I usually like recipes with lots of wow factor, but every once in a while, I just want a really simple, but flavorful meal. When I saw the recipe for Five-Spice Coconut Chicken, by Leah Holzel in Every Day with Rachael Ray's August 2007 issue, I thought I should give it a try on a weeknight when simple was key. I'm so glad I tried it because it was crazy good!
You won't believe how much flavor is in the chicken breasts with so few ingredients and such a small marinating time. The rice and peas round out the meal nicely, but allow the chicken to really be the star. This could easily be made within 30 minutes, but I made brown rice that took longer than that to cook.
This "back to the basics" recipe reminds me of why I started making Rachael's recipes in the first place. She makes it easy for people like me to create a simple and healthy meal. Here's the recipe with my comments in brackets:
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 10 min
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened coconut milk [this was cheaper than I thought it would be.]
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon lime juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 1/2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder
1 teaspoon salt
8 boneless chicken thighs (about 2 pounds total), pounded flat [I don't do chicken thighs, so I used breasts instead. I should have pounded them thinner.]
1/2 pound sugar snap peas
Cooked white rice, for serving [As noted above, I used brown rice since it's healthier.]
1. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon coconut milk, 1 teaspoon honey and 1 teaspoon lime juice. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine the remaining 1/3 cup coconut milk, 2 tablespoons honey and 1 tablespoon lime juice with the soy sauce, garlic, five-spice powder and salt. Add the chicken thighs, coating well. Marinate for 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add the sugar snap peas and cook for 1 minute; drain. Transfer to a medium bowl and toss with the reserved coconut-honey dressing.
4. Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium. Grill the chicken thighs for about 4 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Serve with the sugar snap peas and rice.