Serious Eats: Recipes

Turmeric-Coconut Chicken and Rice

[Photograph: Max Falkowitz]

This is not your typical chicken and rice dish, but it may be my new favorite. The chicken is cooked two ways: first braised on the bone in rich coconut milk, steeped in turmeric and chile; then broiled (or grilled!) until crispy. Meanwhile, the rice is cooked in the coconut milk, with some greens thrown in for good measure. Lastly, the whole thing is crowned with fried shallots, scallions, and chiles, along with a dribble of sriracha and lime juice.

The flavor is deep and rich, more complex than the simple spicing would suggest. The secret, if there is one, is to use the best turmeric you can find. Whole fingers, freshly grated, are best. If you must use pre-ground, try to get some that was ground recently. Good coconut milk helps, too. My absolute favorite is fresh, uncanned coconut milk sold frozen in blocks. It's extremely rich and very coconutty. Canned coconut milk is also fine; imported Southeast Asian brands tend, in my experience, to be better than their Western counterparts.

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