Chef Marcus Samuelsson

In honor of Black History Month, we’re celebrating Chef Marcus Samuelsson, Ethiopian Swedish chef and restaurateur and the head chef of Red Rooster in Harlem, New York. He is an award-winning chef, restaurateur, cookbook author, philanthropist, and food activist with a passion for cooking and the creative process. You can read more about him and his accomplishments by visiting his website.

We’re excited to share his Coconut Chicken with Pickled Pepper Collards recipe with you!


Coconut Chicken

2 cups buttermilk

3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk

2 garlic cloves, minced

8 thin chicken cutlets (1 3/4 pounds)

3 cups panko (6 ounces)

3 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut


Freshly ground pepper

Canola oil, for frying


3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 large garlic cloves, halved

2 pounds young collard greens—stems and inner ribs removed, leaves thinly sliced

1 cup chicken stock


Freshly ground pepper

4 pickled jalapeños, seeded and thickly sliced


Make the Coconut Chicken

  1. In a large bowl, combine the buttermilk, coconut milk, and garlic. Add the chicken and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 4 hours.

  2. In a shallow bowl, combine the panko and coconut; season with salt and pepper. Drain the chicken and season with salt and pepper. Dip the cutlets into the panko, pressing to help it adhere. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.

Make the Collards

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the garlic and cook over moderate heat until golden, 2 minutes. Add the collards and cook, stirring, until wilted, 2 minutes. Add the stock and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until the liquid is nearly evaporated and the collards are tender, about 8 minutes. Discard the garlic and stir in the sliced jalapeños; keep warm.

  2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat ½ inch of canola oil until shimmering. Working in batches, fry the chicken over moderately high heat, turning once, until crispy, 6 minutes. Drain on paper towels and season with salt. Serve with the collards.