Katie Taylor of Thornhill, Ontario, was inspired to create this recipe with chicken after making it with mussels. She serves this with jasmine or basmati rice, to which she adds grated lime rind, chopped peanuts, butter, salt and pepper. Kaffir lime leaves and lemongrass are available at Asian markets and some supermarkets.
In large bowl, combine 2 Tbsp (30 mL) of the oil, lime juice, salt and pepper. Add chicken, turning to coat. Let stand for 10 minutes.
In large skillet, toast coconut over medium heat, stirring constantly, until golden, about 3 minutes. Set aside for sauce.
In same skillet, heat remaining oil over medium-high heat; brown chicken, turning once. Transfer to large baking dish; set aside.
Drain fat from skillet; heat vegetable oil over medium heat. Fry onions until softened, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, jalapeño and banana; cook over medium-low heat, stirring, for 2 minutes.
Add coconut milk, tomatoes, chicken stock, fish sauce, lime leaves (if using), lemongrass, cumin, cilantro, salt, pepper, cayenne, turmeric and fennel seeds; stir to combine. Bring to simmer; cook, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 10 minutes. Discard lime leaves and lemongrass. Stir in lime juice, sesame oil and toasted coconut.
Pour over chicken. Bake in 350°F (175°C) oven for 30 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink inside. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro.
Lemongrass is a fragrant, woody herb. It is necessary to bruise it before cooking in order to draw out the flavour. To do this, set lemongrass on a cutting board. Whack repeatedly with the back of a large knife until the tender core is visible.