Kathy’s Fragrant Lemon Grass Chicken with Coconut Milk

Kathy Casey is a celebrity chef, mixologist and entertaining expert. She is known as a pioneer in the bar chef movement. Catch Kathy on twitter (@KathyCaseyChef), Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog or find Sips & Apps on Facebook.

Kathy’s Fragrant Lemon Grass Chicken with Coconut Milk

Lemongrass adds fresh lemon and bright flavor to the dish while coconut milk adds creamy. This dish is very flexible—sometimes I like to toss in halves of baby baby bok choy and sliced shitake mushrooms. Young pea vines make for an additional pretty garnish. Serve with Colorful Jasmine Rice for a dish that’s elegant enough for entertaining, yet easy enough for weeknight dinners.

Makes 4 servings

2 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint leaves
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 cup bean sprouts
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 stalk fresh lemongrass
1 Tbsp. canola or vegetable oil
4 Foster Farms boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 Tbsp. peeled and minced fresh ginger
1 Tbsp. minced fresh garlic
1 can (13 to 14 ounces) unsweetened coconut milk
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. Asian fish sauce
1 small yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips
6 baby carrots, halved lengthwise
4 green onions, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
Garnish; baby pea vines (optional), lime wedges for squeezing

In a medium bowl, toss together the mint, cilantro and bean sprouts, set aside. In a small bowl, mix the salt with sugar and pepper flakes; set aside. Remove the tough outer layer of the lemongrass. Smash the remaining stalk with the side of a chef’s knife or a mallet to release the oils. Finely mince and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat. Sprinkle each chicken breast with the salt mixture. Sear the chicken for about 1-2 minutes per side or until lightly browned.

Move the chicken to one side of the pan, add the ginger and garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the coconut milk, soy sauce, fish sauce and lemongrass to the pan. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 5 -7 minutes at a slow simmer. Turn the chicken over and cook for an additional 5 - 7 minutes, or until the chicken is just about done. Then toss in the pepper, carrot and green onions and cook for about 2 more minutes or until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender-crisp. Stir in the lime juice.

Serve the chicken, spooning the sauce and vegetables over the chicken. Garnish each serving with the sprout mixture, pea vines if using and lime wedge. Serve Colorful Jasmine Rice on the side (see recipe below).

Recipe © Kathy Casey Food Studios®



Colorful Jasmine Rice
Makes 8 to 12 servings

Rice
2 cups jasmine rice
3 cups water
1/4 cup diced red onion
1 1/2 tsp. minced ginger
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. finely minced fresh lemongrass
1 fresh or frozen kaffir lime leaf

Confetti
2 Tbsp. very finely minced carrot
2 Tbsp. very finely minced red bell pepper
3 Tbsp. very thinly sliced green onion

To cook in a rice cooker: Rinse the rice in a strainer until the water runs clear. Shake the rice and drain well. Place the rice in a rice cooker with the remaining rice ingredients. Stir well, cover, and steam until tender, following the manufacturer's directions. After the rice is cooked, fluff with a fork and gently fold in the confetti ingredients.

To cook without a rice cooker: Preheat an oven to 400°F. Rinse the rice in a strainer until the water runs clear. Shake the rice and drain well. Place the rice in a large, ovenproof saucepan with the remaining rice ingredients. Bring to a boil over high heat. Stir, then quickly cover the pan with a piece of foil and a tight-fitting lid. Place the pan in the oven and cook for 15 minutes. After the rice is cooked, immediately remove the lid and foil. Fluff the rice with a fork and gently fold in the confetti ingredients.

Serve immediately.

Chef's Note: Fresh lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves can be found at well-stocked produce departments and Southeast Asian grocers. If purchasing a package of fresh lime leaves, use what you need and store the rest in the freezer. If fresh or frozen lime leaves are not available, try to find them dried.


Recipe © Kathy Casey Food Studios®