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Coconut Chicken with Pickled Pepper Collards

Photo: Antonis Achilleos
Active time 30 mins
Total time 2 hrs, 45 mins
Yield 4
"Coconut connects with my African roots," says Ethiopian-born Marcus Samuelsson about a key ingredient in F&W's Challenge. The Top Chef Masters winner also had to use pickled peppers and chicken.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 (1 3/4 pounds) chicken cutlets
  • 3 cups (6 ounces) panko
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Canola oil, for frying
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 (large) garlic cloves, halved
  • 2 pounds young collard greens, stems and inner ribs removed, leaves thinly sliced
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 4 pickled jalapeños, seeded and thickly sliced

How to Make It

  1. In a large bowl, combine the buttermilk, coconut milk and garlic. Add the chicken and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 4 hours.

  2. In a shallow bowl, combine the panko and coconut; season with salt and pepper. Drain the chicken and season with salt and pepper. Dip the cutlets into the panko, pressing to help it adhere. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.

  3. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the garlic and cook over moderate heat until golden, 2 minutes. Add the collards and cook, stirring, until wilted, 2 minutes. Add the stock and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until the liquid is nearly evaporated and the collards are tender, about 8 minutes. Discard the garlic and stir in the sliced jalapeños; keep warm.

  4. In a large nonstick skillet, heat ½ inch of canola oil until shimmering. Working in batches, fry the chicken over moderately high heat, turning once, until crispy, 6 minutes. Drain on paper towels and season with salt. Serve with the collards.