Thai Grilled Coconut Chicken + Hearts of Palm Stir-Fry

Note: Cafe Drake HRV intended to grill the lightly spiced Thai chicken for our house guests, but a summer thunderstorm necessitated baking instead and then finishing the poultry under the broiler. Results=Fantastic!

Basically, the recipe consists of a marinade. In a blender or Magic Bullet combine 5 cloves of minced garlic, 1 T. (yes, a tablespoon) of ground white pepper, 1 t. salt, 2 t. turmeric powder and 1 cup thick coconut milk (canned variety). Process until smooth and pour over 2 1/2 - 3 lbs. of skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs. We throw it all in a bag at Cafe Drake HRV and then double bag. Place in fridge overnight or up to 24 hours. Now and then, when you think about it, gently massage the marinade into the chicken by rubbing and flipping the bag.

After AT LEAST 8 hours of marinating in the fridge, remove chicken from bag; shake off excess marinade from each piece and either grill or bake on a large cookie sheet at 400 degrees F. for about 35 minutes. When the chicken is cooked through, if using the oven, place under the broiler for a couple of minutes to brown and crisp the skin. Sprinkle the chicken with a finishing salt just prior to serving. Excellent hot or cold.

Our Hearts of Palm Thai Stir-Fry is quite salty so serve as a side dish along with plenty of steamed rice:

A principal charm of this dish is the juggernaut of complex flavors accomplished in so little cooking time, however you'll need to do all prep work prior to hitting the stove. Once you've assembled all ingredients, heat 2 T. vegetable oil in a skillet over a medium flame. Fry 2 cloves of chopped garlic until golden brown and then immediately add: 4 small red or green hot chilies (finely chopped), 1 can of hearts of palm (drained and cut into 1" thick rings), 1 T. soy sauce, 1 t. sugar, 2 T. whole green peppercorns (drained), 1/2 each of a small red and green bell pepper (cut into very thin slices), 3 T. water or vegetable stock and 5 or 6 kaffir lime leaves (sliced in to ribbons). Raise heat to high and stir-fry until peppers begin to lose their rawness. Remove from heat and stir in about 15 Thai basil leaves (or substitute regular basil).


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