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Peanut Braised Chicken with Coconut Carolina Rice

Edward Lee

Lesson time 21 min

Braise poultry and simmer coconut rice in a flavorful miso and peanut mixture and you’ll have a warming, family-style dish. Learn how to to build flavor through caramelization and the secret to preparing perfect rice.

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– [Ed] How are you doing, hun? – [Dianne] I’m great. – [Ed] I wanna show them the chicken recipe. – That’s one of our favorites. – One of our favorites. – We have it every other week. – We do it all the time. – And we do it all the time. – So, I’m not even gonna tell you what to do ’cause you know what to do, right? – Tell me how you wanna do it. – This is basically a one-pot recipe, right? We’re gonna start with chicken and then we’re gonna go one at a time. Peanut butter, miso, coconut. – So I always wondered, why do you always start with the chicken? – So the key is, I wanna get the chicken caramelized. I want the onions caramelized. I want the garlic caramelized. If you put it in a pot all at the same time, it’s not gonna caramelize, ’cause it’s gonna get too cold. So we do it in stages. And I think this is a really important lesson for people at home. Like, yeah, you can have a dish that has 12 ingredients in it, but you just gotta be careful how you layer them. And not everything needs to cook at the same amount of time. What we’re doing is, we’re putting everything in its stages so that it finishes at the same time. By the time we’re done here, all of this is gonna sort of commingle and mix and become one beautiful dish. So we start with drumsticks. So really simple. All we’re gonna do here is throw some olive oil into our Dutch oven. A lot of oil. – Does it matter which oil? – You know, yes and no, a good quality oil, but we are gonna sear so you don’t wanna use anything that’s too heat sensitive. The point of olive oil is that the more expensive it is, the more delicate it is. Here we’re gonna add 12 ingredients to it. It’s gonna be really spicy. There’s gonna be a lot of stuff into it. You’re kind of just wasting money by really using a really nice olive oil, all right. So I’m getting this warmed up. So I’ve got this on medium. We wanna caramelize, we don’t want to burn. This is gonna be a braise. So it means it’s gonna take an hour and 40 minutes. It’s all gonna cook together and it’s all going to be one big nice stew. So I’m gonna start here. So this is like a puzzle, right? You gotta make sure all the chicken fits snugly in the bottom of that pan. – I think I can do this. – [Ed] It’s like playing Tetris, right? – [Dianne] So all that surface is used up. – All that fits in the bowl. – Perfect. – And you can’t put it on top because you need for that chicken skin to be in touch with the surface of that pan in order to caramelize. While I’m doing this, will you grab me some shallots, garlic, ginger– – [Dianne] Okay. – Some mushrooms for now. – [Dianne] I’ve got a hefty knob of ginger here for you. – Nice, nice. You wanna cut up veggies while I do the chicken? – [Dianne] How do you want them cut? – Just rough chopped. If you just wanna do like two cloves of garlic and about that much mushrooms. None of this is an exact science. For us chicken is important and then you’ll see the spices and the aromatics are important. All this stuff is filler. The joy of this kind of cooking is that there’s really not a lot you can do wrong. I always end up doing this stuff that gets grease all over me. And you always get like the easy job. – Is there any easy job? Come on. – [Ed] You like my knife? – [Dianne] I love this knife. How much garlic do you want me to do? – [Ed] Like two cloves, two big ones or three small ones. – As Edward says, I learned everything from him, but I did go to culinary school. I think with everything you just, you learn from experience, right? So you just get in there and get your hands dirty and do it. And you figure out what works for you. And sometimes it’s the exact way you’d watch it on some video. And sometimes you learn your own technique. Okay. – Now that our pot is still hot and what’s great is now, all that chicken and chicken fat are melted in there. So that’s the fat we’re gonna use. – [Dianne] Shallots first. – [Ed] Shallots, lot of garlic. – [Dianne] A lot of garlic. I maybe put a little extra in there because I love garlic. – [Ed] That looks like a little more than two cloves. That looks like a garlic bomb in there. – So this is about the time when Arden comes up and says, “Mom, I’m starving.” Because as soon as she starts smelling the chicken cooking and all of this cooking, it triggers something in her body and she’s like so hungry. – And we still got an hour left. – Exactly. And that’s when we give her a Popsicle to stave off the hunger. And the cool thing is you see what I’m doing? I’m taking this wooden spoon and I’m actually, as I’m caramelizing the onion, I’m scraping off all the caramelized bits from the bottom. – That’s really coming up nicely. – Yeah, and you see that’s all gonna be flavor. – It’s all mixing in. – So if the chicken was still in here, I can’t do this. The chicken would be in the way. We’re creating a nice little bed for the chicken, right? And you got to work quickly now, right? And we just kind of snugly fit all those little chicken bits right back in there. – Let’s see your Tetris. – [Ed] Oh, my Tetris is good, baby. Now we’re gonna quickly add all of our liquids here before that burn ’cause this is gonna now burn. – [Dianne] Okay. – [Ed] Ginger, we’ve got, there’s my peanut butter, miso, turmeric powder and bay leaf. I’m gonna do, start with a little bit of chicken stock. Let’s just start throwing miso. Beautiful. – Okay. – [Ed] And then the homemade peanut butter. Nice fat spoonful. And then ginger. – Now your mom taught you this one, right? To peel it this way. – My grandma. – Grandma. – Yeah. Just take a spoon. So I’m gonna take the ginger and I’m just gonna go right into the pan. It’s so easy to do it this way. That’s it. The one thing, you see the peanut butter and the miso, they’re kind of clumpy, – Yeah. – But don’t worry about it. ‘Cause as this braises, it’s all gonna melt into each other and that’s the beauty of it. Okay, let’s do turmeric next. I admittedly don’t even know how to pronounce it. I think it’s, there’s an R in there. – Turmeric. – Yeah. But I never say turmeric. – No. – I say turmeric. – Yeah. – But I bet you somewhere out there, someone’s gonna be like, “It’s actually turmeric or turmeric.” But anyway, these are the things that we like to kvetch about. – Wow, okay, how much turmeric. – [Ed] Oh, you’ve got that R in there now. – Yeah. – That’s enough, that’s good. That’s a good amount of turmeric. And then, we’re gonna let that just kind of go down a little bit. See how it’s already kind of coming up to a simmer. So the turmeric is gonna give you this sort of golden color. I’m gonna let that simmer and I’m gonna let that sort of just dance and play with each other. And then we’re gonna add the coconut milk. – Okay. – Alright. It’s already delicious. Anytime you braise, the first simmer is going to sort of release some of this. – [Diane] Yeah, that foamy stuff. – The foamy stuff. So you’re cleaning up your dish and then you’re also concentrating the flavors at the same time. – Okay. – All right. Just a little bit of that and then we’re ready for coconut milk. So why don’t we go ahead and dump like, maybe half of that can. It’s delicious, beautiful. Look at the color. So now we basically have all of our ingredients in here except for the soy sauce and fish sauce. Taste that. It’s good? – I think you could eat it right now. – It’s good, but it’s not great. And the difference is, if you taste it right now, I can taste the coconut milk and then I can taste the turmeric and I taste the peanut butter and then it’s like the miso kind of is in the back and in my mouth, I can still taste each individual ingredient. And when we’re making a stew like this, the point is that all of it comes together and what happens in an hour and a half is instead of tasting all the individual ingredients, you taste one thing and that’s what we’re going for. And that, there’s no substitute for time. That’s gonna happen over time. There’s no way you can do that in five minutes. Now the one thing that’s really important, so we’re going to add soy sauce and fish sauce. – [Dianne] There you go. – But really important thing to note is that I’m gonna add very conservatively at this point. We’ve kind of been eyeballing everything else, at this stage you don’t want to, because once you add salt and these are both basically salt substitutes, once you add that, you can’t take it away right? So you don’t want this over salted. So just a few dashes. – [Dianne] Oh, that wasn’t very much at all. – No. And same with the soy sauce. Okay, and then what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna add it again right at the end, right before we go. But I want to add some now because soy sauce and fish sauce aren’t just salty. They’re actually adding umami. They’re adding flavor to it. So that’s gonna go in there. Put the lid on and it’s really important at this point, don’t disturb it. Just let it do its thing. And the pressure that builds up is gonna actually cook that chicken really fast. So 45 minutes to an hour and should be ready to go. We’ll test that at that point, okay? In the meantime, I’m gonna make, because this is really rich. So I’m gonna cut it obviously with a starch. So we’re gonna make some coconut rice since we’ve got some coconut in here. Will you grab me rice and a little bit of white pepper and sugar. Okay, so I just wanna take about a cup of rice. – [Dianne] So what kind of rice is this? – It’s Carolina gold. To me, it’s gonna have a slightly nuttier flavor than plain old sushi rice. I also like the texture. It’s gonna be a little bit more al dente. So I’m just gonna basically, you see how all that cloudy water’s coming out? So that’s all rice starch. – [Dianne] What happens if you don’t rinse that? – So, if you don’t rinse it– – ‘Cause I don’t know if I’ve always done that. – Now I know why your rice turns out the way it does. – Now I know. – So if you don’t clean it, when you cook it, the starch is just gonna start to bind with the water and you’ll get rice that’s a little more glutenous. – [Dianne] Kind of mushier. Does it make it mushier? – Yeah, it has a mushy sort of texture to it. – Yep, that’s my rice. Okay. – Now we know. Now really, I’ll just do this like three times. That’s all you need. By the third time you’ll see the water’s almost clear. When I first did it, you couldn’t see the rice underneath the cloudy water, and now you can see the rice. Also, when you do that too, if there are any bugs or impurities in the rice, they’ll kind of float to the surface. – Bugs, seriously bugs? – Yeah, sometimes there are bugs and it’s all natural. – It’s true. – Bugs are not a big deal. We’re going to put this in a pan. – [Dianne] Why is it in frying pan? – You can really cook rice anywhere. Obviously, if you wanna use a Japanese rice cooker, it’s gonna get you perfect results every time. But I love also that when you cook it on the stove top, you are gonna get slightly uneven textures. And to me, that imperfection is actually the beauty of cooking. So the stuff on the bottom that’s in contact with the bottom of the pan is actually going to crisp up just a little bit. That’s the beauty of it. As long as you have a lid that fits tightly over it, you’re all good. Will you do the coconut milk for me? – [Dianne] Just pouring that in? – Yeah, just dump it all in there. Stir that up. Then just a pinch of sugar. And so the idea of coconut rice, I first had this actually in Malaysia. This is a little bit of white pepper that I’m gonna drop into here. Smell that, isn’t that good? It’s beautiful. – Oh my God. – Isn’t that nice? – That’s wonderful. – [Ed] And then I’m just going to drop one bay leaf. – [Dianne] Why did you choose this rice? – Just the idea of being able to flavor the liquid, that’s cooking the rice was such a revelation to me. We live here in the South and so why not take that sort of Asian technique, but then pair it with a local ingredient, which is Carolina rice. Obviously there’s no rice in Kentucky. When I look at the ingredients around me and if Carolina rice is something that I love and it’s close by and it’s local and it’s part of our identity, then why not just kind of take that, but use the coconut milk and the bay leaf and the white pepper that I learned in Malaysia? And that’s the thing that’s so important to me to pass on to our daughter is that like, you come from one place, I come from a totally different universe and together we are creating these new traditions for her and we pass that on. All right, so now once this comes to a simmer, I’m gonna cut this heat really low and that’s it. – Yeah, it’s just a little bubbly in there. – Yeah. – Okay. – And you really don’t want to boil this. The rice is just gonna cook pretty quickly. This is gonna be about 40 minutes. – [Diane] Okay. – [Ed] You are gonna drink a glass of wine. – That’s right. – I may have a glass of whiskey and in 40 minutes if we’re not that drunk, we’ll have some dinner. – [Dianne] We won’t be drunk in 40 minutes. – The big head of bok choy there. Yeah, I mean, if you don’t have bok choy, you can use, actually, you can use cabbage. – How about kale? – Kale. I just want a few leaves. I don’t really don’t want. – [Dianne] You want some of the little tender ones. – [Ed] Yeah, some little tender ones. – [Dianne] You don’t have any of this white. – [Ed] No, you can have a little bit. – Actually this is plenty. This is plenty. Everything here is super tender, super soft. So I’m throwing this right at the end and it’s just gonna add a little bit of crunch to it. I want it to cook, but not too much. So literally I’m gonna throw this in and it’s gonna be like two minutes. Beautiful. – [Dianne] Okay, and do you want the cilantro chopped at all or do you just want it– – No, I like them whole. – Okay. – [Ed] And even some stem on it too as I love cilantro stem. And a lot of it is just, you kind of dip your fork or your spoon in there and you can just see when it’s ready. This rice is perfect. – [Dianne] And about how much cilantro do you want? – [Ed] How much do you wanna eat. – [Dianne] I love cilantro. You’re gonna get a lot. – Get a lot. – Just like you got a lot of garlic. – [Ed] You know I love your cooking. I love your flavors, whatever you like, I’m going to like. – Well you know what, that is where we really meshed, right? We kind of have this similar palette. Oh, look at that. – Ain’t that nice? Yeah, and this, I’m gonna actually leave this, because that’s gonna be like a little treat at the end. – I know that’s our treat that we fight over. – That’s the good bits. And with this too, you can sort of smell it when it’s just starting to crisp up like that. Isn’t that beautiful? I have my coconut rice. I’m just gonna top it. – Pretty. – With that crunchy rice on top. I’m kind of inverting it. Crunchy rice was on the bottom, now it’s on the top. And that’s why I’m gonna transfer this rice into a nice bowl like this. If the crunchy bits didn’t happen, the meal would be just as good, right? Just without the crunchy bits. If you got the crunchy bits, look at that. Beautiful. – [Dianne] That’s pretty. – And also this is really important because it does allow it to steam a little bit and finish cooking and it keeps it warm in case we have to do anything else. The bok choy should be wilted. – Okay. – [Ed] But still green. Are you ready? – [Dianne] I am. – One, – Two, – Three, – Look. – [Ed] Beautiful. Beautiful. – Oh, look at that great green against that yellow. – Ain’t that pretty? Let’s present it just like that. All right, dinner time? – Okay. – [Ed] I’m gonna dig in there for a nice piece of chicken for you. Beautiful piece of chicken for me. And some of this beautiful bok choy. – All right, so, why are you taking such painstaking details to decorate the plate? Why don’t you just throw it on there? – Because I love you, and I want it to look as pretty as you do. You’re too good for my sloppiness. All right, take a bite, take a bite. I’m gonna take a bite of mine. – Oh my God. – The meat falls off the bone. You don’t need a fork. – It’s true. I do love this dish and you’re right, all the flavors have now married together like us married together, better together than by themselves. – Low and slow, that’s us. I’m in love with this dish. – And the leftovers are even more delicious. – Hello, someone’s tapping me. – Hi, it’s your favorite coconut rice. – Have a bite? – Wanna try it? She just wants the whole leg. – Okay. – Love you, babe. – Perfect. – Good job. Cheers. – Cheers, thanks hun. You like it, don’t you? You want more? – [Dianne] She’s coming back. – Cameo by Arden. – And it really goes really well with the wine too. How is it with the bourbon? – Perfect. This is where you and I differ. Wine versus bourbon. – Yeah. – That’s kind of, that’s where we diverge. But we’ve come together with food and then we diverge again with music and then we kind of come together with decorating ideas, fashion we definitely diverge again. – It’s just back and forth – I don’t have 2,000 T-shirts. It’s true, I do not. – [Ed] This one is precious. – [Dianne] They are memories, I get it. That’s why we have drawers and drawers and drawers full of T-shirts. – T-shirts. But you cannot ever throw away a single T-shirt.

About the Instructor

James Beard Award winning writer and best-selling cookbook author Edward Lee takes viewers from the farm to his restaurants and home in Louisville, Kentucky and teaches lessons on his beloved dishes including Fried Chicken with Gochujang Sauce, Oysters and Grits, Cabbage-Steamed Fish, and more.

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