I seem to be on a meal sharing kick lately. We’ve been doing a lot of running around the last couple of weeks and so we’ve been making “fast food.” Last week it was fish and a side dish (Go here for Meal 1 and Meal 2). This time it’s chicken and rice with a tropical twist. The inspiration for this meal came from a pack of boneless skinless breasts languishing in the fridge and a mango I had bought intending to use in a smoothie . We sliced the breasts into thinner fillets so they cooked quickly without drying out. It also helps keep the portions a reasonable size, since chicken breasts are so large now. Add a salad or other green vegetable and tropical chicken with coconut mango rice will please everyone in the family.
Don’t you love a good seasoning blend? They make life so much easier, don’t they? Just pull the bottle from the cupboard and shake, shake, shake. The blend for the tropical chicken comes from this recipe by Leanne Ely. It made it into my cache of scanned recipes from this summer. I’ve changed the proportions a bit to suit my family. Please feel free to do the same when you mix it up. This is a nice blend to use for chicken or fish. If you have the time, mix a larger batch so you’ll have it ready to use. If you have a Caribbean blend already on hand, feel free to use that instead of mixing the spices. It will be good.
We’re going to make a pan gravy, so a mix of butter and olive oil is nice to use. Feel free to use all olive oil if you prefer.
For the rice, fresh or frozen mango will work. This post talks about how to cut a fresh mango if you need a refresher. I found coconut milk in the Asian section of the store. The lite coconut milk will work fine, but I think the regular coconut milk makes a better tasting rice dish. We like basmati or jasmine rice for this, but any rice will work. Make sure to adjust the cooking liquid if needed.
Steam some broccoli raab or green beans for a vegetable and your meal is complete.
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon smoky paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1½ cups rice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 can (about 14 ounces) unsweetened coconut milk
- Chicken broth and/or Water to make up the volume of liquid to about 3 cups total
- salt to taste
- 1 large mango, peeled and diced (about a cup of fruit)
- zest of a large lime (use the juice from the lime to make the pan sauce)
- chopped cilantro for garnish
- 2 boneless skinless breast halves (about a pound), trimmed and sliced longways into thin fillets
- 1 tablespoon butter (add more if needed when making the pan sauce)
- 2 tablespoon oil
- ½ cup chicken broth
- juice of a large lime
- Mix up the spice blend first and set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan with a tight fitting lid.
- Add the rice and stir to coat thoroughly.
- Add the cooking liquid (the coconut milk and water) when the rice begins to change color.
- Allow it to come to a boil.
- Reduce heat to a simmer.
- Add the mango, lime zest and about ½ teaspoon of spice mix.
- Taste and add salt as needed.
- Stir well and cover the pot with the lid.
- Cook for about 15 - 20 minutes until the liquid is absorbed.
- Trim and slice the chicken into thin fillets. Season on both sides with the spice mix.
- After the rice has been cooking for 10 minutes, heat the butter and olive oil in a large skillet.
- Add the chicken, in batches if necessary, and cook for a couple minutes on both sides. It won't take long to cook through because the pieces are thin.
- Remove the chicken to a plate while you make the pan sauce.
- Add the lime juice and chicken broth to the skillet. Use a whisk to mix up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan.
- Simmer gently and allow to thicken slightly. Add more butter if you want the sauce to be richer.
- Keep an eye on the rice and remove from the heat if needed.
- Return the chicken and any juices to the pan.
- Turn the chicken in the pan sauce to coat well.
- Before serving, stir in a generous handful of chopped cilantro to the rice.