Chicken with coconut cream or milk is a delicious combination that can be prepared in many different ways to make variety of dishes to suit any taste. Soup or sauce can be made either very hot or mild in taste. Different cuts of chicken meat, as well as chicken mince (breast or thigh) can be used as an ingredient. To make soup I like to use fresh or frozen chicken and cauliflower meatballs, while for thick chicken and vegetable coconut sauces I prefer skinless drumsticks. Both coconut cream or coconut milk are good in these recipes. Fresh ginger gives better taste, but organic minced ginger can be used, too. Saffron, together with grated carrots, gives these dishes an amazing colour, the intensity of which depends on saffron quantity and the source of coconut. Coconut cream gives dishes more clean and vibrant yellow colour.
Raw cauliflower, as a vegetable ingredient in meatballs, makes them particularly soft and juicy, but also makes their preparation faster and easier, compared to meatballs with sautéed white cabbage. Even more, cauliflower is a more gentle vegetable for digestion in the gut, providing plenty of fibre at the same time. To thicken soup or sauce I use either thinly sliced eggplant or cauliflower florets, processed in the blender to the consistence of cauliflower “rice”. Eggplant practically disintegrates during cooking and gives the soup creamy consistency, while cauliflower rice retains some of its texture that can be felt in the sauce. Intensity of flavours is easily adjusted depending on family preferences.
- 1 kg chicken mince (I mostly use thigh mince)
- 400-450 g cauliflower florets
- 2 large onions, or 3 small/medium
- 1 egg
- 1 table spoon raw coconut oil
- 1 table spoons olive oil
- 1 table spoon cumin
- 1 table spoon garlic chilli paste (can be replaced by fresh garlic and chilli, as well as any other preferred spice mix)
alternatively to meatballs
- 6-7 chicken skinless drumsticks
- 2 onions or leeks, sliced in semi-circles (when using drumsticks)
- 3 carrots, grated
- 1 eggplant or 1/2 cauliflower head
- 1 can pure coconut cream/milk
- fresh ginger (3cm piece)
- pinch of saffron
- sea salt and coarse black pepper for seasoning
- 1 table spoon olive oil
- 1 table spoon raw coconut oil
- long chilli pepper with seeds or deseeded (optional for meatball soup)
Quantity of coconut and olive oil mix can differ in chicken meatballs soup and drumsticks in coconut vegetable sauce preparation. In meatball soup onion is sautéed once, divided in 2 portions, the first one is used to make meatballs, another left in the pan to be used to make soup.
Step by preparation of chicken and cauliflower meatballs soup can be found here.
The soup can be served, garnished with toasted sesame seeds or fresh coriander. Rice vermicelli makes a nice addition to this soup.
The soup can be stored refrigerated for 3-4 days, or frozen for longer storage. Freezing is best done in glass containers.
Chicken drumsticks in coconut vegetable sauce
- heat olive and coconut oil in a deep casserole pan
- grate carrots and slice onion/leek in semi-circles
- saute onion on medium heat until translucent, season with salt and black pepper in process
- add grated carrots, stir and cook them with onions for 3-5 min
- add coconut cream/milk, ginger (grated or cut into small sticks), sliced chilli pepper, pinch of saffron
- add boiling water
- cook until boiling point
- add “cauliflower rice” (or sliced eggplant)
- add chicken drumsticks (they can be lightly browned in coconut oil or added without previous frying)
- cook for 1 hour on medium/low heat
- test the seasoning, add sea salt, chilli and ginger if necessary
- if the sauce becomes too thick, add water
- the sauce can be served with gluten free pasta or steamed rice and garnished with fresh coriander