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Lime-Coconut Chicken

Tangy watercress balances sweet coconut milk in this quick skillet dish.

slideshow Quick Chicken Recipes

  • Servings: 4

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  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 large scallions, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 pound watercress, stems trimmed, finely chopped and reserved
  • One 14-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving
  • 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped cilantro


  1. In a medium bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of the oil with 1 teaspoon of the hot sauce, the soy sauce and 1/2 teaspoon of the sugar. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight.
  2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over moderately high heat. Add the chicken, season with salt and pepper and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until browned and just cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
  3. Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon of oil in the skillet. Add the scallions and watercress stems and cook until crisp-tender and lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the watercress leaves and cook, stirring, until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the watercress to the plate with the chicken.
  4. Add the coconut milk, lime juice, remaining 2 teaspoons of hot sauce and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar to the skillet. Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced by one-third, about 5 minutes. Stir the chicken and watercress into the sauce, season with salt and pepper and warm through. Add the cilantro and serve immediately.

Serve With

Steamed rice.

Suggested Pairing

The lime-coconut sauce calls for a wine with a citrusy acidity of its own. Pick an Australian Riesling.

Contributed By Photo © Raymond Hom Published September 1999

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