Thursday, July 10, 2014

Coconut Garlic Chicken with Quinoa, Sugar Snap Peas and Mushrooms

Coconut Garlic Chicken with Quinoa, Sugar Snap Peas and Mushrooms

You'd think I was nuts for wanting more peas after last week's Peas 3-Ways Risotto. But sugar snap peas are so good right now, so I want to take advantage of them.

I decided to use the snap peas as a vegetable "extra" in this chicken and grain dish. I came across Laa Loosh's recipe for Coconut Garlic Chicken looking for a new simple way to prepare chicken. The garlic and tangy coconut sauce give this dish a bit of southeast Asian flair. The sauce from the chicken was a nice complement to the quinoa with snap peas. I also tossed in some mushrooms, thinking of Tom Kha Gai soup, the Thai-style soup with tangy coconut broth that often has chicken and mushrooms.

Coconut Garlic Chicken
Adapted from a recipe by Laa Loosh

1 1/2 tbsp. coconut oil
1 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 14 oz. can coconut milk
1/4 cup fresh cilantro

1. Heat coconut oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken, season with salt and pepper, and sauté for about 2-3 minutes.

2. Add garlic and vinegar and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add coconut milk, reduce heat to medium, and cook until thickened, about 10 minutes.

3. Serve chicken with coconut broth over quinoa with sugar snap peas and mushrooms (recipe below), topped with a sprinkle of fresh cilantro leaves.

Quinoa with Sugar Snap Peas and Mushrooms
Quinoa cooking technique adapted from a recipe by America's Test Kitchen

3/4 cup quinoa (white, red or mix), rinsed
1 tbsp. olive oil
4 scallions, white and green part finely minced
7/8 cup water

Snap peas:
Pinch of salt
Pinch of turbinado sugar
1 lb. sugar snap peas, ends trimmed and peas halved

1 tbsp. olive oil
10-12 white mushrooms, sliced

1 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. snipped fresh chives
Salt, to taste

1. Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add quinoa and toast until the quinoa makes a constant popping sound, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from pan. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add 1 tbsp. olive oil and scallions and sauté until softened and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high, add toasted quinoa and 7/8 cup of water and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 18 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to rest, covered, for another 10 minutes.

2. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add a pinch of salt and a pinch of turbinado sugar. Add the sugar snap peas and cook for 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside in a bowl.

3. Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat. Add mushrooms and sauté until browned, about 10 minutes.

4. Stir cooked snap peas, sautéed mushrooms, lemon juice and chives into quinoa. Season, to taste, with salt.