I have a lot planned for 2017, and I’m really excited to have a fresh start. I’m in a new apartment with my wonderful husband and my adorable cat, and I’m surrounded by great friends and new coworkers. I’m also giving my blog a facelift this year. I’m going to update the content, and give it more of a flashy appearance. Many changes ahead for me!
Speaking of changes, my husband’s taste buds developed a love of chicken thighs this past year. He kept telling me how absolutely delicious they were when boiled. Don’t get me wrong, I love dark meat. But there’s something about saying “boiled” and “chicken” in the same sentence that doesn’t sit well with me.
Of course, I decided to bake those suckers instead of boil them. I had some leftover coconut milk cans from my Thai Green Curry recipe, and BAM, this coconut chicken recipe was born.
I love using coconut milk as an ingredient. It has a deep, white color and a rich taste. Most of its fat is saturated fat, like that of coconut oil, but it has less fat per serving. Coconut milk is a popular ingredient in Asian, Caribbean, South American, and African cuisines. It’s also an awesome substitute in vegan cooking, and for those who are lactose intolerant. Choose low-fat coconut milk when substituting milk or low-fat cream in recipes. Use full-fat coconut milk to replace heavy cream. These substitutions can be done at a 1-to-1 ratio.
I don’t recommend drinking coconut milk alone! Sometimes, it can act as a laxative when you consume too much of it.
In summation, of course I had to use coconut milk for this recipe. On top of that, it’s been really cold outside, so I wanted to dress this chicken with some warm flavors. I thought a good kick of cinnamon and pepper would do the trick. With these combination of flavors, it seemed that I was inadvertently inspired by Africa. This recipe will surely get your taste buds singing, and flavor-up your plain Jane chicken. You will not be disappointed!
Zesty African-Inspired Coconut Chicken with Beans
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 tsp garlic salt
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
- 1/2 tsp red crushed pepper
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 can (15 oz) unsweetened coconut milk (shake before opening)
- 4.5 lbs bone-in chicken thighs, skin and fat retained or removed (I retained them)
- 2 cans (15.5 oz each) garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 can (15.5 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
- parsley and black pepper to taste/garnish
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- In a large sauce pan, mix the olive oil, garlic salt, ginger, cumin, turmeric, red crushed pepper, cayenne pepper, tomato sauce, and cinnamon. Heat together for 5 minutes. Add the coconut milk, and cook for another 5 minutes. Stir the ingredients throughout this time to prevent sauce separation.
- Add aluminum foil to the bottom of a roasting pan. Clean the chicken thighs of their skin and fat if desired (I didn’t choose this option).
- Place the chicken thighs directly on the aluminum foil. Pour the sauce onto the chicken.
- Put the chicken in the oven for 1 hour to develop crispy skin. Or you can lower the heat to 350°F halfway through cooking for skin that’s a little softer. It’s all about personal preference. If you trimmed the fat/skin, check the chicken at the 1/2 hour mark to see if it’s cooked through.
- While the chicken is cooking, clean the beans and place them in a serving pan.
- When the chicken is finished, place it on top of the beans, and pour the leftover pan sauce all over the dish.
- Serve and enjoy.
Serving size: About 12 portions
Calories 670 Total fat 47 g (60%) Saturated Fat 16 g (80%) Cholesterol 166 mg (55%) Sodium 705 mg (31%) Total Carbohydrates 25 g (9%) Dietary Fiber 7 g (29%) Sugars 3 g Protein 36 g Potassium 676 mg (17%) Vitamin D 0 mcg (0%) Calcium 69 mg (5%) Iron 4 mg (23%)
*Calculated using the USDA Nutrient Database