon) and rice and cook one more minute. Stir in the coconut milk and chicken stock, raise heat and bring to a simmer. Stir well, and cover, stirring every so often to keep bottom from sticking until rice is cooked - about 15-20 minutes. Taste for salt, adding any more if necessary, and serve alongside the crispy chicken.