Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Grilled Chicken with Toasted Chiles, Coconut Milk, Lime, and Crushed Peanuts

McHubby takes the credit as the primary cook this time. He selected the recipe and did most of the work to prepare the dish, which was delicious! After making the sauce last night, we were able to grill the chicken tonight and quickly assemble the dish.

I have to say that the sauce required the most time and effort in preparing this recipe. The sauce is the key element of this dish—it’s where the flavor is. It has a delicate, smooth, buttery sweet flavor. The gorgeous orange-red color comes from the blend of the
chiles and turmeric. The peanut-cilantro garnish perfectly complements the flavor of the sauce in this tasty dish.
For the sauce:
3 dried New Mexico chiles
2 tablespoons mild vegetable oil, such as canola
1 small red onion, coarsely chopped3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 (14-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk
¼ cup canned cream of coconut
Juice of 1 lime, or more to taste
1 tablespoon honey
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the chicken:
¾ cup roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
8 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
Olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the sauce:
Heat your grill to high or heat a heavy skillet on the stove.

Place the chiles on the grill and toast on each side for 20 seconds. Remove from the grill, discard the chile stems and seeks, and coarsely chop the chiles. Leave the grill on if you’ll be cooking the chicken right away.

Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until soft, about 7 minutes; do not brown. Add the turmeric and cook for 1 minute. Add the coconut milk, cream of coconut, and chiles and cook for 10 minutes.

Transfer the mixture to a blender and blend until smooth, or use a handheld blender in the pot. Add the lime juice and honey and blend again. Strain the mixture into a bowl and season to taste with lime juice, salt, and pepper. (The sauce can be made a day in advance, covered, and kept refrigerated. Rewarm before serving.)

For the chicken:
Heat your grill to high.

Combine the peanuts and cilantro in a bowl and toss together. Brush the chicken on both sides with oil and season with salt and pepper.

Grill the chicken until browned and firm, about 3 minutes. Turn the breasts over, reduce the heat to medium or move to a cooler part of the grill, and cook until just cooked through, about 3 minutes more.

Remove the chicken to a platter or serving plates and drizzle with the sauce. Sprinkle the peanut-cilantro mixture over the chicken and serve immediately.

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