Recipe: Ginger and Coconut Chicken

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28 Feb Recipe: Ginger and Coconut Chicken

Ginger Coconut Chicken

I’m not sure whether I should hug Bal Arneson or smack her with a cookbook. Her No Butter Chicken from Everyday Indian is my husband’s favourite chicken dish. He loves it so much that while he was holed up in the living room recovering from knee surgery, with nothing but 4 walls, 21 surgical staples and 2 cats for company, he must have requested it for dinner at least once, if not twice — a week.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s quick, versatile and absolutely delicious. In fact, it’s one of my own favourites. But three weeks into his recovery and I had the recipe memorized.

While I was happy to make Andrew something he liked, especially a fast, no-fail dish that wouldn’t tap my already depleted energy, after the first dozen No Butter Dinners, I met his 13th request with “AGAIN?!” I usually reserve such exasperation for KFC orders. He looked at me from the single bed, wedged between the piano and corner bureau, and said in the wobbly voice of the seriously injured, “But I really like it.”

Fine. As I stomped off to make supper he called after me, “It’s your best recipe!” Uh, no darling. It’s not my recipe. It’s Bal’s. I’ve just made it so often the line between us blurred. Then it hit me. For almost 2 years, my husband has been drooling over another woman’s dish.

And I’m not sure how I feel about that.

So when Bal’s Quick & Healthy Indian arrived, I looked for a new chicken recipe to undo the spell he’d fallen under. Ginger & Coconut Chicken jumped out at me. I love ginger. I love coconut. This just might do the trick. I used tinned coconut milk since fresh is impossible to get this time of year, extra big coconut flakes normally reserved for my homemade granola and garnished it all with my beloved cilantro. The results? Subtle but alluring. Without onions, garlic or hot pepper, this dish is fragrant and aromatic. Almost like perfume. While Andrew still prefers the spicy No Butter Chicken, I have a sister who claims food is too hot if you so much as put the pepper mill beside it. This gentle dish is right in her wheelhouse.

Great. Now my spice-phobic extended family will worship Bal, too.

Before I introduce this recipe to anyone else, let’s set some ground rules. Bal can own chicken, but ice cream? That’s my territory.

Ginger Coconut Chicken2

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8 Comments
  • Melissa Pollock
    Posted at 09:03h, 28 February Reply

    I am going to a pot luck this weekend and I was thinking I would take a rice noodle salad. Something that hints of spring and easy on my hostesses wheat free needs. Then I read this!!! I am torn! What do I make???? My mouth is watering. My grocery list is ready, the bags are by the door, I must give this recipe a test run tonight! Or should I make the No Butter Butter Chicken?

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 09:30h, 28 February Reply

      Rice noodle salads aren’t my thing, so I am biased. I think a lot depends on who your guests are. My sister finds the No Butter Chicken a bit hot (she is on the extreme end of heat sensitive) while it’s my husband’s dish of choice. I have brought the dish to pot lucks and it went over big, but my friends like a bit of spice.

      Costs play a factor too. Chicken isn’t a cheap way to feed a crowd.

      Sorry I can’t help you more. Have fun at your potluck!

  • Monica Bhide
    Posted at 14:44h, 28 February Reply

    Yummy! Will have to try it.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 21:27h, 28 February Reply

      I think you’ll appreciate the subtle use of spice in this one, Monica. To be honest, I wondered if the lack of onion AND garlic (I can see one or the other) would result in a boring dish, but this was very aromatic and fragrant. Subtle but seductive.

  • Mama Kelly aka Jia
    Posted at 20:32h, 28 February Reply

    This sounds heavenly!! I planned to pick up chicken as well as more canned coconut milk this weekend. Now I know what I’m making!!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 21:28h, 28 February Reply

      I thought it was a lovely change from the highly spiced curries I enjoy. Bal had me at ginger and coconut. Hope you like it too.

  • Sally - My Custard Pie
    Posted at 21:43h, 28 February Reply

    I’ve not heard of Bal but must rectify. We’re a spicy family but I often have guests who are like your sister so I’m bookmarking this for them. What do I ‘own’? You’ve got me thinking now.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 23:46h, 28 February Reply

      I was thrilled to find a no-heat dish that wasn’t bland. Without the hot spices, it reminded me bit of Jasmine tea — fragrant without being sharp or soapy. I hope your guests enjoy this aromatic dish.

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