Thursday, February 2, 2012
Grilled Chicken with Tamarind and Coconut Glaze
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...We had a glorious day today. Our sky was the color of the aquamarine I wear around my neck and the clouds that could be seen held no hint of rain. It remained chilly but the cold spoke to sweaters rather than ski parkas or slickers and umbrellas. At some point, after a lunch that I had planned to feature here tonight, I had a thought that refused to be dismissed. My brain, keenly attuned to the day's weather, kept urging me to grill. Now that is not as crazy as it may sound. The climate here is such that, save for heavy rain, there is nothing to prevent us from grilling year round, and I have, on occasion, been seen tending the grill with a fork in one hand and a golf umbrella in the other. As it happened, this was a perfect day to fire up the grill. I had clipped, actually copied, some recipes the last time I was at the library and there was one of them that I was especially keen to try. The recipe had been developed by Bonnie Stern, a prolific Canadian food writer, and I thought it would be a perfect match for the ingredients I had sitting in my refrigerator. She uses a marinade made with tamarind concentrate and coconut milk to flavor boneless chicken thighs. I had both on hand because I do so much Asian cooking and that meant I could proceed without a trip to the store. The marinade comes together in about 5 minutes, though the chicken needs to soak in it for a considerable amount of time, that can range from four to eight hours. Even with the long marination, I could have dinner on the table at a sensible time, so I decided to proceeded with the chicken. The only change I made to the original recipe was to cut back on the amount of cayenne pepper it called for. Now I hope you are ready for a recipe alert. I'm not always a fan of grilled food but this chicken made my socks go up and down, and I really think that those of you who try this will love it. Instructions for cooking it indoors are included in the recipe below, so those of you who are still shoveling snow from your driveways won't have to wait for spring to enjoy it. I served the chicken with steamed snow peas and a pineapple rice. I'll post the recipe for the rice sometime next week. This chicken is really, really good. Here's the recipe.
Grilled Chicken with Tamarind and Coconut Glaze...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Bonnie Stern via Friday Night Dinners
3/4 cup coconut milk or unflavored yogurt
2 tablespoons tamarind paste
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon garam masala or ground cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne (I used 1/4 teaspoon)
12 boneless chicken thighs (with skin or skinless)
1 lemon, cut in wedges
Sprigs of fresh cilantro
1) In a large bowl, combine coconut milk, tamarind paste, garlic, salt, garam masala and cayenne. Add chicken and turn to coat well with marinade. Cover and refrigerate for
4 to 8 hours.
2) Grill chicken for 8 to 10 minutes per side. (You could also brown chicken in a skillet on stove, place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and finish cooking in a 375 degree oven for 20 minutes, or until thoroughly cooked.)
3) Garnish with lemon wedges and cilantro. Yield: 6 servings.
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