Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Put the Lime in the Coconut

 So, as I've mentioned before, one of my favorite cookbooks is @Blanchard's Table.  I actually got this cookbook years before I first used it.  My boss from my first job out of college gave it to me after she went to visit her mother who lived in Anguilla.  Blanchard's Table is a restaurant on the island.  (It's even weirder that my other friends went to the island AND the restaurant.  They also lent me a copy of the Blanchard autobiography "A Trip to the Beach" about the trek from Vermont to Anguilla, and starting a restaurant.  The first 2/3rds of the book is amazing!)

Ok back to the cookbook.  As it might be my favorite cookbook, for certain things I suppose, inside is one of JW's favorite recipes.  Calypso Chicken: [as listed on Blanchard's website: Calypso Chicken: a Caribbean blend of flavors made with ginger, lime and coconut; pan-roasted and served with creamy polenta and a medley of vegetables.....38.00]
Luckily, my chicken doesn't cost $38.  Barely even $10. For 3 people.  And tons of sauce left over. 

I have referenced the NPR story before, but that is where you can find the recipe.  But for those that are lazy (mainly me), here it is, modified for how I make it: 
6 boneless, skinless, chicken breast halves (the thinner the faster they cook)
3 tablespoons plus 1⁄4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk (I like the full fat coconut milk, and reduce the fat in the cream to milk)
1⁄2 cup heavy cream (see above, I use 1% because thats what i usually have)
1 1⁄2 tablespoons freshly grated lime peel
3 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger (I keep forgetting to buy it and just been using powder, NOT THE SAME, but ok)
1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1⁄3 cup cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped (if i have it, if not, I'm not buying it)
3 tablespoons toasted shredded coconut, optional (I put it in the pan with the chicken, and it "toasts" in the juices of the chicken)
Preheat the broiler or prepare the grill. (in my case, a grill pan)
In a large bowl (or a large ziplock baggie), coat the chicken with 3 tablespoons lime juice and the oil. Let marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
In a medium saucepan, whisk together 1⁄4 cup lime juice, coconut milk, cream, lime peel, ginger, salt, and pepper.(use a coated whisk if you are using non-stick!) Heat until small bubbles form around the edge of the pan and set aside. (dont boil. its gross)
Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade, and broil or grill them until cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes depending on size. Reheat the sauce, but be careful not to let it boil. (See, told ya.) Transfer the chicken to individual plates or a serving platter, and spoon the sauce over. Sprinkle with the cilantro and toasted coconut, if desired, and serve immediately.
You see my chicken here with broccoli on the side. Don't do that. It didnt cook. it was gross. you are better off just doing my usual half boil half steam by adding 1" of water to a pan and throwing them in and adding a lid. wait til they are bright green and drain. smoooother in butter S&P!

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