Braised food

DIY coconut milk enhances braised chicken

We liked this with coconut rice, but the plain rice is good too.

Colombian Coconut Braised Chicken

Start to finish: 40 minutes. Servings: 4

1½ cup unsweetened grated coconut

2 tablespoons of grape seed oil or other neutral oil

1 teaspoon of ground turmeric

1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped

8 medium garlic cloves, chopped

1 tablespoon of tomato paste

1½ teaspoons ground allspice

1 tablespoon of soy sauce

Kosher salt

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed

1 tablespoon lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving

1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes, cut into wedges

In a blender, combine the coconut and 2 cups of lukewarm water. Let stand until coconut begins to soften, about 1 minute. Blend on high power until creamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Pass through a fine mesh colander set over a large measuring cup or medium bowl, pressing down on the solids; you should have 1½ cups of filtered coconut milk. Discard the solids; set the coconut milk aside.

In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, heat oil until sparkling. Stir in the turmeric and cook until fragrant and the oil turns yellow, about 30 seconds. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and allspice until combined, then stir in the coconut milk, soy sauce and 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil, nestle chicken in an even layer in liquid, then cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until chicken is no longer pink when cut, 18 to 22 minutes, turning pieces halfway through cooking.

Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a bowl. Bring liquid to a boil over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, until thickened and reduced by about half, about 12 minutes. Pour in the accumulated chicken juice and simmer for another minute. Off the heat, stir in the lime juice and tomatoes. Taste and season with salt, then return the chicken to the pot, turning it to coat. Cook until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve with lime wedges.