Garden Hard, Eat Hearty: Island Chicken

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Island Chicken has all the zing, tingle, and tang of the tropics. Lay it out on a bed of rice, and pour yourself a beer.

Serves 6

The many ingredients here make for a sensational tropical treat. All you’ll need to accompany it is plenty of white rice and beer. You may marinate the chicken and prepare the sauce a day ahead if you like.

6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves


•1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, loosely packed
•2 large garlic cloves
•1 lemongrass stalk, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
•1 shallot or 2 scallions, quartered
•3/4 cup canned light coconut milk
•1/4 cup peanut oil
•2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
•1/2 teaspoon salt
•1/2 teaspoon pepper


•3 cups chicken broth
•2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced


•1 cup fresh shiitake mushrooms
•1 large carrot
•3/4 cup snow peas
•1/2 red or yellow bell pepper
•2 celery stalks
•3/4 cup bean sprouts
•1 ripe tomato
•2 tablespoons olive oil
•1 tablespoon sesame oil
•2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
•1 garlic clove, minced
•1/2 cup chopped cilantro
•1 tablespoon soy sauce
•1 tablespoon unsalted butter
•2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1. Place the cilantro, garlic, lemongrass, and shallot in a food processor or blender, and pulse for about a minute, scraping down the sides as necessary. Transfer to a large baking dish, and stir in the coconut milk, oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Add the chicken breast halves and coat well. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

2. Remove the chicken and refrigerate. Place the marinade, chicken broth, and ginger in a saucepan, and boil 20 to 25 minutes, or until reduced to 1 cup. Skim off the fat and strain.

3. Cut the mushrooms, carrot, snow peas, peppers, and celery into julienned strips, keeping each kind of vegetable and the bean sprouts separate. Slice the tomato in half crosswise and squeeze out the seeds; chop the flesh coarsely.

4. Heat the olive oil in a wok or large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the chicken 4 to 5 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Remove and slice into 1/2-inch strips. Keep warm.

5. Heat the sesame oil in the same wok or skillet over high heat. Stir-fry the mushrooms and carrot for 1 1/2 minutes. Add the remaining vegetables, except for the tomato pieces, and stir-fry for 1 1/2 minutes longer. Mix in the ginger and garlic, and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato and cilantro, and cook for 1 minute. Add the soy sauce and blend. Remove the pan from the burner.

6. Reheat the strained sauce over medium heat. Whisk in the butter and lime juice. Serve the chicken over white rice with the stir-fried vegetables and sauce.

Per serving: calories, 555; fat, 31 g; cholesterol, 128 mg; sodium, 885 mg

Click here for the original article, Garden Hardy, Eat Hearty: Burn Calories While Gardening.

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