Chicken in Basil Cream Sauce

June 3, 2014 § 1 Comment

My vegetable garden is currently heavy with basil, and I’ve been wildly missing cream sauces since foregoing dairy a few months back. I’ve tried a few recipes using coconut milk in place of cream and have been happily surprised with how much the coconut flavor disappears when some of the other ingredients have strong flavors. My husband, who hates coconut to the point of being paranoid about it whenever trying something I’ve cooked, was even fooled with a clam chowder recipe containing a whole can of coconut milk because the chicken broth and clam juice rendered the coconut unnoticeable. So I figured a cream sauce was worth a shot and threw this together for a quick lunch.

Serves 2

1 tablespoon butter
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 13.5-ounce can coconut milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
2 cups cooked chicken, chopped or shredded
1/2 cup fresh basil, sliced (stacking several leaves, then rolling them lengthwise and cutting thin strips with kitchen shears makes quick work of this)
Cooked spaghetti squash or riced cauliflower

In a medium saucepan saute onion in butter until softened. Add the minced garlic and saute another minute. Pour in the coconut milk. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer for 10 minutes, stirring often, to reduce the sauce. While the sauce is simmering, add the salt, pepper, and onion powder and stir to blend well. After the sauce has reduced, add the chicken and simmer a couple more minutes, until the chicken is heated through. Carefully fold in the sliced basil and serve over spaghetti squash or riced cauliflower.

I haven’t tried it yet, but this sauce would probably also be nice over a baked white fish, instead of chicken. If it was pureed there wouldn’t be any onion and garlic lumps to interfere with the flaky texture of the fish.

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