So while I’m on a roll from last week’s recipe, today we have another video game-inspired recipe using coconut. My friends, we’re making Chicken Risotto with Coconut from My Time at Portia.
Sure, there were plenty of other recipes I could do from this wholesome RPG meets farm simulator. But the idea of a coconut milk risotto intrigued me. Also, as My Time at Portia has been my gaming addiction for the past few months, this may be my first recipe, but it won’t be my last.
Click here to skip to the recipe for My Time at Portia’s Chicken Risotto with Coconut!
My Time at Portia
My Time at Portia takes place 300 years after civilization’s fall, where humans left their bunkers to rebuild society. Your character’s father leaves you his old building workshop, and you set out to make your own way in a world on the mend. It’s like a steampunk-styled Fallout meets Stardew Valley with more crafting, less radiation, and cuter killer robots.
Cooking in-game gives you bonuses, improves your stats, or wins you friendship points with Portia’s other residents. Sure, putting three items in a pot doesn’t always give you gourmet IRL. But I’m not going to demand realism in a game where seasons last 30 days and you can hold an entire lighthouse in your pocket. And no, that was not a euphemism.
I admit this game hooked me with its wholesome, Animal Crossing – feel. What kept me, though, is its story. Portia’s theme is community. And its lesson is that community only grows through a combined effort. Each NPC has its own dreams and desires. And as you get to know each person, the community soars to new heights as it helps them realize those dreams.
It might just be the mom-friend in me. But I find a great way to get to know folks is through crafting them a delicious, home-cooked meal. So let’s get to it, eh?
She put the rice in the coconut…
If you predict the correct winner of Portia’s annual Martial Arts Tournament, you get a recipe for Chicken Risotto with Coconut. The game describes it as “Risotto made with coconut juice delivered direct from Starlight Island,” and it uses chicken, coconut, rice, and milk.
The game art obviously shows there’s more to this one-pot dish — specifically orangish lumps and greenish flecks. With that, I needed to look up Portia’s other cooking ingredients. The lumps are likely apricots. I used dried ones to plump up nicely while simmering in the arborio rice, milk, and coconut milk mixture.
The green flecks, though, were likely a leafy green herb. Portia’s only herbs and spices are cumin, ginger, pepper, cinnamon, and coriander (cilantro). Out of the two green things on that list, cilantro won out. Keep the stems after chopping the leaves, though. They work wonderfully stuffed in the cavity with lemon.
Roast chicken by itself is delicious. But for me, it’s even better with spiced and crispy skin. That’s why I coated the entire bird with cumin, ginger, kosher salt, and ground coriander seed before sending it to the hot box.
What I love about this dish is that each step adds another layer of subtle complexity. And yet, it is deceptively simple to make. If anything, I’d call it a community of flavor as each ingredient comes through, but they are only further enhanced working with the other. And if that’s not a metaphor for Portia, then I’ll eat my umbrella hat!
Sing for your Supper!
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Chicken Risotto with Coconut
Equipment: Oven, 3.5 to 4-quart casserole dish, and cooking spray.
- 4 – 4.5 lb whole chicken – giblets removed
- 1 and 1/4 cup arborio rice
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 cup dried apricots
- 1 lemon, quartered and deseeded
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 bunch cilantro
- kosher salt
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and coat the inside of the casserole dish with cooking spray. Tuck the arm of the chicken underneath the breast and settle the whole thing into the casserole dish.
- Blend the spices together in a separate dish and set aside. Then cut the stems off the cilantro bunch and stuff it inside the bird’s cavity.
- Rub the chicken skin with the cut side of the lemon wedges, then them into the cavity. Coat the skin with half of the spice blend and liberally season with kosher salt. Lightly spritz the surface with cooking spray, then roast in the oven for an hour.
- Blend the coconut milk, milk, 1/4 cup of water, the remaining spices, and a pinch of kosher salt in a separate container. Set aside until needed.
- Remove the casserole dish from the oven and scatter the rice and apricots around the chicken. Pour in the milk mixture, then return to the oven for 30 minutes.
- Garnish the finished chicken with freshly chopped cilantro leaves before carving and serving.