Make-Ahead Coconut-Poached Chicken with Spring Vegetables and Cashews Recipe

Make-Ahead Coconut-Poached Chicken with Spring Vegetables and Cashews Recipe

[Photograph: Suzanne Lehrer]

Poaching chicken in coconut milk and chicken stock provides amazing tenderness, especially for breast meat, which is usually the quickest to toughen up. The rest of this salad is all crunch: napa cabbage, cashews, and blanched asparagus and green beans, dressed in a simple soy vinaigrette.

If you're feeling adventurous, finely mince the chicken and vegetables and leave the cabbage leaves whole to create a lettuce wrap.

About the Author: Suzanne Lehrer is a writer and recipe developer in New York and a recipe editor for Cooking Channel. When not curating her budding hot sauce collection, she puts her French Culinary Institute education to good use in kitchens all around town. Follow her recipes and cooking adventures at and on twitter @the_suzchef

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  • Yield:serves 2
  • Active time: 15 minutes
  • Total time:25 minutes


  • 1 (15-ounce) can lite coconut milk
  • 1 cup homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 12 ounces total)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 5 ounces string beans, trimmed
  • 1/2 bunch asparagus, woody stems removed, peeled, halved crosswise
  • 4 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons rice wine or brown rice vinegar
  • 1 small head napa (or savoy) cabbage, leaves shredded or sliced
  • 1/4 cup roasted cashews, roughly chopped


  1. 1.

    Bring pot of salted water to a boil. Bring separate large pot with stock and coconut milk to a simmer. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper; add to simmering milk and stock. Chicken should be half way to two-thirds submerged. Cook for 6 minutes on one side over medium heat, then flip, and cook until chicken registers 145° to 150°F on an instant read thermometer, about 8 minutes longer. Cover the pot if the liquid is reducing too much. Let cool slightly, then shred meat with two forks into large chunks.

  2. 2.

    Meanwhile, blanch string beans and asparagus in boiling salted water until just bright green, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Drain and run under cold water. Whisk together soy sauce and vinegar. Toss together cabbage, beans and asparagus and chicken with soy dressing. Scatter cashews over top. Transfer to an airtight container until ready to eat.