Spiced Ginger Lime Chicken Tenders with Coconut Rice
Prep Time: 3hrs30mins
Cook Time: 20mins
Total Time: 3hrs50mins
Marinade + Chicken:
⅓cuplow-sodium soy sauce (see note)
¼cuppacked light or dark brown sugar
¼cupfresh lime juice
2tablespoonsolive oil or toasted sesame oil
1tablespoongrated fresh ginger or ginger paste (see note)
4clovesgarlic, finely minced (see note)
½teaspoonspices, like curry powder, garam masala, cumin, coriander (see note)
Pinchred pepper flakes or cayenne pepper (optional)
1can(13.5 ounces) coconut milk
2teaspoonscoarse, kosher salt (use about half for table salt)
For the chicken:
Whisk together all the marinade ingredients until smooth (see note below for extra marinade/sauce). Place the chicken tenders in a shallow dish or ziploc bag and add the marinade so the chicken is mostly covered, tossing once or twice to cover the chicken evenly.
Cover the dish/seal the bag and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 8 hours.
Preheat a grill to medium-high. (You can also use an air fryer or oven set to broil.) Remove the chicken tenders from the marinade and cook 2-4 minutes on each side until cooked through (an instant read thermometer should register 165 degrees F at the thickest part of the chicken tender). Remove the chicken to a plate, cover, and let rest for 5-10 minutes.
Serve the chicken with the coconut rice (recipe below). Pour any accumulated juices over the chicken before serving.
For the coconut rice:
Place the jasmine rice in a colander and rinse under cool water for 1-2 minutes, agitating and lifting the rice with your fingers, until the water runs mostly clear (don't worry too much about this, just make sure it gets a good rinse). Drain well.
Place the rinsed rice in a pot and add the coconut milk, 3/4 cup water, and salt. Bring the rice to a thorough simmer (should be simmering across the entire surface, not just the edges).
Give a quick stir to make sure rice isn't sticking to the bottom. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 18 minutes. DON'T REMOVE THE LID!
Remove the pot from the heat and let sit, covered, for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork or spoon and serve with the chicken tenders.
Soy Sauce: I only keep low-sodium soy sauce around so I haven't tried this recipe with regular sodium soy sauce. I'm guessing it will work fine - obviously it'll have a bit more salty kick to it.Ginger: Fresh ginger or ginger paste work best in this recipe (rather than ginger powder). The frozen cubes of ginger (I've seen them at Trader Joe's) will probably work as well, if thawed. Working with fresh ginger: I buy large knobs of fresh ginger, cut them into 1/2- or 1-inch pieces and keep them in a ziploc bag in the freezer. They can be grated into recipes, like this one, straight from the freezer (no need to peel).Spices: this recipe is very adaptable to spices you might have on hand. You need 1/2 teaspoon TOTAL spices (not 1/2 teaspoon of all the spice options). It's delicious with curry powder, garam masala, cumin, coriander, or a combination. Obviously the flavor will change depending on what spices are used; make sure you like the flavor profile of the spices/blends you are using.Extra Sauce: if you want extra sauce to drizzle over the chicken and rice, 1 1/2 or double the marinade ingredients and reserve some of the marinade before pouring the rest over the chicken. Simmer the reserved marinade in a small pan on the stovetop for several minutes before serving (if you want the sauce thicker, stir 1 tablespoon cornstarch to the marinade before simmering). Coconut Milk: I've made the rice with both full fat coconut milk and light coconut milk. Both work fine, in my opinion. The full fat coconut milk gives the rice a richer, slightly sweeter taste. Sugar in Rice: I don't add sugar to my coconut rice, because I don't like it very sweet, but if you prefer a sweeter rice, add 1-3 teaspoons sugar before cooking.