Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Pistachio Crusted Chicken with Coconut Ginger Sauce and Lemon Rice

I love nut crusted anything.  Especially pistachio crusted chicken.  This is an easy do it yourself recipe with a little twist:  a rich coconut drizzle that is out of this world!  This dish is so packed with flavor that when I made it, everyone stuffed themselves silly.  I hope you find a place for this rich decedent meal at your dinner table.

Crunchy chicken over a citrus cilantro rice drizzled with coconut sauce:  to die for!
Sauce Ingredients:
1tbs butter
1tsp lemongrass (I use Gourmet Garden Lemon Grass Paste found in the refrigerated section)
1 heaping tbs ginger, minced
1c white wine
2c chicken stock (I use Rachael Ray because it's gluten free)
2tbs Red Thai Curry Paste (I use Thai Kitchen)
1 can coconut milk
3tbs packed brown sugar

Chicken Ingredients:
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded out for even thickness
1c buttermilk
8oz roasted and salted pistachios
1/2c parmesan cheese
1tsp dried thyme
1/2c white rice flour (use regular flour if you aren't gluten free)
Olive oil or grapeseed oil

Rice Ingredients:
4c cooked white rice
2-3tbs butter
juice of 1 lemon
large handful cilantro, chopped
salt, to taste

1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add butter, lemongrass, and ginger.  Cook until fragrant and sizzling.  Add wine and reduce by half.  Add broth and curry paste and reduce by half again.  Add coconut milk and reduce by half a third time.  Add brown sugar and taste and adjust seasonings as needed. (Can make ahead of time and refrigerate - warm before serving)
2. For the chicken, marinate in buttermilk for an hour in the refrigerator.  Meanwhile, grind pistachios, thyme and parmesan in a food processor until finely ground.  Place in a large bowl. 
3. Preheat oven to 400F.  Place a large skillet with some grapeseed oil in it and turn to medium high.  Place flour into a bowl and dredge chicken into the flour.  Then dip one side of the chicken back into the buttermilk and top generously with pistachio mixture.  Cook pistachio-side down in a saute pan until browned on both sides.   Remove and place on a baking sheet.  Repeat with each of the chicken breasts.
4. Finish cooking in the oven until cooked through, about 10-15 minutes.  (TIP:  If your pistachio chicken starts to fall apart in the pan or if you don't want to pan fry it:  Don't panic!  Just move it to the baking sheet and cook in the oven for longer.  Make sure you spray or drizzle the top of the chicken with oil to help it brown in the oven since you won't be doing it in the pan.  Your chicken will take 20-25 minutes to cook).
5. While your chicken is in the oven, prepare the rice:  Warm rice with butter and lemon in a dish in the microwave.  Stir and add chopped cilantro.  Season with salt.
6. Serve chicken over rice.  Drizzle with amazing coconut sauce.  Enjoy this little piece of heaven!

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