Chicken and Coconut Rice With Nuoc Cham Tomatoes

Chicken and Coconut Rice With Nuoc Cham Tomatoes

Rich, coconutty, schmaltzy, bright, funky, and tangy, this skillet chicken dinner tantalizes the taste buds on every level. Skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs are seasoned simply with salt and lots of pepper, then cooked skin side down in a skillet until the fat renders and you’re left with perfectly crisp skin. You’ll sizzle garlic and a mountain of shallots in the leftover rich schmaltz, which will flavor the sunny yellow coconut cream and turmeric rice that cooks in the pan with the chicken thighs as the meat finishes roasting.

Since the rice cooks in the oven uncovered (gotta preserve that crispy chicken skin!), soaking it for 30 minutes before cooking is key. The soak helps the rice absorb water, kick-starting the cooking process and helping it to stay tender, not dried out and sad.

While the chicken and rice are delicious on their own, they’re really a vehicle for the season’s MVP (Most Valuable Produce): the sweetest heirloom tomatoes. Feel free to use tomatoes of any shape, size, and color—as long as they’re in season, they’ll taste sublime in the super savory fish sauce dressing inspired by Vietnamese nuoc cham. And make sure to spoon all those tomato juices over the rice! —Asha Loupy

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Ingredients

4 servings

Chicken and rice

cups basmati or other long-grain rice

lb. skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (5–6)

3

tsp. Diamond Crystal or 1½ tsp. Morton kosher salt, divided

1

tsp. coarsely ground black pepper

2

large shallots, thinly sliced

4

garlic cloves, thinly sliced

tsp. ground turmeric

Zest of 1 lime

¾

cup coconut cream

Tomatoes and assembly

2

Tbsp. fish sauce

2

Tbsp. fresh lime juice

1

Tbsp. light brown sugar

2

red or green Thai chiles or 1 serrano chile, thinly sliced

lb. tomatoes, preferably heirloom

1

small shallot, thinly sliced

½

cup coarsely chopped cilantro

½

cup mint leaves, torn if large

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