Friday, July 19, 2013

Thai Chicken Skewers with Delicious Coconut Soup

We have been enjoying a lot of Japanese, Thai, and Indian food lately. We have both been pursuing health for different purposes lately, and these cuisines seem to satisfy us both.

Billy's been doing the "no-dough" diet for awhile, which isn't really gluten or carbohydrate free per say, it's just a not-so-strict diet with good results, as we've seen for Billy. He has been accompanying this with diligent exercise though, as we wouldn't want to encourage a healthy lifestyle without exercise and vice versa.. But although he has been working out for the past year, he didn't notice any weight loss until he started following the "no-dough" guidelines. He has slowly began to incorporate "dough" back into his diet, but only once in awhile. And he's looking great, I must say. (Although has he ever not to me?!)

As for me, I've been desperate trying to achieve a healthy complexion. After months upon months of research, it seems to have culminated upon Japanese beauty secrets. So not like asian diet per say is best for your skin, it's just that I'm inundated with these Japanese guides, and I keep on having asian inspired food on the mind. I know, I'm weird.

In a round-about way, because of our desire to have a light touch on gluten for health in either regard, Japanese, Thai, and Indian all seem to be great cuisines for us to enjoy. And we always have even before this kick. But hey- back to the food! This meal was a combination of lovely Thai flavors. A summery chicken skewer with grilled tomatoes served with fragrant Jasmine rice, peanut sauce, and a rich coconut soup.

I made the coconut soup in style of my Oma's Hungarian Chicken "Noodle" Soup. She makes it with whole pieces of vegetables (rather than finely chopped) and simmers until tender. This method of cooking soup presents a luxurious clean broth with tender, flavorful, vegetables. So in a way it's an Hungarian home style Thai soup! Super delicious and as I said before.. luxurious! I hope you enjoy.
Happy cooking.

Thai Chicken Skewers
Adapted from Simply Chicken by Susan Meadows
Active Time: 45 min Inactive Time: 2 hours Serves: 3 - 4
Cook's Notes: If using bamboo skewers, soak in water for 2 hours while chicken is marinating. This helps to prevent skewers from charring too much during cooking. 

1 tbsp red curry paste
2/3 cup coconut milk, divided
2 limes, zest and juice seperated
4 chicken breasts, sliced into 1 inch pieces
1 onion, sliced into wedges
1 red bell pepper, sliced into wedges
1 green bell pepper, sliced into wedges
1 tomato, sliced into wedges
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup peanut butter
3 tbsp soy sauce (or soy substitute)
1/2 lime (or lemon), juiced

How To:
In a small sauce pan over medium heat, add red curry paste and half amount of coconut milk. Bring to a boil, for about 2 - 3 minutes to release flavors of the curry. Turn off heat. Add remainder of coconut milk and lime zest. Refrigerate marinade until cool.

Add chicken pieces to cooled marinade. Let marinate for 2 hours up to overnight. 

Heat grill to high, clean grates thoroughly. Turn heat down to medium-high. Thread chicken unto skewers. Reserve marinade. On separate skewers, thread vegetables. 

Combine coconut oil and lime juice. Brush unto skewers. Place skewers at a diagonal on grates. Let skewers cook for 5 - 6 minutes on the first side. Turn once during cooking. 

Use metal spatula to release chicken if need be. Cook on second side for 4 - 5 minutes, or until done. Cook vegetables alongside chicken for the same amount of time or until slightly charred. Keep on top rack until chicken finishes.

While chicken is cooking, reduce down marinade to create peanut sauce. Add marinade to sauce pan, over medium heat, add peanut butter, soy sauce, and lime juice. Once mixture begins to simmer, drop heat to low. Simmer until slightly thickened about 5 minutes. Taste to adjust if needed. If needed you may add 1 1/2 tsp brown sugar. I like to drain the extra oil off after peanut sauce cooks. 

Serve immediately. Leftover peanut sauce can keep up to 1 week in fridge. 

Serve Thai Chicken Skewers with jasmine rice, peanut sauce, and Thai Coconut Soup (recipe follows). 

Delicious Thai Coconut Soup
Original Recipe. For vegetarian option, use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.
Time: 1 hour Serves: 2 - 4 
Vegetarian Option | Gluten-Free

1, 14 oz can coconut milk
1 1/4 cup chicken stock (or vegetable), homemade preferable or low sodium store bought
2 small carrots, chopped into 1 1/2 inch lengths
1 tomato quartered
1 tbsp sliced ginger, fried
5 peppercorns
3 tbsp soy sauce, or to taste (or soy substitute)
1 cup Shiitake mushrooms, sliced, stems removed
a pinch of red chile flakes
a few sprigs basil, fried

How To:
In a medium sauce pan, add coconut milk and chicken stock. Over high heat, boil for 10 minutes. Drop heat to medium. Add carrots, tomato, ginger, and peppercorns. Simmer for 15 minutes.

Add soy sauce to taste, Shiitake mushrooms, and red chile flakes. Simmer for 30 more minutes or so, or until vegetables are really tender. Taste for seasonings. Add fried basil as garnish right before serving.


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