Cilantro Archives | Parsley, Sage, and Sweet

Crunchy Coconut Lime Chicken Strips (or nuggets) for SRC

April 9, 2012 at 11:58 am | Posted in Appetizers, Dinner, Poultry, SRC | 66 Comments
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Crunchy Coconut Lime Chicken Strips with Spicy Yogurt Dipping Sauce

For this month’s Secret Recipe Club, I was assigned the blog, Edesia’s Notebook  (love the name) authored and photographed by Lesa.  For the first time since I joined, I didn’t have the urge to grab some gorgeous dessert, which Lesa has plenty of, and play with it.  Instead, the same thought kept going through my head.

Just.make.dinner.

Crunchy Baked Coconut Lime Chicken Strips with Spicy Greek Yogurt Dipping Sauce.

You don’t often see posts where I just make dinner, nothing fancy, nothing outrageous, nothing you would only make for a special occasion.  It’s not that I don’t have a decent amount of simple recipes, but I just felt the need to cook dinner and blog it.  I chose her Crunchy Lemon Chicken.

Crunchy Baked Coconut Lime Chicken Strips with Spicy Greek Yogurt Dipping Sauce | Parsley, Sage and Sweet

Of course, I ended up futzing with it, because I truly believe it’s nearly impossible for me not to futz with recipes.  I cut each breast into strips, used limes instead of lemons, and added soy sauce and garlic to the marinade.  I also added dessicated coconut to the panko bread crumbs and beat the eggs with coconut water for the breading station.  Add to that a few other minor alterations, like the baking time and temperature, and there you have it.

Otherwise, it’s just dinner, and it was delicious.  I think these are the crunchiest, most delicious baked chicken fingers I’ve ever had, and kids would go absolutely berserk over these.  Just my completely unbiased opinion..I swear.


Even though they were flavorful enough as is, I decided to made a dip to go with them – what I call a garbage dip, where you rummage through your fridge and cabinets and just throw something together.  It was interesting and tasty, (it looks kind of gross in the photos..like Thousand Island dressing that sat out too long, doesn’t it?), but, again, the chicken fingers had so much flavor, it really wasn’t needed.

Crunchy Baked Coconut Lime Chicken Strips with Spicy Greek Yogurt Dipping Sauce.

That said, I hope you try these little delights of crunchy chicken, and I hope you enjoy them!

Crunchy Coconut Lime Chicken Strips or Bites

Adapted from and Inspired by Lesa from Edesia’s Notebook
Yields about 4 servings

2 limes, zested and juiced
1/4 cup light olive oil
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped finely
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 chicken breasts (About 1 lb) cut into 1-inch wide strips.  Cut each strip in half to make ‘nuggets’.
1 1/2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
2/3 cup dessicated coconut shreds
3/4 cup flour
salt and pepper to season flour
2 eggs, beaten with 4 tablespoons of coconut water (you can use coconut milk if you can’t find coconut water)
Oil spray, doesn’t matter what kind

DIRECTIONS:
1.  In a bowl, stir together lime juice, zest, light olive oil, ginger, light soy sauce, garlic and salt.  Add the chicken strips and stir until they’re completely coated with the marinade.  You can also pour the marinade  with the chicken strips, into a ziplock bag, which is what I did.  Marinate for 4 to 5 hours at the most..stirring the strips in the bowl of marinade or squeezing around the bag every hour to an hour and a half to insure even marinating.

2. Line a large baking sheet with foil sprayed lightly with oil. Mix the flour, salt and pepper in one bowl, the beaten eggs and coconut water in a second bowl, and the panko and dessicated coconut in a third bowl. Remove the chicken strips from the refrigerator. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

3. Lift up each chicken strip and shake off some of the marinade so it isn’t overly-saturated  (I just ran two impeccably clean fingers down each strip, sliding off the extra marinade). Coat each chicken strip in flour, knocking off the excess, then dip and coat well in the egg mixture and then dredge it in the panko - dessicated coconut mixture, pressing it onto each strip. Place each chicken strip on the oiled baking sheet and continue until all chicken has been coated.

4.  Lightly spray some oil on the breaded chicken strips, then bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.  IMPORTANT – Do not let them sit on the baking sheet once out of the oven.  Transfer them to a rack if not eating within a few minutes, or the bottoms will get soggy.

Spicy Yogurt Dip
1 cup greek yogurt
2  to 3 tablespoons Asian chile-garlic sauce
1 small handful cilantro leaves, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS|:
1.  Mix all the ingredients together, then cover and refrigerate for a few hours to let the flavors blend.

If you get a chance, please click on the blue frog below to see all the amazing dishes recreated by Group A of The Secret Recipe Club.  Also, click on over to Edesia’s Notebook for some fantastic sweet and savory recipes!

Crunchy, Baked Coconut Lime Chicken Strips with Spicy Yogurt Dipping Sauce

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Let’s talk (or not talk) Thai

January 14, 2010 at 8:10 am | Posted in Appetizers, Asian, Beef, Daring Cooks, Pasta, Pork | 51 Comments
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This is a very rare entry for me….wanna know why?  Because I have nothing to say.  Can you believe it?  ME..nothing to say?  That’s like Michelle Duggar not popping out a kid every 1.5 years.  In any event, this may be the first time I’m actually grateful for blog checking lines.

The January 2010 DC challenge was hosted by Cuppy of Cuppylicious and she chose a delicious Thai-inspired recipe for Pork Satay from the book 1000 Recipe Cookbook by Martha Day.  Thanks for a delicious challenge, Cuppy!

To touch on this challenge, one word..YUM.  I love Thai food, but then again I love all international cuisines.  However, I hadn’t had Thai in a while, so it was a nice change of pace to my dreary meals du jour.  I felt the marinade for the meat had more of an Indian flavor, but pairing it with peanutty saucy goodness helped bring it back.  Satay is great because you don’t need a fork or knife..just a hand and mouth.  Did I ever mention I love food on sticks?

                     Not the presttiest marinade, is it?  Brings the Exorcist to mind.

OK, I suppose I do have a little more to talk about regarding the challenge.  I followed it verbatim, only swaying a bit by making my own sauce in conjunction with the luscious peanut sauce..some of which I poured over udon noodles to serve with the pork satay.  Since I added quite a few Thai chile peppers to the pork marinade and peanut sauce, I thought a nice, cooling yogurt sauce (completely whited out in the photos..go figure – see below) with cilantro, lime, salt and cucumber would be ideal, and my tongue agrees 100%.


On another note, I’ve been having a lot of trouble with photographs lately.  I’ve ended up with ghastly tones, such as blue, green, gray, even when using a white background, in most of my photos.  Yes, I futzed with the white balance, but if you’re a reader of my blog, you know I’m without good natural light, and use 2 Lowel Ego Lights on a regular basis. I don’t know if it’s just one of those crappy phases where nothing seems to turn out right, but if anyone has any tips or ideas when it comes to artificial light.., I’d be eternally grateful (well, at least in spirit).

 

Wow..I feel like I haven’t been here in a long time, even though it’s only been 3 weeks, but then again, 3 weeks is an eternity in the blogging world, isn’t it?  Hmm..I seem to be touching on a lot of ‘eternal’ stuff today, huh?

Oh, did I mention I also made some thinly sliced beef satay?  Yep, I made pork one week, and beef the next.  Are you all yawning yet?  I am.  Don’t forget to check out much prettier and creative takes on the ‘any meat or veggie’ satays by clicking on the links at the Daring Cooks Blogroll.  Until next time, when I KNOW I’ll have lot more to say!

For the recipe and instructions, click HERE.


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Vietnamese Penicillin – This is NOT your Bubby’s Chicken Soup

October 14, 2009 at 6:12 am | Posted in Asian, Daring Cooks, Dessert, Dinner, Lunch, Pasta, Poultry, Soups/Stews, Vegetables | 72 Comments
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One cool aspect of food blogging is that someone in the publishing world might see your blog and think you’ve got the skill, creativity, chops etc..to write and maybe even photograph your own cookbook.  There have been several bloggers who are working on, or have cookbooks published, and one of them just so happens to be this month’s Daring Cooks host, Jaden of Steamy Kitchen.  This gal’s got mad talent, and her blog is a joy to ogle, drool over and read, so I can completely understand why she’s now the author of a cookbook that’ll most definitely sell like hotcakes.  Congrats, Jaden!

pho_ga1

The October 2009 Daring Cooks’ challenge was brought to us by Jaden of the blog Steamy Kitchen. The recipes are from her new cookbook, The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook.  If you’re a lover of Asian food, this book is right up your alley.  If you’re not, it’ll make you one!  *Not so subliminal message*  Buy this Phoking book! :D  Thanks for sharing these recipes with us, Jaden!

spice

As you’ve probably figured out by the title of this entry, we’re making soup, but not just any soup, Vietnamese Chicken Pho soup.  Pho is pronounced ‘fuh’, so you just KNOW I’m going to have a field day with this.  To say this soup is fanphokingtastic is an understatment.  This soup is fanphokingtastic and fanphokingtabulous.  We were given the option of making the chicken aka Pho Ga soup (I’m assuming ‘Ga’ means chicken??), or Jaden’s beef version..not to mention seafood, pork  or vegetarian/vegan if desired.  I decided to stick with the chick, but I’ll most definitely be trying her beef version, especially after smelling, tasting, almost wanting to bathe in, the chicken version.

soup_accoutrements

Straight from the mouth of Jaden - So what is Vietnamese Pho? Well, it’s like the most insanely delicious noodle soup popular in Vietnam. The broth is simmered for hours and hours with either beef knuckle/leg bone or with a whole chicken. Other accompaniments include ribbons of rice noodles, fresh herbs like cilantro or basil, a wedge of lime or lemon, fresh bean sprouts and fresh sliced chilies if desired.

What makes Pho so different than any other type of noodle soup is the spices that go into the simmering broth. Warm spices like coriander, star anise, cloves, cinnamon, fresh ginger transform an ordinary broth into a very authentic Vietnamese Pho.

pho_ga

Jaden also gave us a choice of making her quick version of Pho Ga or making her long simmering pot of homemade stock ‘version’.  Since I had several quarts of homemade chicken stock in my freezer, I decided to make the quick version.  This frozen stock is the bee’s knees (first time I ever used that phrase..swear on it), and most definitely Bubby’s version..so I suppose you could call my Pho Ga Jewishnamese Penicillin.

What makes this soup so special, as mentioned above, whether it be the long, simmering version, or the quick version, is the spices and aromatics.  OH.MY.GOD, the smell of this soup simmering will you bring you to your bee’s knees (second time).You char an onion and a knob of ginger, scraping off the charred skins, and toast some star anise, coriander seeds and cloves, then dump them into a pot along with sugar, fish sauce, a whole chicken and water (long, simmering version) or chicken stock and one whole chicken breast (shorty).  Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer, and VOILA, phoking heaven with lots of phoking accoutrements and a damn good cure for my cold (on it’s last legs, but still annoying).


Finally, Jaden also has a great recipe for chocolate wontons which we were asked to make along with the soup.  The fun part is..whoever comes up with the most unique, creative sweet wonton filling, will win a copy of her new cookbook.

Well, IS THERE ANY AWARD FOR THE LEAST UNIQUE AND CREATIVE WONTON FILLING??  If so, I WIN!

I took a Snickers bar, chopped it into pieces and that’s my filling.  Gotta admit, it was really phoking good!  ALRIGHT, ALRIGHT, ALRIGHT, you know me..I couldn’t just sit with that, so I also made some unique PB & J (My spiced plum chutney from the Dosa challenge, hot chili peanuts and coconut) mini eggroll wontons at the last minute (try 10 minutes ago).  Now, I feel better.  Disturbing, huh?  Truth is..they sucked, but I tried.

plumwonton2

As always, please check out the Daring Cooks Blogroll for all the cool Pho’s and super creative sweet wontons.  I saw some in the Daring Kitchen forum, and I know one thing for sure..Phogeddaboutit, I ‘ain’t’ winning squat! lol

Pho Ga (Vietnamese Chicken Soup)

Chicken Pho Broth:
2 tbsp. whole coriander seeds
4 whole cloves
2 whole star anise
2 quarts (2 liters/8 cups/64 fluid ounces) store-bought or homemade chicken stock
1 whole chicken breast (bone in or boneless)
½ onion
1 3-inch (7.5 cm) chunk of ginger, sliced and smashed with side of knife
1 to 2 tbsps. sugar
1 to 2 tbsps. fish sauce

1 lb. (500 grams/16 ounces) dried rice noodles (about ¼ inch/6 mm wide)

ACCOMPANIMENTS:
*2 cups (200 grams/7 ounces) bean sprouts, washed and tails pinched off
Fresh cilantro (coriander) tops (leaves and tender stems)
½ cup (50 grams/approx. 2 ounces) shaved red onions
½ lime, cut into 4 wedges
Sriracha chili sauce
Hoisin sauce
Sliced fresh chili peppers of your choice

DIRECTIONS:
1.To make the Chicken Pho Broth: heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add the coriander seeds, cloves and star anise and toast until fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. Immediately spoon out the spices to avoid burning.

2.In a large pot, add all the ingredients (including the toasted spices) and bring to a boil.

3.Reduce the heat to medium-low and let simmer for 20 minutes, skimming the surface frequently.

4.Use tongs to remove the chicken breasts and shred the meat with your fingers, discarding the bone if you have used bone-in breasts.

5.Taste the broth and add more fish sauce or sugar, if needed. Strain the broth and discard the solids.

6.Prepare the noodles as per directions on the package.

7.Ladle the broth into bowls. Then divide the shredded chicken breast and the soft noodles evenly into each bowl.

8.Have the accompaniments spread out on the table. Each person can customize their own bowl with these ingredients.

* I LIKE the tails on the bean sprouts, so I chose to leave them on.

Chocolate Wontons
1 large egg
1 tbsp. water
12 wonton wrappers, defrosted (keep wrappers covered with damp towel)
12 pieces or nuggets of chocolate (use any type of chocolate you like)
High-heat oil for frying (i.e., vegetable oil, corn oil)
Confectioners’ sugar (icing sugar) for sprinkling

DIRECTIONS:

1.In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and water to make an egg wash.

2.On a clean, dry surface lay 1 wonton wrapper down witha point toward you, like a diamond.

3.Place 1 piece of chocolate near the top end of the wrapper.

4.Brush a very thin layer of the egg wash on the edges of the wrapper.

5.Fold the bottom corner of the wrapper up to create a triangle and gently press to remove all air from the middle. Press the edges to adhere the sides. Make sure the wrapper is sealed completely.

6.Repeat with the remaining wrappers and chocolate pieces.

7.Keep the folded chocolate wontons covered under plastic wrap or a damp paper towel to prevent them from drying.

8.In a wok or medium pot, pour in 2 inches (5 cm.) of high-heat oil.

9.Heat the oil to 350º F (180º C) and gently slide a few of the chocolate wontons into the hot oil. Make sure you don’t crowd the chocolate wontons.

10.Fry the wontons for 1 ½ minutes, then flip over and fry another minute until both sides are golden brown and crisp.

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