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  • Recipe Room  »  Coconut chicken with spicy cucumber ribbons



    • 2 x 270ml cans coconut cream
    • ¼ cup (75 g) of your favourite #curry paste
    • ¼ cup (approx. 45 g) finely chopped fresh ginger
    • Inner hearts of 3 stalks of lemongrass, finely chopped
    • 1/3 cup finely chopped coriander
    • 8 chicken chops (partly-boned leg and thigh portions), or 8 chicken thighs
    • A few lacy coriander leaves (and, if you are lucky enough to have them, coriander flowers too), to garnish
    • Cooked jasmine rice, to serve

    Spicy cucumber ribbons:

    • 800g Lebanese cucumbers, washed and dried
    • 2 tablespoons light olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons very finely shredded ginger
    • 1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
    • 1 tablespoon rice (or white wine) vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon caster sugar
    • 2 small red chillies, finely chopped
    • 3 teaspoons sesame oil
    • Up to 1 tablespoon lime juice
    • Sea salt, to taste

    # I use Patak’s terrific Tikka Masala curry paste for this

    Coconut chicken with spicy cucumber ribbons

    Coconut chicken thumbnail

    The marinade for this scrumptious dish only takes a few minutes to make, then all you need do is pop the chicken into it the night before you need it, make sure it’s well coated (and covered, or your fridge will smell rather exotic!) and leave it until you’re ready to cook it.


    In a large bowl, thoroughly mix together the coconut cream, curry paste, ginger, lemongrass and coriander.

    Line a lidded container large enough to hold the chicken chops with a large sturdy plastic bag. Sit the chicken pieces in the bag and scoop in the marinade. Tie a knot in the top of the bag, then squish it about in your hands so that the chicken is thoroughly coated in the marinade. (Make sure you use a good strong bag for this or, as I’ve found to my cost, the bag could tear as you squish the chicken about, making a rather horrible mess!). Put the bag back into the container and cover it tightly with a lid. Now just pop the lot into the fridge for at least 3-4 hours or, better still, overnight. If you remember, give the chicken pieces another squish from time to time.

    When you’re ready to cook the chicken, preheat your oven to 190C. Line a shallow baking tray with baking paper and sit the chicken pieces on it, skin-side up. Squeeze any leftover marinade in the bag over the chicken. Slip the tray into the oven and cook the chicken for about 40 minutes, until it is deep golden brown on top.

    While the chicken is cooking, make the cucumber ribbons. To do this, run a vegetable peeler repeatedly down the length of a cucumber to form long narrow ribbons, stopping when you get to the seeds. Rotate the cucumber and do the same again. Repeat with the remaining cucumbers, then put the ribbons into a large bowl, cover them with plastic film and chill them. (I discard the seedy cores and the first ribbons on each side as they are all skin and a bit chewy.)

    When the chicken is nearly done, combine the olive oil, ginger, garlic, vinegar, caster sugar, chilli and sesame oil in a small saucepan. Sit the pan over medium heat and bring the mixture to the boil. As soon as it boils, remove it from the heat and stir in a little of the lime juice. Taste it and add salt and more lime juice, if necessary. Pour this over the cucumbers and thoroughly mix it in.

    When the chicken is ready, sit one or two pieces on each plate and scoop a tangle of cucumber ribbons alongside. Finish off with a sprinkling of coriander leaves (and flowers if you have any). This is delicious with a bowl of jasmine rice. Serves 4 hearty eaters or 6 lighter ones.

    Submitted by
    Belinda Jeffery

    Tips and Tricks

    • Chicken can be stored in your fridge for up to 2-3 days. If you’re not planning to use it within this time, chicken can be stored safely in your freezer with a clear label of when it was purchased.

    • Store any leftover coriander in your fridge by popping the stems into a cup of water and covering with a plastic bag. Change the water every two days to prevent mildew and decay and refresh if needed by submerging in ice-cold water for 10-15 minutes.

    • Keep cucumbers stored away from ethylene gas producing fruit and vegetables such as tomatoes, apples and citrus

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