Thai Coconut & Lime Marinated Chicken

Marinating is truly one of the greatest forms of culinary alchemy.

Like turning lead into gold, a good marinade can be equally as magical, morphing even the most mundane into something utterly delicious in a matter of hours. However, perhaps the best part about marinating is the transformative affect it can have on cooks, having the ability to turn novice kitchen dabblers into proficient cooks overnight!

Coconut & Lime Marinated ChickenA fool-proof way of jazzing up a couple of tiresome skinless chicken breasts, this Thai inspired marinade is both quick to make and requires only a few basic pantry ingredients. However, as easy as this recipe is, the marinade does require one thing and that’s enough time to work its magic. Personally I would leave the chicken to bathe in the marinate overnight, as this will give the meat fibres enough time to break down sufficiently and for the flavours to penetrate right through the chicken. If you really are rushed for time then a few of hours will suffice, but it will be to the detriment of the final result.

While far from authentically Thai, the coconut and lime marinade does impart a taste of the Orient whilst still being mild enough to appeal to most tastes, making a good mid-week family meal or something slightly different to serve at a braai/BBQ. Cooked, cooled and then thinly sliced, this chicken also makes for a wonderful sandwich-filler or salad-topper. However, my favourite way of serving it is with a massive pile of stir-fried julienned vegetables, making this the perfect Banting/LCHF dinner option.

This marinade’s versatility isn’t, however, limited to the ways in which it can be served, as the marinade can also be used on just about anything. Whilst I’ve used skinless chicken breasts for this recipe, the marinade would work just as well with any other chicken pieces, pork or fish. If you are going to try it with fish though, I would recommend using a firm white fleshed fish and restrict the marinating time to no more than an hour.

Thai Coconut & Lime Marinated Chicken: Serves 4

  • 4 skinned chicken breasts (free-range if possible)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 tin of coconut milk (400ml)
  • 1 lime
  • 3 tbsp. Thai fish sauce
  • 1 red chilli, seeded and finely chopped

Method:

  1. Cover the chicken with some cling-wrap and, using a rolling pin, lightly pound the meat. You don’t want to flatten it, you just want to loosen the meat fibres slighty
  2. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper
  3. Zest the lime and reserve the rest of the lime for later
  4. In a large bowl combine the coconut milk, lime zest, chilli and fish sauce
  5. Place the chicken breasts in the marinade, making sure that the meat is completely submerged
  6. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight
  7. Remove the bowl from the fridge an hour before you are ready to cook the chicken
  8. Heat a heavy-based frying pan until very hot
  9. Take the chicken out of the marinade and place on a plate, reserving the marinating liquid. Drizzle the chicken with some plain cooking oil
  10. Place the chicken in the hot pan and cook for about 4 minutes per side, basting the chicken with the reserved marinade as you go
  11. Serve with stir-fried vegetables and finish with a squeeze of fresh lime

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