Colombian Coconut-Braised Chicken and Coconut Rice
On the coast of Colombia, coconut milk is made from scratch by an arduous process of grating, mixing (with water) and pressing. The result is transformative coconut milk that lends silky texture and bright flavor to every dish it's used in. For the same results via a simpler method, we turned to the blender and shredded unsweetened coconut. After soaking the coconut in warm water for a few minutes, we blended and strained it, yielding a light, bright, smooth-bodied milk that was as good as any we tried near Cartagena. In this recipe, we used the coconut milk to braise chicken and to steam rice. Fresh tomatoes and lime contrast with the rich, velvety texture of the chicken and rice.
cups unsweetened shredded coconut, divided
tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil
01n a blender, combine 2¼ cups of the coconut and 3 cups warm water. Let stand until the coconut begins to soften, about 1 minute. Blend on high until creamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer, pressing on the solids. Discard the solids. Repeat with the remaining coconut and another 3 cups warm water. You should have a total of 4½ cups strained coconut milk.
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