Thursday, 1 December 2016

Chicken Tenders with Crispy Cabbage and Coconut Rice

I have been very busy helping both children move to their new apartments, and haven't really had much time to experiment in the kitchen, but the collection of things I found in the fridge last night inspired this meal.

The leftover dressing from the Asian slaw (see the post Mango and Tamarind Glazed Pork Tenderloin with Asian Slaw), half a Napa cabbage and a carrot, some chicken tenders, coconut milk, a piece of lemongrass and a few roasted cashews were what I had to work with.

I used the dressing as a marinade, and finely shredded the cabbage and carrots for a stir fry. The coconut milk and lemongrass were used to make rice, and cashews finished it all off. The rice was rich, creamy and citrusy and the cashews added a lovely crunch to the dish. All of the flavours from the dressing infused the chicken, and the cabbage and carrots were cooked until crispy...yum!

If you do not have any leftover dressing, make up a batch. It keeps for about a week in the fridge; I had about half of the recipe left from a previous meal, and that became my marinade.


9 chicken tenders
Half a recipe of Asian slaw dressing

Leave the chicken to marinade for about half an hour, or while you prepare everything else.

To cook the rice, combine:

1 1/2 cups rinsed basmati rice
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
1 1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2" piece of lemongrass, split
2 kaffir lime leaves

Bring to a full boil, turn the heat down to simmer. Cover and cook until the rice is tender and all of the liquid has been absorbed. Turn off the heat and keep the rice covered.


1 cup frozen peas, defrosted

Cover and leave to keep warm.

In a hot wok, with a drizzle of oil, cook:

1/2 Napa cabbage, shredded
1 medium carrot, peeled and grated

Cook until starting to soften, stirring often.


the chicken tenders, without the marinade

Continue to cook over a high heat until the chicken is fully cooked, and the cabbage and carrot become crispy on the outside.

To serve, place some rice and peas in a bowl, and top with chicken, crispy cabbage and carrots and garnish with toasted cashews. I served sweet chili sauce on the side for those who wanted.

  • Purchased Asian dressing can be used; you will need about 1/4 cup. The Asian slaw dressing has rice wine vinegar, peanut butter, soy sauce, garlic, ginger and honey in it. 
  • Do not leave the chicken in the marinade for too long, as it will break down too much. The tenders do not need to marinate for tenderness, but just to add flavour. Thirty minutes to an hour is good.
  • You can use whole chicken breasts of you like, and grill or bake them, and then add them, thinly sliced to the dish.
  • The chicken can also be used in a stir fry, or in a wrap (lettuce, rice paper or tortilla).
  • Add any appropriate vegetables if you have them, to make this more of a stir peppers, bok choy, bean sprouts, green onion. I used what I had. You can also add more garlic and ginger if you wish to.
  • By allowing the cabbage and  carrots to crisp up the sweetness was slightly increased by the caramelization, but it also added texture and nuttiness.
  • The rice can be made with only water, or a combination of water and chicken stock, or chicken stock and coconut milk.
  • This would be nice served with peanut sauce.

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