Chicken, lime and coconut parcels
- March 2008
- Serves 4 people
- Takes 30 minutes to make and 2½ hours’ steaming
These fragrant Thai-flavoured chicken, lime and coconut parcels are slow-cooked in a steamer and make a suitably impressive dinner party main course, especially when served on a banana leaf.
- 9.7g (1.6g saturated)
- 1.9g (1.1g sugar)
- 2 green chillies, deseeded
- 2 garlic cloves
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 heaped tbsp shredded kaffir lime leaves (we used Bart Spices, from major supermarkets) or the grated zest of 1 lime
- Handful fresh coriander, with stalks
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds, dry-toasted
- 3 tbsp Thai fish sauce
- 4 tbsp coconut cream
- 4 banana leaves (optional, from Asian supermarkets)
- 4 x 250g free-range chicken legs
- Red chillies, sliced, to garnish
- In a mini food processor, blitz the green chillies, garlic, lime juice, lime leaves or zest, coriander, cumin, fish sauce and coconut cream to a paste.
- Cut 4 sheets of baking paper, each 30cm x 40cm (make them double-thickness if you’re not using banana leaves) and top each with a banana leaf, if using. Rub the chilli paste over the chicken legs, massaging it all over. Put a chicken leg onto each banana leaf or sheet of baking paper (if not using banana leaves) and wrap tightly around the chicken, tucking the edges under and gathering up the sides to make a parcel. Tie each one tightly with kitchen string to seal.
- Take a large pot with a steamer insert, half-fill with water and bring to the boil over a high heat. Arrange the chicken parcels in the steamer (which shouldn’t touch the water) and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Reduce the heat slightly to a steady simmer. Steam for 2½ hours or until the meat is completely tender – top up the pan with water from time to time, so it doesn’t boil dry. Remove the chicken parcels and set aside to rest for about 5 minutes.
- Place each parcel on a serving plate and open it, being careful to keep all the lovely juices inside. Garnish with red chilli slices and serve with steamed jasmine rice and stir-fried sugar snap peas.
For a variation, use duck legs instead of chicken, and replace the green chillies with red chillies in the curry paste, if you like.
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