Coconut Chicken with Pickled Pepper Collards

“Coconut connects with my African roots,” says Ethiopian-born Marcus Samuelsson about a key ingredient in F&W’s Challenge. The Top Chef Masters winner also had to use pickled peppers and chicken.

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  • Servings: 4

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coconut chicken
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 thin chicken cutlets (1 3/4 pounds)
  • 3 cups panko (6 ounces)
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Canola oil, for frying
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves, halved
  • 2 pounds young collard greens—stems and inner ribs removed, leaves thinly sliced
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 4 pickled jalapeños, seeded and thickly sliced

How to make this recipe

  1. make the coconut chicken

    In a large bowl, combine the buttermilk, coconut milk and garlic. Add the chicken and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 4 hours.

  2. make the coconut chicken

    In a shallow bowl, combine the <em>panko</em> and coconut; season with salt and pepper. Drain the chicken and season with salt and pepper. Dip the cutlets into the <em>panko,</em> pressing to help it adhere. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.

  3. make the collards

    Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the garlic and cook over moderate heat until golden, 2 minutes. Add the collards and cook, stirring, until wilted, 
2 minutes. Add the stock and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until the liquid is nearly evaporated and the collards are tender, about 8 minutes. Discard the garlic and stir in the sliced jalape&#241;os; keep warm.

  4. make the collards

    In a large nonstick skillet, heat &#189; inch of canola oil until shimmering. Working in batches, fry the chicken over moderately high heat, turning once, until crispy, 6 minutes. Drain on paper towels and season with salt. Serve with the collards.

Suggested Pairing

Balanced, fruit-forward Spanish white.

Contributed By Photo © Antonis Achilleos Published July 2012

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