I have Italian roots, but I love experimenting with Asian flavors. Coconut milk is present in so many cultures and needs to be used more in America (in my opinion). The flavor of coconut is amazing and helps create a yummy sauce for many dishes. I also love that it is a way to make a creamy sauce without “cream”. I found inspiration for this dish from a blog called Diethood, but then I expanded and adapted it to fit my family’s tastes, preferences and what I had in the house. I served this dish over quinoa, but it also would taste great over rice or cauliflower rice; you need a base for the sauce to soak into :).
2 Medium Yellow Onions - small chopped (around 1 cup)
1 Red Pepper - small chopped (around 1 cup)
2 Large Chicken Breasts - cut into 1-inch chunks
4 Cloves of Garlic - thinly sliced (around 2 tbsp)
1/2 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Cayenne
1/2 tsp Zatar Seasoning
1/2 tsp Dried Oregano
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 cup Coconut Cream (from a can) (I used Trader Joes Brand)
1 - 14.4 oz can Light Coconut Milk (I used Shop Rite Brand, but any will do!)
1 - 14.5 oz can Diced Tomatoes with Basil, Oregano and Garlic (I used Tuttorosso brand)
1/2 cup Red Split Lentils (I got mine from Trader Joes)
3 tbsp Light Oil
3 tbsp Good Quality Red Wine
Ingredient Ideas for What To Serve This Dish Over:
1. Heat 2 tbsp of light oil in a deep dish sauté pan over medium high heat and then add your chopped chicken and evenly sprinkle the seasonings. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked through; stirring occasionally. Remove the chicken from the pan and place in a small bowl for later.
2. Add 1 more tbsp of light oil to the used pan and add the chopped onions and peppers on medium high heat. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until the peppers begin to soften; stirring occasionally.
3. Add the sliced garlic and cook for 1 minute; stirring constantly.
4. Deglaze the pan with the 3 tbsp good wine and cook for 1 more minute, scraping the bottom as you cook.
5. Add the liquids (light coconut milk, coconut cream and the diced tomatoes can) and bring the mixture to a boil.
6. Add the lentils, cover and turn heat to medium heat. Cook for 7 minutes.
7. Remove the lid, stir your dish and add your chicken back to the pan. Continue to cook on medium heat for an additional 2 minutes to blend the flavors; stirring occasionally.
8. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately over your choice for a base. I served mine over quinoa, but I have other options listed above in the ingredients section.