Coconut and Chili Chicken with Lime and Cilantro Rice

Yield: Serves 4 - 6

Recipe courtesy Jeff Merrin, executive chef, Calgary Winter Club

Photo by Ingrid Kuenzel


4 tsp (20 mL) canola oil

4 onions, finely chopped

¼ cup (60mL) garlic, minced

50 g ginger, minced

3 stalks lemongrass, bruised, minced

2 Tbs (30 mL) fish sauce

3 Tbs (45 mL) dark soy sauce

2 Tbs (30 mL) Thai red curry paste

1 small bunch Cilantro, chopped

1 lime, juiced (use zest for rice)

1 tin coconut milk

1 large red onion, fine sliced

1 red pepper, julienned

1 green pepper, julienned

8 chicken thighs

2 tsp (10 mL) salt

½ tsp (3 mL) black pepper

Lime Cilantro Rice and Naan bread

Curried Cashew Nuts Garnish

¼ cup (60 mL) Sambal Oelek

¼ cup (60 mL) butter

¼ cup (60 mL) honey

1 Kg cashew nuts

Lime and Cilantro Rice

1 cup (225 mL) Basmati rice

1 Tbs (15 mL) clarified butter

1 tsp (5 mL) lemon juice

2 cups (450 mL) water

To taste salt

1 lime, zested

½ cup (125 mL) cilantro, finely chopped


  1. Add 2 tsp (10ml) canola oil to a cooking pot and sweat the white onion, garlic, ginger and lemongrass to release the flavours.
  2. Deglaze pot with soy and fish sauces, add Thai curry paste, cilantro and lime juice. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the coconut milk, cook for a further 15 minutes, then strain through a fine strainer.
  3. Heat a large frying pan and add remaining canola oil. Fry the chicken on both sides for 5 minutes. Add red onion and peppers. Add the sauce to the pan, reduce heat and cook chicken until tender.
  4. Serve with naan bread and lime cilantro rice.
  5. Curried Cashew Nuts Garnish
  6. Sautee the cashews in the butter, add Sambal Oelek and honey. When the cashews are golden brown, remove from heat and place on a lined baking sheet to cool.
  7. Lime and Cilantro Rice
  8. Wash rice in running cold water until water runs clear. Cover and soak rice in water for 15 minutes.
  9. Drain the rice in a strainer and let it dry for 10 minutes. This step helps to firm up the rice.
  10. After 10 minutes, heat the butter in a thick bottom deep saucepan on medium heat. Once hot add rice and sauté for a minute.
  11. Add the lemon juice, water and salt; mix well. Bring the water to a boil, then cover it and reduce the heat to very low. Simmer for 17 minutes and turn the heat off. Let stand for 10 minutes. Use a fork to fluff up rice. Add the lime zest and chopped cilantro.

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