CILANTRO LIME GRILLED CHICKEN WITH PEANUT SAUCE & COCONUT RICE

My husband Tim, the most enthusiastic fan of my cooking, takes pride in the fact that I don’t overcook anything. This holds especially true when it comes to chicken. When my children were young, chicken was their favorite dinner. Tim rarely gets excited when chicken is on the menu. With a little help from butter, white wine, and cream, I can sometimes get him to show some excitement in a chicken dish. In particular, Ina Garten’s Chicken with Morel Sauce is one such dish. Weeknight Red Enchiladas are another. However, it is a commitment to juicy, moist, grilled-just-right chicken that serves to make my chicken different from most. 

Nota bene: This sauce is fine refrigerated for a week. Children love dipping steamed broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower in it.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup lime juice, freshly squeezed

  • 1/2 cup olive oil

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, minced

  • 2 pounds boneless and skinless chicken breasts

  • 1/2 cup salted peanuts, chopped

  • 1 head butter leaf lettuce, leaves intact, core removed

  • 1 1/2 cups jasmine rice

  • 1 (13.5 ounce) can coconut milk

PEANUT SAUCE

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1/2 tablespoon hot sesame oil

  • 1/2 tablespoon dark sesame oil

  • 1/2 small red onion, small dice

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, grated

  • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed

  • 1 tablespoon tamari soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter, preferably unsweetened

  • 1/4 cup ketchup

  • 1 teaspoon sriracha

  • 2 tablespoons sherry

  • 3 tablespoons lime juice, freshly squeezed

  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

 

Directions

1. Whisk the lime juice, olive oil, salt, pepper and cilantro together.

2. Cut the chicken breasts in 3/4 inch wide by 3-inch long pieces and add to the marinade.

3. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.

4. Heat a grill pan to medium-high heat. Add chicken pieces to hot pan and cook, turning after 2 or 3 minutes when side is golden brown. Cook until the chicken is cooked through and other side is golden too. Don't overcook, or the chicken pieces will lose their juiciness.

MAKE RICE

1. Place 1 1/2 cups white, basmati or jasmine rice in a rice cooker (or cook according to instructions in a sauce pan on the stove top). 

2. Add one 13.5 ounce can of coconut milk and 1/2 cup water to the rice.

3. Keep warm until ready to serve.

MAKE SAUCE

1. In a sauté pan, add the olive oil, sesame oils, ginger root, red pepper flakes, garlic and onion. Cook on medium heat until the onion softens and is almost translucent.

2. Whisk the vinegar, sugar, soy sauces, peanut butter, ketchup, srirachia, sherry, and lime juice together. Add to sauté pan and cook, stirring constantly, for about a minute.

3. Remove from heat and cool until ready to use.

TO SERVE

1. Take one lettuce leaf, add a spoonful of coconut rice, two pieces of chicken, a dollop of peanut sauce , a sprinkling of chopped peanuts and fold to eat like a taco.

Serves 6