I can't tell you the number of times I've sworn off chicken forever. Thinking, in a fit of what I like to call "cooking block," that there are simply no more frontiers to explore in white meat territory. Years of sauteing, frying, breading, baking, butter-flying, slow cooking, and roasting, and I'm spent. The chicken is too. Coincidentally, just when chicken and I have decided to amicably split, divide our assets, and move on to new partners, that's the precise moment it goes on sale at the market. A note about me: If you put an item on sale, I will buy one. Unless said sale item is Pepperidge Farm Milano Cookies, in which case I'll buy two. Within thirty minutes of spying chicken in the weekly circular, I'm elbow deep in the cold meat case at Metropolitan Market, stacking as many pink packages of boneless breasts as I can manage. And when I emerge, to the horror of the crowd I've elbowed while I was mining for chicken, I feel proud. This pride can only last the duration of the car ride home. Because once I'm rearranging my freezer to fit the behemoth mass of chicken breast, I realize, yet again, that I'm plumb out of ideas. After making a few desperate phone calls to friends for inspiration, and a few consultations with a chocolate chip cookie, I discovered this dish. My friend Emily can be thanked for it. The recipe is for Spicy Coconut Chicken with Mango Basil Salsa, a slight variation from Dave Lieberman's version, only using chicken in place of shrimp. It's so unique and rich in flavor that I may reconsider breaking up with chicken.
The chicken is unbearably succulent- bursting with juicy flavors of lime, rich coconut milk, sweet brown sugar, and basil. It's then topped with fresh mango salsa that has been marinated with basil and jalapeno. All at once sweet, savory, and spicy. The taste trifecta.
-Andrea Mitchell, Foodista staff and blogger at CanYouStayForDinner.com