Mediterranean Lemon Chicken, Thai Sweet-Coconut Rice and Caribbean French Beans.
Here's to bringing some foreign culture to the table!
The chicken turns out moist and full of lemony fragrance and flavour, the rice soft, fluffy and with a delightfully subtle sweetness and the french beans spicy enough to compliment the meal perfectly.
For Lemon Chicken
Preheat oven to 220 C.
In a 9x13 inch baking dish, grate the peel from 1/2 the lemon, squeeze out the juice (about 1/4 cup) and add to peel with the oregano, garlic, oil, salt and pepper. Stir until mixed.
Remove skin from chicken pieces and discard. Coat chicken pieces with the lemon mixture and arrange, bone side up, in the baking dish. Cover dish and bake for 20 minutes. Turn and baste chicken.
Reduce heat to 200 C and bake uncovered, basting every 10 minutes, for about 30 more minutes. Serve chicken with pan juices.
For Thai Sweet Coconut Rice
Soak the rice for 20 minutes, then drain.
Rub oil over the bottom of a deep-sided pot. You will also need a tight-fitting lid.
Place rice, coconut milk, water, shredded coconut, and salt in the pot and set over medium-high to high heat. Stir occasionally to keep rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot and burning.
Once the coconut-water has begun to gently bubble, stop stirring and reduce heat to low (just above minimum). Cover tightly with a lid and let simmer 15-20 minutes, or until most of the liquid has been absorbed by the rice. To check, pull rice aside with a fork. If most of the coconut milk-water is gone, go on to the next step.
Replace the lid and turn off the heat, but leave the covered pot on the burner to steam another 5-10 minutes, or until you're ready to eat.
When ready to serve, remove the lid and fluff rice with a fork.
For French Beans
In a sauce pan, heat the olive oil on medium to high heat and add a 1/3 of the sliced onion. Allow to cook for a couple minutes, until they’re tender and starting to brown.
Gently start adding the beans to the pan. Remember to stir around a bit. Give this a couple minutes, then add the salt, black pepper, diced tomato, remaining sliced onions and the crushed garlic. Set the heat to medium and cover the pan.
After about 10 minutes, add the coconut milk or cream.
Cook for another 10 minutes or so and remember to stir every now and then to ensure that everything gets coated and cooked in the coconut cream/milk. If you find that the beans released any natural juices (water) while the lid was on, remove the lid during the final 4-6 minutes to help evaporate extra moisture.