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Panamanian Garlic Chicken

Panamanian Garlic Chicken with Coconut Rice and Avocado

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Recipe Details


This week, Chef Liz puts her own spin on Panamanian pollo al ajillo, or chicken with garlic. She roasts chicken thighs, then shreds for tender texture. The flavorful dark meat is tossed in a complex, silky sauce of apricot preserves, sherry vinegar, allspice, garlic, and Worcestershire sauce. It's all spooned over bay leaf–infused coconut rice, then topped with avocado and crisp cucumber.


    Quick facts

    Serving size
    Prep & cook time
    Cooking Skill
    By Chef Liz

    By Chef Liz

    Nutritional info

    • Calories 700
    • Protein 38g
    • Total Carb 59g
    • Total Fat 34g

    Given the cook-at-home nature of Plated and natural variation in ingredients, nutritional information is approximated. See details.

    Ingredients & Equipment

    What we send

    • chicken thighs
      chicken thighs
    • coconut milk
      1 can
      coconut milk
    • jasmine rice
      1/2 cup
      jasmine rice
    • bay leaves
      bay leaves
    • Persian cucumbers
      Persian cucumbers
    • garlic
      3 cloves
    • sherry vinegar
      1/4 cup
      sherry vinegar
    • cornstarch
      1 tablespoon
    • ground allspice
      1/4 teaspoon
      ground allspice
    • apricot preserves
      1/2 ounce
      apricot preserves
    • vegetarian Worcestershire
      1 tablespoon
      vegetarian Worcestershire
    • avocado

    What You’ll Need

    • olive oil
    • kosher salt
    • black pepper
    • aluminum foil
    • baking sheet
    • 6" small pot with lid
    • 10" medium pan


    Cooking Steps

    1. Roast chicken thighs

      Roast chicken thighs

      Preheat oven to 450ºF. Line a baking sheet with foil. Pat chicken very dry with paper towel and place on prepared baking sheet. Season all over with ½ teaspoon salt and pepper as desired, then arrange skin-side up. Roast until skin is crisp and chicken is cooked through, 25-35 minutes.

    2. Cook coconut rice

      Cook coconut rice

      While chicken roasts, open coconut milk and pour into a small pot. Add rice, whole bay leaves, ⅓ cup water, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium low, cover pot, and simmer until liquid is fully absorbed, 14-16 minutes. Remove pot from heat and let stand, still covered, for 10 minutes.

    3. Prepare ingredients

      Prepare ingredients

      While rice cooks, rinse all produce. Cut cucumbers crosswise into ¼-inch slices. Mince garlic. In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar (reserve remainder), 1 tablespoon olive oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, and pepper. Add cucumbers and toss to coat; set aside for serving. In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and ½ cup water to combine (this will help the sauce achieve a thick, silky texture in the next step).

    4. Make sauce

      Make sauce

      Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a medium pan over medium heat. When oil is shimmering, add allspice and garlic; sauté, stirring, until fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Add apricot preserves, Worcestershire, and remaining sherry vinegar. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium; cook until reduced by half, 2-3 minutes. Whisk in cornstarch mixture; cook until flavors have melded and sauce has thickened, 2 minutes more. Remove pan from heat.

    5. Shred chicken

      Shred chicken

      Once roasted, remove and discard skin from chicken (the skin helped keep the chicken moist as it cooked, but could create a chewier texture in your dish, so we recommend removing it), then shred using 2 forks or roughly chop, discarding bones. To pan with sauce, still off heat, stir in shredded chicken, ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper as desired to coat.

    6. Plate chicken

      Plate chicken

      Halve avocado and discard pit; carefully scoop out flesh, discarding skin, then thinly slice. Remove and discard bay leaves from rice, then divide coconut rice between serving bowls. Top with Panamanian garlic chicken, then cucumbers and avocado. Drizzle over any remaining sauce from pan. Enjoy!

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