Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Dairy-Free Thai Corn Chowder & Fried Coconut Chicken

For as long as we've been living together (like, 14 years or something crazy?!), Cory has been asking to get a deep fryer.  I'm not even joking.  As much as I post recipes for cookies and bars and sweet treats, I am truly a naturalist at heart.  I am on the ever-quest for a lean body and good health.  I may not have a lean body, but I would consider my health pretty good.  So that being said, the idea of purchasing a deep fryer was not going to happen, ever. ever. ever...not by me any ways.
Cory decided to skip over my vote, and go out and buy one! GAH!!!
The hard part for me is that I LOVE to experiment with new foods, and recipies, and equipemnt.  Soooo the menu over the last couple weeks has been  mid-way esque!  Deep fried oreos, pop tarts, mushrooms, vegetables, pickles, etc etc.  we even have chcolate bars in the freezer waiting for their turn.  Le sigh - I admit itIt's been kinda fun!  And of Course Cory and the kids have been over the moon!

Stay tuned, maybe I'll share some more of our sweet experiments.  Here's one of the savoury ones:
Thai Corn Chowder with Deep Fried Coconut Chicken!  Because corn is in season in Alberta, and why the heck not take a Corn Chowder to the Thai side?!  It's deeeelsih, super satisfying while being light with just a little bit of heat to it.  And for the man in my life, DEEEEP-Fried!

Inspired by these two amazing recipes for corn chowder: one from Half Baked Harvest, and the other from Shutterbean.  If you need a tutorial on how to shi=uck your corn like a pro, The Kitchn has you covered!

Dairy-Free Thai Corn Chowder

2 Tablespoons olive or coconut oil
1 medium onion chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
1 Tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
1 lemongrass stalk, chopped
1 Tablespoon red Thai curry paste
1 jalepeno or red thai chile, seeds removed + chopped
4 cups chicken broth
1 potato, peeled + cubed into small pieces
4 cups fresh or frozen corn, I used 3 Cobbs from Taber, Alberta
1 can full fat coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper... or S&P to taste

fresh chopped cilantro, basil, lime, fish sauce, sweet Thai chili sauce, for serving

Fried Coconut Chicken
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt + pepper
2 eggs
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1 1/3 cups shredded coconut, unsweetened or sweetened
3 or 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced into strips
coconut or canola oil, for frying

Shuck your corn, and run a sharp knife down the cobb, to release the kernels, set aside the kernels, and reserve a cobb or two.
Heat a large soup pot over medium heat and add the olive oil. Once hot, add the onion, garlic, ginger, lemongrass and chile or jalepeno, and thai chili paste. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant and soft. Slowly pour in the chicken broth and add the potato. Simmer, uncovered for about 15 minutes or until the potato is fork tender (this is when I start making the chicken), and my special trick is to leave one or two of the stripped corn cobbs in the broth to add flavour.
Add the corn kernels, coconut milk, and salt & pepper, cooking until the corn kernels are tender and bright yellow, about 5 minutes.  If you don't dig a "chunky" soup, use a hand held blender and puree away!
Remove the soup from the heat and top with your fave garnishes: basil, cilantro, fish sauce, lime, and/or sweet thai chili sauce, and of course your Fried Coconut Chicken!  Divide the soup among bowls and serve immediately. Recipe below!

Coconut chicken:  Use boneless, skinless chicken breasts sliced into strips.  Get ready your dredging stations - Add the flour, salt + pepper to a shallow bowl. Add the eggs to another bowl and gently beat together. Add the Panko and coconut to a third bowl, mixing them to combine.  Working in an assembly line, first dip the chicken through the flour, then take it for a dip in the egg and then dredge it through the coconut crumbs. Place on a plate and repeat with the remaining chicken.  Heat a heavy bottomed, high-sided skillet over medium heat and add enough oil to cover the bottom and 1-2 inches up the sides. Once the oil is hot (BUT NOT SMOKING), add the chicken in batches, frying each about 2-3 minutes per side or until the chicken are light golden. Place the fried coconut chicken pieces on a plate lined witha papertowel and until all chcien is fried up. Serve the fried coconut chicken warm atop the soup along with your fave garnishes.


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