Thai Chicken Pilaf

  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings


1 1/2tablespoons ground coriander
2teaspoons ground cumin
1teaspoon ground tumeric
1/2teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6-- shallots, roughly chopped
5cloves garlic, peeled
1-- fresh ginger (about 5 inches long), peeled, roughly chopped
2-- Thai chilies, stemmed
1teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
12-- skinless, boneless chicken thighs, each cut into 2 pieces
2tablespoons peanut oil
2 1/2cups jasmine rice
2tablespoons Thai basil, chopped
3 to 4-- red and/or white radishes, very thinly sliced
-- Thai style chile sauce (Sriracha)


1. In a blender, combine the coriander, cumin, tumeric, black pepper, shallots, garlic, ginger, chilies and 1 teaspoon salt. Pulse a few times, then add 1/3 cup water and puree to a fairly smooth paste.

2. Place the chicken pieces in a large bowl and dump the spicy paste over them; tossing to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 30 to 45 minutes.

3. Place the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken pieces and ensure that all the spicy paste is added as well. Cook, stirring and turning chicken once, until chicken is just beginning to brown, about 10 to 15 minutes. The paste will carmelize and become quite dark.

4. Add the rice to the skillet and let it cook, stirring once or twice, for 1 to 2 minutes. Taste and adjust the salt seasoning, if necessary. Add 2-1/2 cups water and bring to a boil, again, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and let simmer until rice is tender and chicken is fully cooked, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and let rest for at least 10 minutes. Uncover and gently toss the chicken with the rice.

5. Transfer the chicken and rice mixture to a serving platter and sprinkle with the Thai basil. Garnish with the radish slices and the chile sauce. Serve.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.