Happy President's Day! Or, you know, Monday. Whatever.
For Monday, I made us a whole dinner. It's been way too long since we had a new recipe up in this shiz, and I didn't want you to feel sad and hungry. By the way, how was your weekend? My sister and I went to Florida for a show that I was running, and all the kids were so great and the winners got to open that night for a pro group, and it was just the greatest. Also now I'm exhausted and still feel like I need a weekend, and I leave for Baltimore on Friday, but WHATEVS. Sleep when dead kind of situation going on over here.
This dinner, though. It was Jay's idea! We've got baked chicken fingers marinated in coconut milk and crusted in panko, with a lovely light rice, spicy curry drizzle, and AVOCADO CUCUMBER RELISH. All of the components are really easy, so this is a great chicken/rice dinner for nights when FLAVOR is all you care about in the world. We're going to make rice, relish, chicken, and drizzle. For actual meal time, let's start with the rice first (you may soak the chicken overnight, but you don't have to). For the rice, you need RICE DUH, turmeric, garlic, chicken or vegetable stock (or water, no worries), and green onions.
Mince the garlic clove, then we're ready to start the rice.
I used a rice cooker for this, but cook the rice with the stock, turmeric, and garlic according to package directions until cooked and fluffy.
Then, thinly slice the green onions and toss them with the rice right before you serve.
Now, the curry cream sauce. For this, you'll need Greek yogurt, heavy cream, garlic, vinegar, honey, cayenne pepper, and curry powder. Skip the cayenne if you're not into heat!
Mince the garlic clove, and add it to the yogurt with the spices and honey.
Then pour in the vinegar and heavy cream, and stir the sauce together.
Taste, and add more of any ingredients you'd like to intensify the flavor, or a sprinkle of salt if you think it needs it. The sauce should be thick but still drizzle-able. That isn't a word.
Next, the chicken! Preheat the oven to 425F for baking. This is 3-ingredient chicken, which is great. You need 1 can of coconut milk for about 12 chicken tenders (you could also cut boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs into strips). I soaked these over night, but you could soak the chicken the morning you'd going to make this or just dunk them in the coconut milk right before breading them - up to you!
You'll need panko bread crumbs for breading the chicken, too. Or regular bread crumbs! Be your own boss.
When you're ready to cook the chicken, arrange a baking rack inside of a baking sheet, and spray the rack with cooking spray. Then, pour the panko in to a bowl.
Pull the chicken from the coconut milk and dredge it into the panko - use your fingers to press the panko into both sides of the chicken to create a crust.
Lay the crusted chicken on the baking rack, then spray the tops of the chicken with cooking spray or olive oil, too. Now, we're ready to bake!
Bake the chicken for 15 minutes, flipping once about halfway through, until the chicken tenders are golden on both sides and cooked through.
Right before you're ready to serve (maybe after you flip the chicken), make the avocado relish. I do this last so that it doesn't brown. You need lime, avocado, cucumber, and salt. Easy stuff!
To cut the avocado, cut it in half around the pit, and gently remove the pit using a spoon. Then, use a sharp knife to make a cross hatch pattern cutting all the way to the skin.
Then, use a spoon to scoop out the avocado into a bowl. Look! Diced avocado!
Dice the cucumber, and add that to the avocado. Then, sprinkle on a little bit of salt, squeeze in half the lime juice, and mix everything together gently.
Now, we have rice, chicken, curry sauce, and relish. I think it's time to eat. To build a plate, make a bed of the lovely yellow rice.
Then top that with some chicken. Drizzle the chicken with the curry sauce. Then add a scoop of relish and a lime wedge if you're into that sort of thing. LOOK at this plate! How perfect. This is very epic, friends. It's a simple dinner when you consider the components, but the flavors come together so well to create an almost islandy feel, which is fabulous in February when you're cold and miztastic, don't you think? The star of this show is definitely the curry cream sauce - you will start drizzling this on every dang thing. Seriously. Make this asap.
Chicken Fingers with Turmeric Rice, Curry Cream, and Avocado Relish
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- FOR THE CHICKEN
- 12 chicken tenders, or equivalent boneless, skinless chicken cut into strips
- 1 can coconut milk
- 2 cups panko bread crumbs
- FOR THE RICE
- 1 cup rice - any kind
- chicken stock or water to cook rice
- 1 clove minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- 3 green onions, sliced
- FOR THE CURRY SAUCE
- 6 ounces plain greek yogurt
- 1 clove minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons yellow curry powder
- cayenne pepper and salt, to taste
- FOR THE RELISH
- 1 avocado, cubed
- ½ small cucumber, diced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ lime, juiced
For the Chicken
- Cover the chicken in the coconut milk for 2 hours or up to overnight. Preheat the oven to 425F and set a baking rack inside a baking sheet. Spray the rack with cooking spray. Remove the chicken from the coconut milk and dredge on both sides in the panko, pressing with your fingers to form a crust. Arrange the chicken tenders on the baking rack and spray the chicken with cooking spray. Bake at 425F for 15 minutes, flipping once halfway through, until the chicken is golden on both sides and cooked through.
For the Rice
- Cook the rice with the turmeric and garlic according to the package directions. Right before serving, stir the green onions into the rice.
For the Curry Sauce
- Combine all ingredients and taste: adjust seasonings to your preference.
For the Relish
- Combine all ingredients right before serving.
- To assemble, make a bed of the turmeric rice and top with some chicken. Drizzle the chicken with the curry sauce and serve with the relish on the side and extra lime wedges, if desired.
- The chicken can marinate overnight, but when I make this meal I like to use the following timeline: Start rice, make curry sauce while rice works. Get chicken in the oven, assemble relish while chicken and rice are finishing. All will be done right around the same time. Enjoy!
- Prep Time: 20
- Cook Time: 30
- Serving Size: 4
Shared with Weekend Potluck!
Just wanted to say again how good this recipe was....I didn't have chicken so I substituted shrimp. I didn't have yogurt so I substituted sour cream. Will definitely make this again. It was excellent!
So glad you enjoyed it!