Sunday, July 1, 2017: Dinner No. 89: Kuka Paka (Chicken with Coconut)
July 3rd, 2017 by Kate

Today we wanted to make something we had never made before and we were inspired by an article we saw in The New York Times on June 21, 2017 about a Kenya dish called Kuku Paka (Chicken with Coconut).   It’s a traditional Kenyan dish that apparently “invites tinkering” according to the NYT so it sounded perfect for us. Here is the before and after:

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First we trimmed the fat of chicken thighs, wings and legs. Then we cut scores into the chicken pieces so the marinade we were about to make could sink in better.


Then we made a marinade.  We chopped up onions, ginger, tomatoes, garlic and added cumin, salt and coriander.  The recipe called for serrano chiles but we forgot to buy those so we added some chili powder.  Then we blended it in a blender and spread 1 cup of it over the chicken. We let that marinade for about 5 hours and saved the rest of the marinade.

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After about 5 hours, we started making the sauce.  We combined the rest of the marinade with coconut oil and coconut milk and let simmer for about 20 minutes.  It turned a really cool orange.

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Meanwhile we grilled the chicken.  When the chicken was cooked through, we added it to the sauce and let simmer some more.

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It smelled so good! Finally we served it over couscous along with an arugula/tomato/burrata salad.  Some of the “tinkering” we did included garnishing the dish with basil instead of parsley (which was what the recipe called for.) We also added corn to the dish.  It was delicious–creamy and very sweet. The coconut added sweetness to the sauce and kept me constantly returning to the kitchen for more.

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