One-Pot Coconut Chicken over Jasmine Rice
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This recipe will deliver you a steaming, fragrant bowl of coconut-scented chicken and rice spiked with ginger, sweet bell peppers, and cilantro. Feel free to add a chile or two. As with any of the braises in Poulet, you can use thighs rather than a whole chicken. Just be sure to keep the skin above the liquid in the pot so that you don’t miss out on the delicious crispness of the final results.
One-Pot Coconut Chicken
One 2 to 4-1/2 lb/1 to 2 kg chicken
1 tbsp peanut oil
One 13.5 oz/400 ml can unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 head garlic, cloves chopped
One 6-in/15 cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
3 cups/255 g chopped bok choy
1/2 red or orange bell pepper, cut into bite-sized chunks
1/2lb/225 g shiitake mushrooms, brushed clean, trimmed, and coarsely chopped (about 5 cups)
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tbsp Thai fish sauce (substitute soy sauce if necessary)
2 cups/480 ml water
1/4 cup/10 g chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup/10 g chopped cilantro leaves
Flaky salt for finishing
Preheat the oven to 450°F/230°C/gas 8. Set the chicken on the countertop for 30 minutes or so to take the chill off before cooking.
Heat the peanut oil in a 12-in/30-cm or larger cast-iron frying pan or a 5-qt/5-l or larger Dutch oven. Set the chicken in the pan and cook over medium heat until nicely browned on the sides and bottom, about 10 minutes. No need to brown the top. Transfer the chicken to a plate and pour off any excess fat in the pan.
Skim the fat from the top of the can of coconut milk and add the fat to the pan along with the garlic, ginger, bok choy, bell pepper, mushrooms, and turmeric. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the bell pepper and mushrooms are soft and the garlic is fragrant. Stir in the fish sauce, coconut milk, and water. Return the chicken to the pan, breast side up.
Put the chicken in the oven and braise, uncovered for 30 minutes before either inserting an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of a thigh or cutting into a thigh with a pairing knife. The thermometer should register 175°F/80°C. If using a knife, look for clear, not red or pink, juices running from the spot where you pierced the meat and opaque, barely pink flesh at the bone. If the chicken isn’t done, cook for 5 to 10 minutes longer and check it again.
When the chicken is done, remove the pan from the oven and let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before you carve it . (Do this right in the pan, if you can manage.) Pour the liquid from the pan into a fat separator. (You can also use a heatproof jar and use a spoon to skim off as much of the fat as possible.) Serve with plenty of the sauce, the mint and cilantro, and a pinch of flaky salt.
The best jasmine rice comes from Thailand and has a date on the bag. Jasmine rice served with spicy Asian dishes should not be salted.
1-1/2 cups/285 g jasmine rice
3 cups/720 ml water
Rinse the rice in a colander under cold running water until the water runs clear. Drain off any remaining water and transfer the rice to a saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Add the 3 cups/720 ml water, place over medium heat, cover, and cook until the rice is tender and the water has evaporated, 12 to 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving.