In full disclosure, this recipe was not inspired by a box of fresh produce but rather Whole Foods Market 365 Everyday Value Coconut Milk and Cook Taste Eat.
Never one to shy away from new ingredients, I picked some up the other day and decided to try it both room temperature and cold. I smelled it, I tasted it, I slurped it and decided that I prefer it (actually I really like it) chilled.
As I contemplated what to make with this subtly sweet and silky liquid, I came up with the idea to make a pulled coconut chicken taco. The recipe can be made, start to finish, in 40 minutes and the flavor profile is ridiculous. There is saltiness, sweetness, acidity, and heat! Give it a try and let me know what you think!
For the chicken:
2 cups Whole Foods Market 365 Everyday Value Coconut Milk
2 bone-in & skin-on chicken breasts
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
Salt & pepper to taste
For the sauce:
1 tbl olive oil
3 tbl red onion, small dice
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
5-10 dashes Cholula or your favorite hot sauce
1 avocado, sliced
1 mango, small dice
3 tbl red onion, small dice
1/2 cup cotija cheese, small dice
Small corn tortillas or your favorite tortilla chips (this would be for nachos!)
Season the chicken breasts generously with salt & pepper. In a large bowl, combine the coconut milk, cumin and coriander with a whisk. Place the chicken breasts in the milk mixture, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator for as little as 30 minutes and for as long as overnight.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Remove the chicken from the milk mixture and allow excess to drip off before placing on a baking sheet. (Note: Save the liquid!) Bake the chicken for 30-40 minutes, depending on the size, or until done (the juices should run clear). Set the chicken aside until it is cool enough to handle, remove the skin, and using two forks “pull” the chicken meat from the bones. You should end up with roughly 3-4 cups of pulled chicken.
In a medium saute pan cook the onions over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for one more minute. Pour the coconut milk mixture into the pan along with turmeric, cayenne pepper, and hot sauce. Simmer the sauce for 10 minutes. Add the pulled chicken, a sprinkle of salt, and a dash of freshly ground pepper. Simmer the sauce for another 10 minutes over low heat. The sauce should thicken and if it does not, add a thickening agent: a roux or a flurry.
To serve: warm the tortillas by wrapping them in foil and placing them in the 400 degree oven for 8-10 minutes. Place 1/4 cup of the shredded chicken in the center of each tortilla making sure to include some of the thickened sauce. Place a few slices of avocado, some mango and red onion on top. Sprinkle generously with cheese and serve.
Serving suggestions: depending on your heat tolerance you can add a few dashes of hot sauce to the tacos or you can serve with a coconut crema to cool down the heat . The coconut crema can be made by combining 3 tablespoons of Whole Foods Market 365 Everyday Value Coconut Milk with 2 tablespoons of sour cream. The crema can be drizzled directly on the tacos.
Note: In exchange for writing this blog and tweeting a link to this blog, I received an entry into the Food Blogger to Media Star Promotion. For the Official Rules, visit http://www.cooktasteeat.com/food-blogger-media-star-official-rules.