Coconut-Curried Chicken with Roasted Eggplant



  • 2 - tablespoons dry white wine
  • 1 - tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1 - tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 - tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 - tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 - garlic clove, minced
  • 1 - large shallot, minced
  • 1 - teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 4 - boneless chicken breast halves, with skin
  • 1 1/2 - tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 1/4 - pounds eggplant, peeled and cut into 3-by-l-inch sticks salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 - teaspoon sugar
  • 1 - teaspoon soy sauce teaspoon lemon zest cup Coco Lopez® unsweetened coconut milk
  • 12 - ounces freshly cooked egg noodles, for serving
  • 1/4 - cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 - tablespoons chopped unsalted peanuts


Make the marinade and marinate the chicken: In a large shallow glass or ceramic dish, combine the dry white wine with the peanut oil, the curry powder, the chopped ginger, the soy sauce, the minced garlic and shallot, and the grated lemon zest. Add the chicken breast halves to the marinade and turn to coat. Set aside for 20 minutes or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 450°. Spread a little of the peanut oil on a large baking sheet. Arrange the eggplant sticks on the baking sheet and season them with salt and pepper. Bake the eggplant on the bottom shelf of the oven until the sticks are well browned on the bottom, about 25 minutes. Using a metal spatula, scrape the eggplant sticks from the sheet and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat the remaining peanut oil over high heat until almost smoking. Add the marinated chicken breast halves, skin side down, and reduce the heat to moderately high. Cook the chicken breast halves until the skin is nicely browned, about 3 minutes. Turn the chicken breasts and add 1 cup of water and the sugar. Cover, reduce the heat to moderately low, and simmer until the chicken breasts are cooked through, about 8 minutes.

Transfer the chicken to a plate.

Increase the heat to moderately high and add the soy sauce and the lemon zest to the skillet. Boil the cooking liquid to thicken it slightly and concentrate the flavor. Return the cooked chicken breasts to the skillet, add the unsweetened coconut milk, and simmer for 1 minute.

Transfer the chicken breast halves to plates. Toss the eggplant sticks with the egg noodles and arrange the mixture next to the chicken. Pour the sauce over the chicken and noodles and garnish with the cilantro leaves and peanuts.

*Reprinted from Food & Wine 1995 Annual by permission of Food & Wine.