Coconut braised chicken thighs

Okay I admit that this plate of food looks highly unassuming. Chicken and a broth?! It's not rocket science, but I promise you it's good - in fact it's BETTER than good - and my family raved about it for quite some time until I made it again. Here is what I learned while recipe testing:

Marinating the chicken prior to cooking is essential for this dish. I recommend marinating from anywhere between 12-24hrs. Of course the longer, the better - and the more flavourful your food! The addition of coconut cream to the marinade makes the chicken dreamily tender and soft - it literally falls off the bone as you cut into it...Then chickpeas give this meal some bite (which we want to keep so we add it halfway through cooking), while the mangetout soaks up all of that thyme and turmeric goodness and wow when you get a mouthful of all the flavours it's like a little party in your mouth! In other words - make this right now, you won't regret it. And I'm all into cheap and cheerful meals with cooking for a family of 6, so was pleasantly pleased to find I could cut costs by purchasing skin on chicken thighs to remove myself, not to mention that chickpeas and mangetout are as cheap as chips! One last thing, if you're fussed about having a bit of coconut milk leftover (you'll need just under 2 cans worth for this recipe) - chuck the rest into your rice before you cook it and just like that you have coconut-y rice :)


INGREDIENTS:
chicken marinade:
12 bone in skin off chicken thighs
3 3/4 tsp salt *(see notes at the bottom)
1 tsp white pepper
2 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp dried or 1tsp fresh thyme
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp allspice
1 generous tbsp coconut cream (I used the Lidl brand of coconut milk which is SO CREAMY, usually you get cream from the top of the can but this brand is basically all cream!)
1 - 2 tbsp vegetable oil

coconut broth:
2 tbsp coconut oil (divided)
1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
3 spring onions, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced or sliced
1 tbsp fresh ginger (about a thumb sized piece), grated or diced 
1 tsp each of the following:
ground turmeric
garam masala
madras curry powder (hot, med or mild)
dried thyme 
2 bay leaves
450g chicken stock + 100-200ml of water
500g coconut milk
400g can of chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp fish sauce
150g mangetout
salt + pepper to taste

METHOD:
1. If you bought skin on chicken thighs like me - remove the skins first (you can do the pretty easily using the back of a spoon!) If you've bought skin off thighs, move onto step two.
2. Using a large container, rub all of the lovely spices into your chicken thighs along with the oil and coconut cream. Cover with a lid or cling film and refrigerate for 12-24hrs.
3. Ready to cook? Heat up a heavy bottomed non-stick skillet or pot on med heat before increasing to high while you sear the chicken in batches on both sides until golden brown. Remove onto a plate and set aside.
4. Adding the other tbsp coconut oil, reduce the heat to med-low, add the onions and spring onions - fry until softened - about 4-7 mins.
 5. Next, in goes the garlic and ginger which you'll fry until fragrant before adding the spices, constantly stirring for about 30 seconds.
6. Pour in the chicken stock + 100ml water to begin with and the coconut milk.
Please note: This is where I get my stick blender out and blend everything together. You can alternatively use a blender or leave it as it is - it's up to you!
7. Bring the broth to a simmer then go in with the chicken thighs. If the chicken thighs are not completely covered, go in with another 100ml of water. Cover and simmer for 10 mins.
8. Then add the chickpeas, honey and fish sauce. Give everything a stir, cover and simmer for another 5 minutes.
9. Lastly in goes the mangetout - simmer uncovered until just tender. Season with salt and pepper, I found a dash or two of kosher salt did the trick.
10. I check my chicken thighs by using a meat thermometer. Anything above 75C is perfect.
11. Serve hot with heaps of jasmine rice and flatbread or naan (I highly recommend Half Baked Harvest's herbed garlic butter naan recipe which you can find here)!

NOTES
*I season my chicken with salt based on the standard 1 tsp per 1 pound/453g. I used 1.8kg of chicken here so nearly 4tsp of salt was used. If you use less chicken, please adjust accordingly!
 
P.S. Please let me know if you give this a try, I'd love to hear your feedback. If you'd like a step-by-step video check out my Insta stories and IGTV @claudia.loves.food - your support is greatly appreciated! Thank you 


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