Hey, I’ve got a treat of a recipe for you. Easy & quick, healthy and just full of flavor. A little creamy, a little spicy and probably a little different than your every day fare.
Unless you’re from Guatemala. Which brings me to the question of what peppers to use since I don’t have any Guatemalan peppers. I chose a couple of jalapenos for some mild heat and a little habanero for fruitiness.
Another potentially difficult to find item is Achiote (Annatto) to lend a little earthiness and a gorgeous color. I subbed in a little turmeric & paprika instead. If you’re so inclined, you can add in a little Sazon if you keep it in your pantry. It gives a lot of zippy flavor. I would have mixed up my own blend, except I needed the Annatto. Next time I’m near a Mexican market, you know what I’ll be buying – it’s worth searching out and keeps for years.
So here it is, an absolutely gorgeous dish, with a lovely presentation. Serve it with a little rice. Line a small measuring cup with a little plastic wrap, pack you rice in. Turn it upside down on the plate and give it a little tap. With a little luck you’ll end up with a nice, neat little pile. Maybe even neater than mine, what can I say! 🙂
As for cost, this is a pretty inexpensive dish. I watch for low prices on coconut milk and stock up. I often see it in the carts or shelves at the store full of gourmet ingredients priced for a quick sale. Chicken breasts generally reach a low price each quarter. Watch for it on sale and buy and freeze. Depending on where you are, you might see peppers on sale by the pound or per pepper. Since they last a good long time in the fridge buy what you need for the current week and a couple for the following.
Guatemalan Chicken in Coconut Milk
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided plus a little more if necessary
- about 2 pounds chicken breast, cut into small bite sized pieces
- salt & pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon annatto seeds (or 1/2 teaspoon turmeric & 1/4 teaspoon paprika)
- 1 large onion, diced finely
- 2 to 4 jalapenos, seeded and cut into a fine dice
- 1/2 to 1 habanero, finely minced
- 1/2 red bell pepper, cut into strips, then into 1 1/2″ pieces
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed coriander seed
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 2 – 13.5oz. cans coconut milk; may use less for a thicker stew
- ¼ c minced cilantro or parsley for garnish
Working in batches, if necessary, in a heavy pot over medium high heat, heat one tablespoon olive oil. Add chicken and cook turning as necessary, until chicken is golden brown. Remove to a plate and tent to keep warm.
Turn heat down to medium low and add the remaining tablespoon oil. Add annatto, stirring for a minute. Remove the annatto. Add the onion and peppers and cook several minutes until the onion is translucent and the peppers are softening. Add garlic and spices (including the turmeric and paprika if you didn’t use the annatto) and cook, stirring for about a minute.
Return chicken to the pot and stir to coat chicken. Add coconut, anywhere from 1 1/2 to 2 cans according to your preference. Simmer about 10 minutes to blend flavors. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Garnish with parsley or cilantro and serve with rice.
I’ll be bringing this to Fiesta Friday, hosted this week by Laura @ Feast Wisely. Make sure to visit Fiesta Friday this week – I’ve already seen several wonderful St. Patrick’s day recipes among the recipes and do visit Laura and her delightful blog.