Sticky Chicky (Coconut Chicken with Chili Glaze)

May 1, 2010

Sticky Chicky (Coconut Chicken with Chili Glaze)

Varietal: Riesling

4 servings

Susan and Scott DeSeelhorst own Snake River Winery and Arena Valley Vineyard in Parma, Idaho. Scott, a trained chef and former restaurant owner, enjoys creating new dishes to pair with his wines, such as a dish he and Susan affectionately call Sticky Chicky. The Thai-style chicken dish is similar to satay, with a glossy, complex glaze reminiscent of a good-quality Chinese barbecue sauce. As far as wines go, Snake River Winery’s Riesling is an excellent pairing with most foods, thanks to sufficient alcohol (12 percent) and well-balanced acids and sugar. The exception, Scott notes, is red meat and similar strong proteins. The chef/winemaker recommends Snake River Riesling as a match with Asian, Southwestern, and spicier foods; with dessert; or even as an after-dinner cordial.

Chili Glaze

3/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

3 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Coconut Chicken

1 1/2 cups regular or “light” (reduced fat) coconut milk (shake the can before opening and stir well before measuring)

3 tablespoons minced fresh ginger

2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs or boneless, skinless chicken breasts (See Cook’s Hint below)

2 cups cooked jasmine or long-grain white rice

2 tablespoons sliced green onions, for garnish

1. At least three hours before you plan to cook, in order to allow the flavors to meld and the glaze to thicken, make the Chili Glaze.

2. Place the rice vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, ginger, and red pepper flakes in a small saucepan and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat.

3. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the glaze reaches the consistency of maple syrup, 20 to 25 minutes. (It will thicken a bit more once it comes to room temperature or is refrigerated.) Be careful not to cook at too high a temperature or for too long, or the glaze will harden before you can drizzle it over the chicken. Set the glaze aside and re-warm it when ready to use.

4. Combine the coconut milk, ginger, black pepper, and red pepper flakes in a small bowl and stir well. Pour 1/2 cup of the marinade in a small glass mixing bowl, cover, and refrigerate until needed.

5. Pour the remaining marinade into a large, resealable plastic bag. Add the chicken and turn to coat on all sides. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or, preferably, overnight, turning occasionally to redistribute the marinade over the chicken.

6. Ten minutes before cooking, preheat the broiler. Prepare a broiling pan with a rack and oil the rack lightly or spray with nonstick cooking spray.

7. Remove the reserved marinade from the refrigerator. Arrange the chicken pieces on the rack without crowding and cook for 3 minutes.

8. Remove from the broiler, brush with the reserved marinade, return to the broiler, and cook for 3 minutes more. Remove from the broiler, turn the meat, brush with the reserved marinade, return to the broiler, and cook for 3 minutes more.

9. Continue this process one or two more times, for a total of 12 to 15 minutes, or until the chicken is opaque throughout. Do not brush the chicken after it is out of the oven and completely cooked through, and discard any unused marinade.

10. Divide the rice among six dinner plates and arrange the cooked chicken on top of the rice. Drizzle with the re-warmed glaze or serve the glaze in separate small dipping bowls. Garnish the chicken with the green onions.

Cook’s Hint: Susan and Scott DeSeelhorst prefer chicken thighs to breasts in this recipe because the dark meat retains its moistness and is more flavorful. The chicken can also be grilled on the stove top, although it tends to splatter and be a bit messier than cooking under the broiler. Be sure to oil the grill pan well before cooking the chicken to avoid tough cleanups. The Chili Glaze can be made up to two weeks ahead. Allow the glaze to cool completely at room temperature, transfer to a nonreactive container, and refrigerate until using.

Recipe reprinted from Pacific Northwest Wining & Dining: The People, Places, Food, and Drink of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and British Columbia (Wiley, 2007, $34.95) by Braiden Rex-Johnson.

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