I am always looking for different ways of making chicken. Chicken is easy, cheap and can take on unique flavors, especially if you are creative with your sauces. This recipe is a great example of taking ordinary chicken and making an extraordinary flavor combination through the sauce. The combination of garlic, ginger, onions, tomatoes, chilies, fresh lime juice and spices goes perfectly with the coconut milk. This fragrant dish is perfect to serve with some steamed rice and veggies like broccoli. It’s a bit like a chicken curry, but with a twist that will appeal to non-curry eaters. I decided to bake chicken in a coconut chili sauce to keep the skin crispy and golden brown. The sauce comes half way so you are actually ‘braising’ the chicken in the oven. When the chicken is done it will be super tender with a golden brown skin. I used chicken thigh meat because of the deeper flavor, but you can use chicken breast meat if you prefer. Don’t be shy with the sauce, as I said, it’s the best part!
Baked Chicken with Coconut Chili Sauce
- 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 2 1/4 pounds)
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
- 2 jalapeno chillies, stemmed, seeded, and minced
- 2 plum tomatoes, cored and minced
- 1 small red onion, minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 (14-oz.) can coconut milk
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Finely chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
- Chopped toasted peanuts, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Season chicken with salt. Heat a large, heavy ovenproof skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium-high heat (Note: if you don’t have a large ovenproof skillet, use a regular skillet and then transfer the chicken to a baking pan). Swirl in oil. Cook chicken, skin side down, until browned, about 5 minutes. Flip chicken, and cook it for another 5 minutes. Remove chicken from the pan.
- Drain excess fat, reserving 1 tablespoon. Add the turmeric, garlic, chiles, ginger, tomatoes, and onions and cook, stirring often, until the onions are tender, about 5 minutes. Add lime juice and coconut milk, bring to boil and simmer for couple of minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Return chicken to a pot. Spoon some of the coconut sauce over the chicken.
- Transfer skillet to oven. Roast, until chicken is cooked through, about 25-30 minutes. Baste the chicken with coconut sauce halfway through.
- Garnish with cilantro and peanuts. Serve with steamed rice.