September 9, 2010

Thai Chicken Skewers with Coconut Curry Dipping Sauce and Curried Rice Salad

The hubs got me a new phone yesterday, and I wanted to get dinner on the table fast so I could go play with it!!! Thankfully, this recipe totally worked out so I had plenty of phone time. :) This meal was super-flavorful and it came together pretty quickly. The chicken recipe actually came to me via Facebook, of all places. Since I follow Weight Watchers, this recipe popped right up on my feed. How convenient! The rice recipe is from the America's Test Kitchen Light & Healthy 2010 cookbook that I am holding hostage from the library. (Someday, I will return it...just not anytime soon!) I love both Indian and Thai curries, and this combination was totally satisfying.

Thai Chicken Skewers with Coconut Curry Dipping Sauce
From: via Facebook

1 can(13 1/2 fl oz) light coconut milk, about (1 3/4 cups)
2 Tbsp cilantro, fresh, chopped, or to taste
1 Tbsp dark brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp red curry paste, Thai-variety
1 tsp ginger root, fresh, grated
1 tsp lime zest
3/4 tsp table salt
2 spray(s) cooking spray
1 pound(s) uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breast, pounded thin, cut crosswise on the diagonal into 16 strips

In a medium bowl, whisk together coconut milk, cilantro, sugar, curry paste, ginger, lime zest and salt until blended; set 1 cup of coconut milk mixture aside for dipping sauce.

Transfer remaining coconut milk mixture to a resealable plastic food storage bag (or shallow glass container with cover). Add chicken to bag (or container), seal and turn to coat; refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 3 hours.

Meanwhile, soak sixteen 18-inch wooden skewers in water for 20 to 30 minutes(to prevent scorching).

Preheat broiler. Line a broiler pan rack with nonstick aluminum foil (or use a nonstick baking sheet coated with cooking spray). Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Thread one piece of chicken onto each skewer and place on prepared pan; coat with cooking spray. Broil, turning once, until chicken is cooked through, about 5 to 6 minutes.

(*****ALTERNATIVE METHOD: Cook the chicken on an outdoor grill or grill pan for attractive grill marks.******)

Meanwhile, bring reserved sauce to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened and reduced to 1/2 cup, about 5 minutes. Arrange skewers on serving platter. Spoon sauce into a bowl for dipping. Yields 2 skewers and about 1 tablespoon of sauce per serving.

Jen's Notes:
I opted to cook my chicken on the gas grill. I think it only took about 5 minutes for perfectly cooked, juicy chicken.


Curried Rice Salad
From: America's Test Kitchen Light & Healthy 2010 cookbook

2/3 cup raisins
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
3/4 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 cups of brown basmati or long-grain rice
salt and pepper to taste
1 onion, minced (about 1 cup)
1 jalapeno chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced
1 teaspoon canola oil
1 Tablespoon grated or minced fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1 garlic clove, minced
3 Tablespoons chopped, fresh cilantro

Combine the raisins, lime juice, and sugar in a small bowl and set aside. Cook rice according to package directions. Cool rice to room temperature and set aside.

Combine the onion, jalapeno, oil and 1/4 teaspoon of salt in a pot. Cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the veggies are softened; about 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in ginger, curry powder, and garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Off the heat, stir in raisin mixture, then transfer to a large bowl and cool to room temperature. Add the rice and cilantro to the bowl with the raisin mixture and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

(The dipping sauce...not the most attractive photo; but it was so yummy!)

The Result:
This was so tasty, and my whole family gave this meal a 'thumbs-up'. The chicken and dipping sauce was so yummy, and in no way a "healthy" sacrifice. I love recipes that are good for you, but still are enjoyable! The curried rice salad was also a big hit. It was tangy, spicy, sweet, tart, savory, and had great texture. It was the perfect side dish to our skewers.

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