The wonderful flavors of southern India - coconut milk, dried Thai chiles and coriander seed - provide a pleasant punch to a basic chicken breast. Although the ingredients look exotic, this is a deceptively easy dish you'll be proud to serve to guests. Feel free to use different cuts of chicken, bone-in or boneless; just adjust the cooking time accordingly. You can also grill the chicken.
Yield: 4 servings
Active Time: 10
Total Time: 50
- 1 tablespoon yellow split peas
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1-2 dried red chiles, such as Thai, cayenne or chiles de arbol
- 1/4 cup “lite” coconut milk, (see Ingredient note)
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
- 4 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, (1-1 1/4 pounds total), trimmed
- Toast split peas, coriander seeds and chiles in a small skillet over medium heat, shaking the pan occasionally, until the split peas turn reddish-brown, the coriander becomes fragrant and the chiles blacken slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool for 3 to 5 minutes. Grind in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle until the mixture is the texture of finely ground pepper.
- Combine coconut milk, ginger, garlic, cilantro, salt and the spice blend in a shallow glass dish. Add chicken and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
- Preheat broiler. Coat a broiler-pan rack with cooking spray. Place the chicken (including marinade) on the rack over the broiler pan. Broil chicken 3 to 5 inches from the heat source until it is no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear, 4 to 6 minutes per side.
Tips & Notes
- Make Ahead Tip: The chicken can be marinated (Steps 1-2) overnight.
- Ingredient Note: Look for reduced-fat coconut milk (labeled "lite") in the Asian section of your market.
Nutrition Bonus: Potassium (16% daily value).
Exchanges: 3 1/2 very lean protein, 1/2 fat