I don’t know what it is about the last couple of weeks, maybe its just because we have more time to cook on a Friday, Saturday, Sunday but the last two weekends have resulted in truly amazing meals, last weeks were from Ocado’s magazine that they deliver free with the shopping and this week I found the recipes all on Pinterest. They are so delicious that I just didn’t know in which order to bring them to you, so I have started with Hubby’s favourite of the three, the chicken cooked in coconut milk.

This dish couldn’t be easier, all you have to do is fill a heavy casserole pan with coconut milk, spices and herbs, bung the chicken in, turn on the heat, and leave it to do its thing, well apart from a little basting every 20 minutes, but thats not exactly hard work is it! Hubby just kept setting the timer every 20 minutes so that he remembered to do it and what you are left with is a yummy succulent fall-off-the-bone chicken.

I think the hardest bit about this recipe was the browning of the chicken at the beginning, always a messy thing to do !

The sweet and pungent flavours of coconut milk, lemongrass and star anise, served over rice compliment the chicken so well, it is a one-bowl meal complete with wilted greens and a delicious soupy coconut sauce. As the weather is rather grotty, cold and wet this is a fabulous warming dish that is perfect for Spring as it is not too heavy and rich, but it will warm your cockles nicely 🙂

If you have time season it a day ahead, it isn’t essential, but adds to the depth of flavour. You will need a heavy pot that will hold the chicken snugly, such as a Le Creuset casserole pan, it will weigh a tonne so be careful.

So here’s hoping that the sunshine may soon return to us, but hopefully the promise of two more stunning dinner recipes and hopefully at some point a lovely gluten free peach cake, that I have just brought the ingredients for to make for a friend will be enough to maybe brighten your day a little.

Buon appetito

chicken cooked in coconut milk

Serves 4 to 6

1 whole roasting chicken
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cinnamon stick
2 whole pieces star anise
1/2 cup roughly chopped coriander stems
1 large lemon, cut into eighths
1 stalk lemongrass, 5 inches of white part only, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
6 to 8 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 tin coconut milk
3 cups torn greens (spinach, kale, chard, mizuna, etc)
2 spring onions, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
Chopped coriander, to garnish
Cooked rice, to serve

Pat the chicken dry and sprinkle it liberally with salt and pepper. Put the chicken, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours, or if you’re going to cook it right away, set it aside while you prepare remaining ingredients.

When ready to bake the chicken, preheat the oven to 190C/375° F.

Melt the butter in a large pan over medium heat, then add the oil. Put in the chicken, breast side up, and let it sizzle for about 30 seconds. Carefully flip the bird and crisp the other side for another 30 seconds. Remove the pan from the heat, put the chicken on a plate, and pour off the the fat in the pot.

Transfer the chicken back into the pot, breast side up, and add the cinnamon stick, star anise, chopped coriander stems, lemon, lemongrass, garlic and coconut milk. Cook, uncovered, in the preheated oven for 60 to 90 minutes (depending on size).

chicken cooked in coconut milk

Spoon the sauce over the top of the bird to baste every 20 minutes or so.

The chicken is done when an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thigh reads 74C/165°F. We just followed the cooking times on the chicken packaging.

Remove chicken from the pot and put it on a plate. Pull out and discard the cinnamon stick and star anise. Put the pot with the sauce back on the stovetop over medium heat, add the spinach and stir until just wilted, about 10 seconds.

Carve the chicken and serve each piece over rice with sauce spooned over the top. Garnish with chopped spring onions and coriander leaves.

chicken cooked in coconut milk