Chicken In Coconut Sauce-Few ingredients impart such an exotic yet comforting flair quite like coconut. Its sweet creaminess enlivens both sweet and savory dishes, including chicken entrees elevated to new dimensions of intrigue when steeped in coconut-enriched sauces. A splash of coconut milk introduces tropical nuances and lush texture perfect for weekday dinners or date nights in needing a dash of vacation without the travel. Let’s dive into this island escape of Chicken In Coconut Sauce!
Coconut’s Culinary Allure
The signature flavor and ultra-smooth, fatty richness imparted by coconut endures universal appeal. Traditional cuisines of tropical regions often incorporate coconut milk and coconut cream into curries, stews and steaming mugfuls of aromatically spiced drinks. Stirred into both sweet and savory dishes, coconut builds body and soft subtle sweetness through its medium chain fatty acid content.
When blended into braises, stir fries, masala sauces or simmering one pot meals enveloping tender chicken, coconut milk introduces luscious creaminess and carries other spices beautifully. Its versatility as an ingredient, highly affordable price and increasingly stable shelf life in cartons makes coconut in any form a convenient pantry staple perfect for unlocking new layers of flavor.
Benefits of Chicken & Coconut Combos
Together chicken and coconut create culinary magic with benefits beyond taste alone. Lean chicken rests at the center of many healthy eating plans for good reason. Its impressive protein content fuels and repairs muscles while keeping hunger at bay for hours. Mixing boring boneless, skinless breasts or thighs into coconut-enriched preparations enhances moistness so this otherwise bland meat shines.
Additionally, the MCT fats abundant within coconut milk and coconut cream may support:
- Healthy Metabolism
- Improved Digestion
- Immunity & Inflammatory Response
- Brain Function Clarity
- Nutrient Absorption
- Blood Sugar Management
Chicken In Coconut Sauce Recipes
Time to put chicken and coconut together into the spotlight!
Tandoori Coconut Chicken
Yogurt-marinated chicken chars beautifully in the oven after getting infused with spice and coconut. Serving this over cauliflower rice keeps it paleo-friendly too!
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1⁄4 cup coconut cream
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 Tbsp minced ginger
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 1⁄2 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1⁄2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1⁄2 tsp cinnamon
- 1⁄2 tsp salt
- Naan bread, cauliflower rice and cilantro for serving
- In a mixing bowl, combine yogurt, coconut cream, lemon juice, cilantro, garlic and ginger. Add spices and salt too. Mix thoroughly then add chicken chunks, tossing to evenly coat in marinade. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
- Arrange chicken pieces in a single layer atop prepared pan. Roast 25 minutes, until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
- Serve tandoori chicken atop cauliflower rice, with warmed naan bread on the side. Garnish with extra cilantro.
Coconut Curry Chicken & Vegetable Skillet
This quick yet complex one-pan meal marinates chicken in an Pakistani-spiced coconut milk bath then sears it alongside fresh veggies for a fast dinner that tastes like you fussed for hours over of Chicken In Coconut Sauce.
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 13.5 oz can coconut milk
- 3 Tbsp red curry paste
- 1 lb baby potatoes, halved
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
- 1 zucchini, halved and sliced
- 1 red onion, cut into wedges
- Chopped cilantro, cooked jasmine rice and naan bread for serving
- Whisk together coconut milk and red curry paste in a bowl. Add raw chicken and toss to evenly coat. Marinate 15 minutes at room temperature while prepping veggies.
- Heat a large deep skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Remove chicken from marinade with a slotted spoon allowing excess to drip back into bowl; reserve marinade.
- Working in batches if needed, quickly sear chicken pieces in the hot pan about 3 minutes per side until lightly browned. Transfer seared chicken to a clean bowl and set aside.
- Add potatoes and bell peppers to hot pan and sauté 3 minutes to slightly char. Add reserved marinade and nestle seared chicken evenly atop vegetables.
- Reduce heat, cover and simmer 10 minutes for flavors to further penetrate meat and vegetables. Toss in zucchini and onions until just fork tender 2 to 3 minutes more.
- Serve family-style from the pan or divide onto plates over rice. Garnish generously with chopped cilantro. Scoop any remaining pan sauce over top. Enjoy with warmed naan dipped into the curried coconut sauce too if desired and enjoy your Chicken In Coconut Sauce
Coconut Chicken & Wild Rice Skillet
Take weeknight chicken dinners on a Polynesian flavor tour blending boneless chicken thighs with fire-roasted pineapple and tri-color peppers over nutty wild rice nourishing enough on its own thanks to protein-packed egg whites and skim milk stirred in. A splash of coconut aminos seasons everything to savory perfection.
- 1 cup uncooked wild rice
- 1 cup egg whites or whole eggs
- 1 13.5 oz can light coconut milk
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1 8 oz can pineapple chunks in juice, drained (save juice)
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 orange bell pepper, chopped
- 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
- 2 Tbsp coconut aminos
- 1 Tbsp sriracha hot sauce
- 2 tsp minced ginger
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 2 Tbsp water
- Combine wild rice, egg whites/eggs, 1 cup water and1⁄2 tsp salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer 35 to 40 minutes until rice is tender and liquid absorbed.
- Meanwhile, pat chicken dry and cut into 1-inch pieces. Season all over with salt and pepper.
- In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, sear chicken pieces about 5 minutes per side until browned and 165°F internally. Transfer to a clean plate.
- To same hot pan, add peppers and pineapple. Cook 3 minutes to lightly char all around.
- Whisk together coconut milk, reserved pineapple juice, aminos, sriracha and ginger in a bowl. Pour into skillet with vegetables. Nestle seared chicken evenly atop ingredients.
- Bring mixture to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook 5 minutes for flavors to meld.
- Give cornstarch slurry a final stir then pour around outer edges of pan, stirring everything gently ALLOW mixture to bubble 1 minute which thickens sauce nicely to coat all ingredients.
- Serve coconut chicken and wild rice skillet topped with chopped scallions, sesame seeds or cilantro if desired. Enjoy immediately.
Coconut & Buttermilk Chicken Fingers with Mango Dipping Sauce
Trade deep frying for oven baking to achieve wonderfully crisp and craveably flavorful chicken tenders. The combination of coconut milk and tangy buttermilk makes these extra juicy and golden. Sweet mango dipping sauce balances each bite beautifully!
Chicken Marinade & Coating:
- 1⁄2 cup coconut milk
- 1⁄2 cup buttermilk
- 1 lb chicken breast tenders
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1⁄2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1⁄2 tsp salt
Mango Dipping Sauce:
- 1 ripe mango, chopped (about 1 heaping cup)
- 1⁄4 cup coconut cream
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 1 Tbsp lime juice
- 1⁄4 tsp red pepper flakes
- Whisk together coconut milk and buttermilk in a shallow baking dish. Add chicken and turn to coat. Cover and marinate 30 minutes.
- In a separate shallow dish, mix together panko, shredded coconut and spices.
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.
- One piece at a time, remove chicken from buttermilk marinade allowing excess drip off. Dredge thoroughly in coconut panko mixture pressing gently so it adheres.
- Arrange coated chicken pieces in a single layer atop prepared pan. Spritz tops lightly with oil if desired. Bake 12 to 15 minutes until hot and crisp outside with no pink inside.
- Make mango dipping sauce by pulsing all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Alternatively mash ingredients with a fork for chunkier texture.
- Serve crispy baked coconut chicken fingers alongside mango dipping sauce for dunking every juicy golden bite!
Bonus: Coconut Milk Ice Cream
Of course no coconut-themed menu feels complete without a cool, creamy dessert starring this stellar tropical fruit! Transforming just 3 ingredients into rich, smooth DIY ice cream only takes 10 minutes active time. Customize flavors by swirling in chocolate chips, shredded coconut, mango or pineapple pieces too if desired!
- 2 (14 oz) cans full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
- 2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1 Tbsp rum, whiskey or vanilla (optional)
- Carefully spoon solid separated coconut cream layer off the top of refrigerated cans (reserving remaining liquid for smoothies or curry dishes). Place desired amount of cream into a chilled bowl.
- Using an electric mixer, beat coconut solids with sweetened condensed milk until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Taste; then slowly beat in rum/vanilla if desired.
- Transfer ice cream base mixture to freezer-safe container, smoothing top evenly. Cover surface directly with plastic wrap then lid.
- Freeze 4 hours up to overnight or until frozen through yet still scoopable when edges begin softening.
- Allow frozen coconut milk ice cream to sit at room temperature 5 minutes before serving if too firm straight from freezer. Top with toasted coconut flakes or crushed nuts if desired.
Coconut-Chicken Bliss on the Daily
This taste of the tropics never disappoints for brightening up weeknight dining vibes. From fiery curries to chilled desserts, coconut truly serves a dish enhancement MVP soaking boring boneless chicken with intrigue. Hopefully these recipes inspire incorporating convenient canned coconut milk into your regular rotation more often!