Vietnamese cuisine is one of the most varied and flavoursome on the planet. Its dishes tend to be fresh, light, colourful and healthy! This coconut poached chicken uses lean chicken breast which is made incredibly tender and delicious as it absorbs the coconut milk and coconut water in which it is cooked. When paired with this vibrant salad it makes a delicious, cheap and impressive meal.
The inspiration for this dish actually came from Masterchef (my all time favourite reality TV show), in one of the team challenges. This dish was a poached chicken with Vietnamese slaw, and I have tweaked it to showcase the freshness and colours of a variety of salad veggies. It serves approximately 6 people with some left over chicken for salad the next day!
Coconut Poached Chicken
1L coconut water
3 x 400ml tins light coconut milk
3 x bruised lemongrass stalks
3 cm ginger
4 x 200g chicken breast fillets
30ml fish sauce
2 cups bean sprouts
2 mangoes – finely sliced
2 cucumbers – finely sliced
6 carrots – finely sliced into matchsticks
1 cup Vietnamese mint leaves (whole leaves)
1 cup coriander leaves (whole leaves)
60ml fish sauce
60ml rice wine vinegar
120ml lime juice (fresh squeezed is best)
50ml sweet chilli sauce
1. Firstly – pour coconut water, 1L of the coconut milk into a large saucepan, setting aside half of one tin of coconut milk for later. Add lemongrass and ginger and then bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and add the chicken, leaving for about 20-25 minutes until cooked through. Remove from the heat and set aside.
2. Arrange all of your chopped vegetables and mint/coriander across 6 bowls as seen in the above photograph.
3. Mix all dressing ingredients in a bowl and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
4. Return to the chicken – remove breast fillets from the coconut broth and shred using a knife and fork if the meat is still hot. Stir the remaining coconut milk and a little of the extra fish sauce through the chicken. Place the shredded chicken in the middle of the bowl among the arranged vegetables. Sprinkle ~2tbsp of the dressing over the vegetables/herbs in each dish, and serve!