My food goal for this year is to make more dinners. We eat dinner at home 90% of the time, but we have this tendency to get in ruts really fast and stay in them for a really long time. (Did someone mention tacos?)
There’s certainly nothing wrong with having favorites, but I’d like to get much more adventurous. Not weird adventurous, just different adventurous. Adventurous as in, this tastes new.
I’ve been doing pretty good with my goal so far! (And yes, I know we’re only 14 days into 2014… a lot could go wrong in the next 351 days.) Last week my mom and I made a new lasagna, and a few days ago I made a soup that I’m hoping to be able to share with you soon.
This week I took advantage of the fact that my dad, who doesn’t care for coconut or many other “island-y” flavors, is out of town and made this chicken I’ve been wanting to try for a while. Besides tasting super good, it’s a relatively quick and easy dinner. Always a bonus on a weekday!
This recipe can be made gluten-free if you use certified gluten-free soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce.
For the chicken:
⅓ cup (80 ml) low-sodium soy sauce
¼ cup (60 ml) pineapple juice
¼ cup (50 g) packed dark brown sugar
8 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
4-in piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons natural rice vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
Place all of the ingredients except chicken and salt in the bowl of a food processor, and blend until smooth.
Arrange the chicken thighs in a shallow dish (I like to use a 9×13 baking dish) in a single layer and season with salt and pepper. Cover the chicken in the marinade, flip each thigh to coat both sides, cover the dish with plastic wrap, and allow the chicken to marinate for at least one hour (up to 8 hours) in the refrigerator.
Preheat your grill to medium heat (or you can bake the chicken in the oven at 450 degrees). Remove the chicken from the marinade and allow the excess drip back into the dish. Place the chicken on the grill (smooth-side down) and cook for 5-7 minutes on each side. Alternately, bake the chicken for 20-25 minutes until the internal temperature is 165 degrees.
Meanwhile, transfer the leftover marinade to a small saucepan and boil over medium-high heat until thickened and reduced. Before taking the chicken off the grill, brush each side with sauce.
For the rice:
2 cups jasmine rice
1 cup coconut cream
2 cups water
1½ tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
Place the rice in a large bowl and rinse under cold water until the water runs clear. Swirl the rice with your hands as you rinse… the process will take a few minutes.
Transfer the rice to a pot and combine with the other ingredients. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, give it a quick stir, cover with a lid, and immediately reduce the heat to low. Simmer for about 20 minutes, until the liquid has absorbed and the rice is soft.
Remove from the heat, fluff the rice with a fork, and let it sit, covered, for 15-20 minutes. Time this so that the rice starts resting as the chicken goes on the grill, and everything will come off at the same time!
Serve the chicken with the rice and extra sauce.
Makes 4 servings.