Off-Season Market Report: Spiced Chicken in Vegetable-Coconut Broth

Off-Season Market Report: Spiced Chicken in Vegetable-Coconut Broth

Feb 2, 2007

[Here on the east coast, as the farmers' markets dwindle down to a just a few little stands, Heidi is going to shift her weekly report to cover recipes, chef interviews and other market-related topics. Have a farmers' market question? email us.]

For some, this is the time of year when senses dull a bit, when lethargy sets in and the desire to spend an entire afternoon in bed really kicks in. But for me this is the time of year when the urge to chop, dice and simmer really hits.

Summer's bounty is enticing, to be sure, but when it's cold outside and your landlord is cheap, sometimes standing in the kitchen over a boiling pot of anything is the only place to be.

You'll need a juicer to make the following Spiced Chicken in Vegetable-Coconut Broth, a recipe adapted from Martha Stewart Living. If you don't have one, make a quick trip to your nearest juice bar. This recipe is perfect for all my fellow members of the I-Hate-Skinless-Boneless-Chicken-Club: the coconut milk ensures the chicken stays moist and all the herbs ensure plenty of flavor. Spend the time toasting the seeds – the effort will pay off in the end.

Spiced Chicken in Vegetable-Coconut Broth
Serves 4

For the Spice Rub:
2 teaspoons whole coriander seeds
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
2 teaspoons sea salt or coarse salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro

For the Chicken:
6 small carrots, peeled and halved lengthwise
2 small sweet potatoes, cut into 2"-long wedges
1 large red onion, root ends intact, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
1 cup light coconut milk
1/2 cup carrot juice
1/2 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (6-8 ounces each)
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro

1. Preheat oven to 325°. Toast coriander seeds, cumin seeds, and mustard seeds in a small dry skillet over medium heat, tossing occasionally, until fragrant, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool. Grind to a fine powder in a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle. Transfer to a bowl; stir in salt, pepper, powdered ginger and cayenne with a fork. Add chopped cilantro; stir to combine.

2. Place carrots, onion and sweet potatoes in a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Stir together coconut milk, carrot juice, and ginger in a glass measuring cup. Pour 1 cup mixture over vegetables, and transfer to oven; cook 12 minutes. Remove from oven.

3. Dredge chicken in spice mixture to coat. Set on top of vegetables; drizzle with remaining coconut-milk mixture. Cook until chicken is cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer chicken and
vegetables to a plate, and tent with foil.

4. Ladle about 1 1/2 cups pan juices into a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer; cook until reduced by half, 6 to 7 minutes.

5. Divide chicken and vegetables among 4 plates; drizzle with sauce. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

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