The subtle citrus scent of fresh lemongrass brightens up regular old braised chicken -- combine with a can of coconut milk and a handful of cashews for a quick take on a Southeast Asian stew.
|1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil||1 1/2 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely minced|
|1 1/2 pounds skinless chicken thighs||1 serrano, Thai, or habanero chili pepper, minced (choose your pepper depending on how much you love spice)|
|3 stalks lemongrass||1/3 cup raw cashews|
|1 shallot, minced||1 13.5 ounce can light coconut milk|
|1 clove large garlic, minced|
Heat the oil in a large (3- or 4-quart) straight-sided saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken thighs and brown on all sides, cooking 2-3 minutes per side.
While the chicken thighs brown, remove the tough outer layers and tips of each lemongrass stalk and cut the inner green stalk into 5-inch lengths. Smash the lemongrass roughly with a meat tenderizer to bruise the stalks.
Remove the browned chicken from the pan and lower the heat to medium-low. Add the lemongrass, garlic, ginger, and chili pepper and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the cashews and cook to lightly brown the nuts.
Return the chicken to the pan. Add the coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 40 minutes or until the chicken thighs fall off the bone (if bone-in) or separate easily with a fork (if boneless).
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