There are various reasons why you shouldn’t grab for your phone first thing when you wake up.
But if you do, it can give you some inspiration what to cook that night. Like what happened to me last week with Nom Nom Paleo’s Chicken in Lemongrass Coconut Sauce. On her advice I combined it with bok choy: Bok Choy in 2 Soy Sauces that I made up on the go.
It wasn’t so much the pic she posted on Instagram, as the description of the dish. She got me at lemongrass and coconut.
So I looked up the recipe on her blog and found out that she has 2 versions of it online: in both a pressure as a slow cooker. I don’t have the last, and hardly use the first for chicken. As a home worker I’m lucky enough to have time to make it the original way: slow on the stove. Chicken doesn’t need that much time anyways.
So I made it in a Dutch oven on my stove.
Being Dutch, I find this is a strange sentence. An oven on the stove?
And really, what’s so Dutch about a Dutch oven?
Well, more than I thought.
Before my fingers typed “why is a Dutch oven Dutch” in the Google search bar I thought it would be the same story why you guys call us and the high rising baby-pancakes Dutch: we got mixed up with the Germans. Why? Well, we once were more or less one. And they are ‘Deutsch’. We call ourselves ‘Nederlanders’.
But that is not the story of the Dutch oven.
Wikipedia told me a smart Englishman copied our cooking pot making process, patented it and since 1710 heavy cast iron pots are called Dutch oven. Thanks for the recognition Abraham Darby!
We Dutch didn’t sat down thrilled, but made another big improvement. In 1891 Dutch manufacturer BK invented the enameled steel pan, that is lighter and cheaper than cast iron. And I don’t lie if I tell you that all Dutch families have one of those!
… Is it weird to be in love with a pan?
Back to cast iron.
But with a new design.
Please say it isn’t weird to be in love with a pan. I mean, a pan like this?
And how those things go when you’re online, you’ll keep on learning stuff..
Enough of that. Let’s talk recipes!
Nom Nom Paleo’s Chicken in Lemongrass Coconut Sauce
+ my Bok Choy in 2 Soy Sauces
That I was hooked by Nom Nom Paleo’s chicken stew recipe with lemongrass and coconut may be obvious. I even followed Michelle Tan’s suggestion to eat bok choy with it. And I knew thát was a good idea when I saw the tiniest, fingerlong Bok Choys I’ve ever seen. As I wanted a flavor in between thick Chinese soy sauce and it’s thin, salty Japanese counterpart, I simply used both.
3 chicken drumsticks
salt and pepper
1-2 tablespoons coconut oil
2-3 cloves of garlic
1 inch | 2 cm ginger
1 stalk of lemon grass
1 hot pepper –> I honestly can’t remember the name of the ones I had in my freezer
1 cup | 250 ml coconut milk
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1/2 teaspoon 5-spice powder
fresh parsley or cilantro
Rice & Bok Choy in 2 Soy Sauces:
1/2 cup | 100 gr basmati rice (or more if you’d like)
1 lb | 450 gr mini bok choy – they were as long as my finger!
1-2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon thick Chinese soy sauce
1 teaspoon Japanese soy sauce
Fry the chicken. In a Dutch oven heat the oil. Quickly pat the chicken dry and generously sprinkle with salt and pepper. Brown the chicken in the now smoking hot oil. Turn sides when browned. Oh, and yes, you can lower the heat. In the mean time prep your veggies.
TiP: Turn on your hood on high. I didn’t and got my smoking alarm bleating and my cats hiding.
Make the sauce. Cut the onion in half slices. Peel and chop the garlic, ginger and lemon grass. Half the pepper and remove seeds. No need to chop it as you don’t want your dish to be too spicy.
Have your fire reduced to medium-low and fry the onions. After a minute of 5, add the garlic, ginger and lemon grass and let bake along another minute of 2. Add the coconut milk, fish sauce and 5-spice powder.
Let simmer. Let all flavors develop with the lid on until the meat falls from the chicken bones. Usually that’ take 45 minutes or so.
In the mean time, make your sides. I cooked some basmati rice, and stir fried those tiny bok choys. Therefor half and fry ’em in hot coconut oil. When they get softer, add fish sauce and both soy sauces. Cover with a lid and let simmer on low heat for about 5 minutes until desired softness. Flavor with pepper; you probably don’t need salt.
If you only can find ordinary big bok choy, chop up the white part in 1/2 inch | 1 cm slices and fry them first. Meanwhile, slice the green leaves into slightly bigger slices and add just before you add the sauces. Let simmer until desired doneness.
Taste and garnish. Remove the two halves of the pepper. Add more salt, pepper, fish sauce and some lemon juice to the chicken. Make it good.
Garnish with the chopped parsley. Or cilantro if you’d like.
TiP: If the sauce is too thin to your liking, remove the chicken and keep it warm in aluminum foil. Turn your fire to high and let the sauce reduce, and thereby thicken, a bit.