This one pot dish was creamy, flavorful and absolutely delicious. The spices had a great balance with the richness of the coconut milk. I served it with roasted asparagus on the side. It was a perfect springtime dinner.
The recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit, contributed by Shayma Owaise Saadat. I modified the proportions and method. I also swapped spinach for the kale. I increased the amount of leafy greens but would add even more next time! The original recipe notes that canned chickpeas can be substituted for the chicken to make a vegetarian version.
Yield: Serves 6
- 1 1/2 cups white basmati rice
- 2 T grapeseed or vegetable oil
- 2 medium or 1 large shallot, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken thighs (I used 9)
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 3 tsp kosher salt, divided
- 1 13.5-oz can unsweetened coconut milk
- 6 to 8 cups of thinly sliced spinach or 4 cups Tuscan kale, ribs and stems removed, leaves thinly sliced crosswise into strips
- store-bought sliced pickled red chiles, for serving, optional
- lime wedges, for serving, optional
- Place rice in fine mesh sieve set inside a medium bowl; pour in cold water to cover.
- Agitate rice with your hands until water is cloudy. Drain and repeat until water is almost clear (about 3 to 5 times). Drain.
- Pour in water to cover rice by 2 inches; let soak 30–45 minutes.
- Heat oil in a large heavy pot with a wide base over medium-high. (I used an enameled cast iron pot.)
- Add shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 1-2 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring until softened, about 1 minute.
- Using paper towels, pat the chicken dry.
- Add chicken, turmeric, cayenne, and 2 teaspoons of salt to the shallots and garlic. Cook, turning and moving around chicken thighs as needed, until chicken begins to turn opaque, about 2 minutes.
- Pour in 3/4 cup water and bring to a simmer.
- Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer, turning chicken once, until chicken is cooked through and very tender, about 20 minutes.
- Remove the lid of the pot and wrap it with a kitchen towel, securing the corners up and over the top of the lid with a rubber band.
- Drain the rice and add to pot with chicken, then add coconut milk and remaining 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir to incorporate and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to lowest setting and cook, undisturbed, 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Remove towel and lid. Remove towel from the lid.
- Arrange spinach (or kale) in an even layer over chicken and rice and cover with lid. Let sit until wilted, about 10 minutes.
- Top with chiles, if using. Serve with lime wedges.