thai ginger chicken

it's been a looonnnng time since my last post. maybe it was a new comment on one of my previous posts i received today that prompted me to post today's blog. i dunno. anyways, i tried this recipe which i culled from the April 2006 issue of Real Simple. although i felt the only thing "thai" about this dish was perhaps the coconut milk and the spicy jalapenos, and even though there wasn't really a strong ginger flavor to the dish, it is one that i would probably make again. at least my husband says he'd have it again :)

here's the original recipe:

Thai Ginger Chicken

1 bunch fresh cilantro, stems removed
3 jalapenos, seeded and chopped
1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, sliced
1 small eggplant, quartered lengthwise and sliced 1/2 inch crosswise
2 13.5 ounce cans unsweetened coconut milk
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, 1/2 inch thick
2 cups cooked white rice

1 Place cilantro, jalapenos, ginger, and 1 tablespoon of the oil in a food processor and pulse until combined.

2 Heat the remaining oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and eggplant and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.

3 Add the coconut milk, soy sauce and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Bring to a simmer.

4 Add the reserved cilantro mixture, the remaining salt, and the chicken. Simmer gently until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce thickens slightly, about 7 minutes.

5 Serve over the rice.

my variation:

~ i used frozen chicken tenders instead of chicken breasts, heating the chicken tenders in my saucepan to basically thaw them out before cutting them into 1/2 inch pieces and adding them to the coconut milk mixture. not sure if i used exactly 1 pound of chicken, it was as many chicken tenders as my 13.5-inch saucepan could hold, about 12 pieces. and i used only 1 13.5oz can of coconut milk, which seemed to work with the rest of the ingredients.

~ i also used 2 small zucchini instead of the eggplant. and i served the chicken over brown rice. yum!

~ for vegetarians, i bet substituting tofu for the chicken would work, too!

p.s. this dish tasted even better the next day!

4.24.2009 update ~ more variations:

~ substitute Thai basil for cilantro

~ add 5 to 8 Tbsp green curry paste (depending on your desired spice level) to onions when sauteing

~ use 1/2 a small head of cabbage, chopped, instead of eggplant or zucchini

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