Saturday, December 29, 2012

Caribbean Coconut Chicken with Lime

We went to the British Virgin Islands in November and I came across a book in the airport called 'A Trip to the Beach' about a couple from the US that moved to the Caribbean to open a restaurant. I loved the book and the tales of their adventures as they chased their dreams of opening a small restaurant on the beach of Anguilla in the BVI. I loved the book so much that I also bought their cookbook, At Blanchard's Table.
On our last night with all the family together for the holidays we decided to make their Calypso Chicken with Lime. It was a huge hit with everyone! We changed it a little to add a kick of spice, but this certainly didn't distract from the tropical flavors and memories of the Caribbean that it brought us back to.

Caribbean Coconut Chicken with Lime

Serves 6

1 lb chicken tenders, or slice 4 chicken breasts into strips
3 Tbsp plus 1⁄4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1⁄2 cup heavy cream
1 1⁄2 Tbsp fresh lime zest
3 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 1⁄2 tsp salt
1⁄2 tsp black pepper
1⁄3 cup chopped cilantro
3 Tbsp shredded coconut, toasted

Preheat the broiler or prepare the grill.

In a large bowl, coat the chicken with 3 tablespoons lime juice, EVOO and jalapenos. Marinate for 30 minutes.

In a medium saute pan, whisk together 1⁄4 cup lime juice, coconut milk, cream, lime zest, ginger, salt, and pepper. Cook on medium heat until small bubbles form around the edge of the pan and set aside. Turn heat to low.

Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade, and broil or grill them until just about cooked through, 2-3 minutes per side. Add chicken to coconut sauce on stove top over low heat. Mix in cilantro. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes, or until chicken cooks all the way through.

Serve over Cilantro Lime Rice (recipe below), spoon extra sauce over chicken and sprinkle with toasted coconut.

For dessert, we selected another recipe from the cookbook for a fresh Lemon Mousse.

Cilantro Lime Rice

2 cups basmati rice
4 cups chicken broth
1 tsp salt
1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 green onion sprig, chopped
Juice from 1/2 lime

In a rice cooker, combine rice, broth, salt and EVOO. Once rice is ready, mix in cilantro, green onions and lime juice. Mix well and set aside until ready to serve.

Variations - Think think this dish would also be wonderful with the following revisions:
  • Sub the chicken for sauteed snapper.
  • Sub the chicken for grilled swordfish.
  • Kick up the heat by adding diced jalapenos into the rice when you add the cilantro and green onions.

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