Friday, April 22, 2011

Spicy Chicken with Mango and Cashews

I started out with a recipe for Black Pepper Chicken with Mango that I saw in the New York Times - but when the sauce started coming together, it wasn't very interesting.  So, I started adding spices to make it more curry-like.  I also added coconut butter (see note at the end of this post).  The coconut butter added an incredible richness that's hard to describe - but it was so yummy!  If you don't have coconut butter, coconut milk can be substituted.

Spicy Cashews:
1 tablespoon coconut oil (or olive oil)
1 tablespoon coconut palm sugar (or brown sugar)
1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup roasted, unsalted cashews

2 tablespoons coconut oil (or olive oil)
1.5 - 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon tumeric
2 tablespoons dark rum
1/2 teaspoon finely minced ginger (I use a microplane)
1/2 cup finely chopped scallions
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoon coconut butter (* see Note below)
2 medium sized mangoes, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 - 1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
half a bunch cilantro, chopped
prepared brown basmati rice

Prepare Spicy Cashews: Heat about 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat.  Add palm sugar, teaspoon pepper, cayenne, salt to the oil and stir, add cashews.  Cook nuts until golden, about 2 - 3 minutes.  Spoon nuts into a bowl and set aside.

Wipe out the pan with a paper towel.  Return the pan to medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoon coconut oil and allow to heat for a minute.  Add chicken (use a big enough pan so that the chicken fits all in one layer).  Add sea salt, pepper, cinnamon, cumin, cardamom, and cayenne and stir to cover the chicken.  Cook, stirring frequently, until chicken is golden brown and nearly cooked through (10 - 12 minutes).  Add rum, ginger, garlic, and scallions, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, until rum is nearly evaporated, about a minute.   

Add stock and coconut butter stir to incorporate, then simmer for a few minutes.  Add mango, vinegar, and cilantro.  Taste for seasoning and adjust.  Serve over brown basmati rice.

- substitute extra-firm tofu for the chicken, cut into large cubes
- use 1/2 cup coconut milk instead of coconut butter

*Note: coconut butter is a very new product for me.  Recommended by my friend Vasudha.  I used Artisana brand, made from 100% certified organic coconut, with no preservatives or other additives.  It is made from the whole coconut, not just oil.  You will find coconut butter in the grocery stores with all of the other nut butters.

Coconut butter is solid below about 80 degrees - set the jar in a bowl of hot tap water to soften.  Stir the contents of the jar and then dip the yummy goodness out with a spoon.  Add just a tablespoon at a time, to see if you like it.

1 comment:

  1. too funny! i was thinking of having a chicken and rice dish tonight and, believing the concept to be too bland, spiced it up into something different.

    great minds think alike!