I have a thing for Thai and Indian food flavors – I love the (medium) heat, the complexity of the spices, the warmth and comfort. Yet in spite of owning 5 cookbooks on the methods, I just haven’t yet duplicated any restaurant quality recipes at home.
This one comes close.
Originally created by my big sister as a crockpot dish, I ran out of time and decided to wing it and make it in the oven. Below is the recipe I’ll use next time, with adjustments included as I went along.
6-8 Chicken tenderloins
1 can coconut milk – not the light stuff, people
1 can pineapple chunks
1 small can tomato paste (do they even make large cans?)
1 large green or red bell pepper, chopped
3 TBS curry powder
1 TB minced garlic
4 TBS chopped fresh basil, divided
Juice of ½ lemon
2 TBS olive oil
1 TBS salt – for real, it needs it
prepared Rice (optional)
baby spinach (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place olive oil and chickens in a baking dish.
2. Using an immersion blender or other device, blend together coconut milk, juice from pineapple can, ½ of the pineapple chunks, tomato paste, ½ of the chopped bell pepper, curry powder, garlic, salt and pepper. The sauce is a festive orange and feels slightly thick.
3. Pour the pureed mixture over the chicken, flipping the chicken to coat it. Bake uncovered for 35 minutes.
4. Remove from oven. Stir in remaining pineapple chunks, remaining chopped bell pepper and 3 TBS basil. Cook another 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked and sauce bubbles around the edges of the pan.
5. Remove pan from the oven. Squeeze lemon juice and top with basil. Serve over rice and baby spinach.
To make it in a crock pot, place oil, chicken and blended sauce in a crock pot on low for 6 hours. The final 15 minutes or so, complete step 4 — just long enough to warm everything up.
I enjoyed this dish, though it was a tad bitter for my tastes. What would you recommend to make it even better? Sugar? Butter? Flaked coconut?