Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Coconut Mango Chicken

I love coconuts. It is one of my favorite smells and tastes. I figured coconut milk should make a pretty fantastic marinade for chicken, but then I would need a very sharp, sweet and spicy glaze that would balance the smoothness of the coconut milk. I happened to have a mango, so I gave it a try. There are admittedly a number of steps to this recipe, but none of them are really difficult. Marinade the chicken, sprinkle on a simple dry rub, slow cook, make the mango glaze, slather it on, and blast under the broiler until caramelized. Eat. Yum. This is my favorite way to cook chicken legs and thighs. The slow cooking makes them uber tender, but then a blast under the broiler gives them tons of flavor and make the skins perfectly crispy. I prefer the economical legs and thighs cooked this way to almost any pricier cut of meat. Sometimes it is the humble ingredients that taste the best when you give them some extra love. Coconut Mango Chicken
12 Chicken Legs
1 can coconut milk
Dry Rub:
1 Tbs. paprika
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
dash cayenne
Mango Glaze:
1 mango
1 tsp. fresh ginger
1 lime
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. cayenne
salt and pepper

1. In a large freezer bag, put the chicken and a whole can of coconut milk with about 1 Tbs. salt. Allow to marinate in the fridge overnight. You could give it less time if you want, the longer the better. Up to 24 hours. 2. Place the chicken legs onto a baking tray and sprinkle them generously on both sides with the dry rub. Cover the tray tightly with foil and cook in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour.
3. To make the mango sauce, peel and slice the mango and place into a blender (I used my magic bullet of course). Add coarsely chopped ginger, juice of the lime, sugar and the cayenne. Also add a small sprinkle of salt to bring out the flavors. 4. Blend this mixture until smooth.
5. When the legs are finished slow cooking, remove the foil and drain the liquid that has formed at the bottom of the pan.
6. I like to remove the chicken and put a baking rack onto the pan at this point. Then I place the chicken on top of the backing rack so that the broiler almost mimics a grill. Doing this also quickly dries out the skin so that it gets very crispy, leaving the inside meat nice and tender. This step is optional. You could leave the chicken right on the pan. Slather the chicken with the glaze and place under the broiler.
7. After 10 minutes (or until crispy), flip the legs and glaze the other side. Return to the oven for another 10 minutes (or until they are crispy).
They will be juicy, tender, and a whole lotta delicious.

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