This is another one of my recipes that’s been gestating for quite some time. Indeed I cooked the first version of it over 2 years ago, whilst I was blogging about my weight loss in early 2017. Whilst I was happy with that first incarnation at the time it didn’t quite feel complete. I shared the recipe on my old blog – and was very proud of what was then fluffy coconut rice – but after making a second time I felt it wasn’t quite complete.
I’ve tried a couple more variations since – all of which have suffered from a similar sensation. The chicken was moist and full of flavour, but the overall dish was lacking something. I tried serving it with an Asian-style Slaw – which is good enough to have its own recipe, even if the chicken kebabs weren’t – as well as salads and stir-fried vegetables. It turns out that the accompaniments weren’t the issue. The lack of a sauce was…
In all of the earlier versions I would discard the marinade before cooking the kebabs. Whilst the chicken had no lack of moisture of flavour it ended up sitting alongside the other components on the plate. Adding a sauce brings everything together – turning separate parts into one whole. I’d been throwing away the solution to my problem time after time. If I’d have poured it into a pan with a little bit more coconut cream and lime juice then this recipe would have been published months ago!
It’s sometimes easy to forget how important a sauce can be in a recipe. Think of a roast dinner without gravy. The separate parts may well be fine on their own but a splash of gravy brings them together. In this case a little bit of sauce goes a long way. It’s not a wet dish, like a curry or stew, but has a few drops of extra sauce dotted around the plate. A few little bursts of flavour that link each mouthful of food with the next. As is so often the case it’s the little things that can make all the difference.
Thai-Spiced Chicken Kebabs with Sticky Coconut Rice
for the Chicken Kebabs
- 1 clove Garlic peeled and crushed
- 5 cm Ginger Root peeled and grated
- 1 stalk Lemongrass minced
- 1 Red Chilli deseeded and finely chopped to taste
- 1 Lime juiced and zested
- Handful Coriander Leaves chopped
- 2 tbsp Coconut Cream
- 300 g Skinless Chicken Breast Fillets
for the Sauce
- 2 tbsp Coconut Cream
- 1 Lime juiced
- Remainder of marinade from Chicken
for the Coconut Rice
- 150 g Jasmine Rice
- 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
- 250 ml Good Quality Chicken Stock
- 3 tbsp Coconut Cream
- 1 pinch Sea Salt to taste
- 1 pinch Black Pepper to taste
Marinate the Chicken
- Put the garlic, ginger, lemongrass, chilli, lime zest and coriander leaves in a pestle and mortar and crush until it forms a smooth paste. Pour in the coconut cream and lime juice and mix well.
- Bash the chicken breast fillets until they’re around 1cm thick, then put into a bowl or zip-lock bag. Pour over the marinade and mix to ensure that the chicken is well coated. Cover and leave to marinate for an hour in the fridge.
Cook the Chicken and Sauce
- Pre-heat grill or griddle pan to a medium-high heat. Oil the griddle pan as needed.
- Remove the chicken from the marinade and shake off any excess, keeping it for later.. Spray the chicken with a little bit of oil (if grilling) then cook for 12-15 minutes until cooked through. You’ll want to turn the chicken regularly to avoid it burning, but a few charred edges aren’t a problem at all.
- Stir the reserved marinade into the additional coconut cream and lime juice. Add to a pan over a medium heat and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat and cook until a thick coconut glaze. Keep warm, stirring frequently to ensure it doesn’t catch on the pan.
Prepare the Rice
- Whist the chicken is cooking you can prepare the rice. Start by rinsing the rice in a sieve under cold running water until it runs clear.
- Put a small amount of oil in a saucepan over a moderate heat. Add the rice and stir for a couple of minutes to allow it to take on some of the heat of the pan. Pour in the chicken stock and coconut cream, then bring it to a gentle simmer. Cover and cook over a low heat for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid sticking.
- Remove from the heat when cooked and fluff the grains with a fork. Allow to rest, still covered, for a few minutes before serving.
|Estimated Values Per Serving|
|of which Saturates||19||g|
|of which Sugars||6||g|