Wednesday 24 April 2013

Food From Fiction -Practical Magic: Lime and Coconut Chicken

I'm taking part in Food 'n' Flix, which encourages bloggers to watch the film chosen for that month and cook something inspired by the story, location or characters. This month the film is Practical Magic starring Sandra Bullock and Nicola Kidman; I'd seen it several years ago but decided to watch it again. The film centres around two sisters (Bullock and Kidman) brought up by their aunts (played by Stockard Channing and Dianne Wiest), who are all witches. They also live a relatively bohemian lifestyle and are something of outcasts in the community. The sisters also believe there is a family curse - that the men they fall in love with suffer an untimely death. The curse appears to be true when Sally (Sandra Bullock) is widowed at a young age, and she is wary of falling in love again. However, this is a romantic comedy and does of course have a happy ending.

When Sally is a child she makes a wish or casts a spell to protect herself from falling in love (and therefore protect anyone who might love her from dying) and makes a list of qualities her husband must have, that she thinks are too far-fetched to come true - one quality being that he will have one green eye and one blue, and also that he will be able to toss pancakes. When the investigator Gary arrives to look into a mysterious death, Sally realises he does have one green eye one blue. Soon, he seems to be falling for Sally, and there's a moment when the viewer realises he must be 'the one' as he is tossing pancakes with her children.

As pancakes were something of a motif in this film I was going to choose that as my dish to make, but I didn't think it was particularly exciting (at least, not the kind of breakfast pancakes they eat in the film) and at the same time, there was another scene I couldn't get out of my head. The sisters and their aunts are drinking and getting merry on tequila and end up dancing around the kitchen singing a song called "Coconut", with a particularly catchy line that goes "put the lime in the coconut". I had to look the song up and discovered it was by a guy called Harry Nilsson in 1972, but that Dannii Minogue also recorded a cover version, which I can't quite imagine! But I found myself humming that line over and over and eventually decided to give up the idea of pancakes and instead make something where I could "put the lime in the coconut".

I found a Delia Smith recipe online for a lime and coconut chicken curry which looked perfect. It's also really easy to make, as it only uses a few ingredients.

Chop two chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces. Place in a bowl with the zest and juice of a lime. Leave for at least an hour to marinate.

Chop half a red chilli - Delia says to use a green chilli but I only had red.

Stir-fry the chicken, adding the marinade to the pan as well, until the chicken cooked and then add the chilli. Add half a tin of coconut milk and cook for a few minutes over a medium heat.

You're supposed to add spring onions but I didn't have any and my boyfriend doesn't like them anyway. I did add some chopped coriander just before serving.

Serve with rice - and in this case broccoli and beansprouts.

Food n Flix this month is hosted by Can't Believe We Ate and the main page can be found here.


  1. Practical Magic is secretly one of my favourite films of all times, I rarely admit it! My best friend and I make Lime and Coconut Magaritas in summer and have to sing the song whilst shaking them. Next time, I think I'm going to make some of your beautiful looking chicken to soak up some of the tequila!

  2. you do make some nice meals---i think i will move in with you---lol

    1. Well I'm hoping Ian will think that!! Next time you come to stay you'll have to let me know what you want me to make!

  3. What an inspired dish. I love it.

  4. Love it! Such a perfectly inspired dish, and it sounds delicious :).


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