Spicy, aromatic, rich and, best of all, fast. This chicken and vegetables with coconut cream is an ultra express version of my mixed vegetables with coconut cream.
Chicken thigh fillet strips are sautéed then boiled gently with parboiled vegetables in coconut cream. Chicken fillets, especially when cut into thin strips, cook in a few minutes. The chilis add just the right amount of heat. The kaffir lime leaf gives this dish a wonderful aroma and subtle citrus flavors. And while nothing compares with freshly extracted coconut cream, sometimes, life’s realities demand that we indulge ourselves with small modern conveniences like canned or powdered coconut cream.
Including preparation time, this chicken and vegetables dish cooks in less than 20 minutes.
- 2 medium potatoes peeled and diced
- 1 to 2 medium carrots peeled and diced
- 2 eggplants diced
- 3 to 4 chicken thigh fillets (skin on), cut into half-inch strips
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 shallots (or one onion), finely sliced
- one-inch piece ginger julienned
- 2 ripe tomatoes roughly chopped
- 3 finger chilis cut into halves diagonally
- 1 pair kaffir lime leaves torn
- 2 tablespoons vegetable cooking oil
- patis (fish sauce) to taste
- 1 cup coconut cream (fresh, canned or diluted powdered form)
- snipped cilantro to garnish (optional)
Boil about three cups of water in a pan. Add the diced carrots, potatoes and eggplants — in that order with a three minute interval between additions. The carrots take longest to cook and the eggplants require the least cooking time so, by adding them to the boiling water in that order, chances are they will all cook at the same time.
While the vegetables cook, heat the cooking oil in a shallow pan (a wok works best). Saute the garlic, onions, tomatoes, ginger, chilis and kaffir lime leaf until fragrant. Add the chicken strips, season with fish sauce and cook, stirring often, for four to five minutes which should be enough time to cook the chicken through.
When the vegetables are done, drain them and refresh in cold water. Drain well.
When the chicken is done, pour in the coconut cream and bring to a gentle boil. Add the cooked vegetables, cook just until reheated, then turn off the heat. Taste the sauce, add more fish sauce, if necessary.
Transfer the chicken and vegetables with coconut cream sauce to a shallow bowl, top with snipped cilantro, if you like, and serve hot. Best with rice.