This Coconut Curry Chicken Recipe is made with red onion, garlic, ginger, red curry paste, coconut milk and a lime.
This Coconut Curry Chicken Recipe is absolutely fantastic and flavorful. The coconut milk and curry combination is the best mixture of sweet and spicy you could ever dream of. This is a main course that would be served at a restaurant and will definitely impress your family at home. If you do not have chicken thighs at home, feel free to use other bone in chicken for best flavor, like drumsticks or wings. Cut the chicken up into pieces if you buy a whole chicken.
Coconut curry chicken can be customized to suit different tastes and spice preferences. It can range from mild to spicy, depending on the amount of curry paste or additional chili peppers added to the dish. The dish is often served with steamed rice or naan bread, which helps soak up the flavorful sauce.
- What is Coconut Curry Chicken?
- Why you will love this Coconut Curry Chicken Recipe
- Coconut Curry Chicken Recipe Ingredients
- How to make Coconut Curry Chicken
- What to serve with Coconut Curry Chicken Recipe
- Coconut Curry Chicken Recipe Variations
- How to store Coconut Curry Chicken
- Coconut Curry Chicken Recipe Top tips
- Coconut Curry Chicken Recipe
- Food safety
What is Coconut Curry Chicken?
Coconut curry chicken is a flavorful and aromatic dish made with chicken cooked in a rich and creamy coconut-based curry sauce. It is a popular dish in many Southeast Asian cuisines, particularly Thai and Indian.
The dish typically consists of chicken pieces, such as thighs or breast, cooked in a mixture of spices, herbs, and coconut milk. The curry sauce is made by combining ingredients like red curry paste, onions, garlic, and ginger with coconut milk and sometimes chicken broth. The combination of these ingredients creates a creamy and fragrant sauce that coats the chicken.
Why you will love this Coconut Curry Chicken Recipe
- Flavorful and Aromatic: Coconut curry chicken combines a rich blend of spices, herbs, and coconut milk, resulting in a dish bursting with flavor. The combination of ingredients like red curry paste, ginger, garlic, and onions creates a fragrant and aromatic curry sauce that infuses the chicken with delicious flavors.
- Creamy and Luscious: The addition of coconut milk in the curry sauce gives it a creamy and luscious texture. The coconut milk adds a subtle sweetness and richness to the dish, balancing out the spices and creating a satisfying and comforting mouthfeel.
- Versatility: Coconut curry chicken is a versatile dish that can be customized to suit individual preferences. You can adjust the level of spiciness by adding more or less curry paste or chili peppers. Additionally, you can incorporate various vegetables, such as bell peppers, carrots, or peas, to add extra color, texture, and nutritional value to the dish.
- Balanced Flavors: The combination of spices, herbs, and coconut milk in coconut curry chicken creates a harmonious balance of flavors. The spices provide depth and warmth, while the coconut milk adds a touch of sweetness. The flavors work together to create a well-rounded and satisfying taste experience.
Coconut Curry Chicken Recipe Ingredients
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
- Chicken thigh, bone in and skin on
- Olive oil
- Red onion
- Red curry paste
- Chicken broth
- Coconut milk
See recipe card for Keto Coconut Curry Chicken quantities.
How to make Coconut Curry Chicken
Pat chicken thighs dry with paper towels and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat the oil over medium-high in a large deep saucepan. When the oil shimmers, add the chicken thighs, skin-side down, and cook, undisturbed, until nicely browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Flip and brown the other side, 4 to 5 minutes more. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Turn heat to medium-low, add the onion and cook until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook until the garlic and the spices are fragrant, about 1 minute. Season with salt.
Add the red curry paste, chicken broth and the coconut milk, and stir until combined, scraping up any brown bits that have formed at the bottom of the pan. Nestle the chicken back into the skillet along with any juices that have accumulated. Bring to a simmer and reduce to medium low.
Cover and cook until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has thickened slightly, 20 to 25 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. After it is cooked through, remove from heat and squeeze the lime and garnish with cilantro.
Hint: Make sure to use a meat thermometer until internal temperature reaches 165°F.
What to serve with Coconut Curry Chicken Recipe
- Steamed Rice: Serving coconut curry chicken with steamed rice is a classic and popular choice. The fluffy rice acts as a neutral base to soak up the flavorful curry sauce.
- Naan Bread: Naan bread is a traditional Indian bread that pairs wonderfully with coconut curry chicken. Its soft and slightly chewy texture makes it perfect for dipping into the curry sauce.
- Roti: Roti is another type of Indian bread that complements coconut curry chicken well. It is a thin, unleavened bread that can be torn and used to scoop up the curry.
- Jasmine or Basmati Rice: If you want to elevate the rice option, consider using fragrant jasmine or basmati rice. These rice varieties have a pleasant aroma that adds an extra layer of flavor to the meal. Check out my Pumpkin Coconut Rice Recipe.
- Quinoa: For a healthier alternative to rice, you can serve coconut curry chicken with quinoa. Cook the quinoa according to package instructions and serve it alongside the chicken. Quinoa adds a nutty flavor and provides additional protein and nutrients. Check out my Quinoa with Chickpeas.
- Coconut Milk:
- Heavy Cream: Use heavy cream or a combination of milk and heavy cream to create a creamy texture similar to coconut milk. Keep in mind that this substitution will alter the flavor profile slightly.
- Greek Yogurt: Dilute Greek yogurt with a bit of water or broth to achieve a creamy consistency.
- Red Curry Paste:
- Curry Powder: If you don't have red curry paste, you can use curry powder as a substitute. Start with a smaller amount and adjust to your taste preferences. Curry powder will provide a different flavor profile but will still give the dish a delicious curry flavor.
- Chicken Broth:
- Vegetable Broth: If you prefer a non-meat option, vegetable broth can be used instead of chicken broth.
- Water: In a pinch, you can use water as a substitute. However, keep in mind that the flavor may not be as rich as when using broth.
- Lemon: If you don't have limes on hand, you can use lemon juice as a substitute. The citrusy acidity will still provide a similar bright flavor to the dish.
- Parsley: If you're not a fan of cilantro, you can use fresh parsley as an alternative. It will provide a different herbaceous flavor but can still add freshness to the dish.
Coconut Curry Chicken Recipe Variations
- Thai Green Curry Chicken: Instead of using red curry paste, substitute it with green curry paste for a different flavor profile. Green curry paste typically includes ingredients like green chili, lemongrass, and Thai basil, giving the dish a vibrant and slightly spicier taste.
- Vegetarian/Vegan Coconut Curry: Replace the chicken with your choice of vegetables or plant-based protein such as tofu, chickpeas, or seitan to make a vegetarian or vegan coconut curry. Adjust the cooking time accordingly to ensure the vegetables or protein are cooked through. You can also use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth and plant-based milk substitutes like coconut milk or almond milk instead of regular dairy milk.
- Creamy Coconut Curry Chicken: To make an extra creamy version of coconut curry chicken, stir in a few tablespoons of creamy peanut butter or cashew butter into the sauce. The nutty richness will enhance the creaminess and add depth of flavor to the dish.
- Spicy Coconut Curry Chicken: If you enjoy heat, increase the amount of red curry paste, or add additional chili peppers such as Thai bird's eye chili or jalapeño to make the curry spicier. Adjust the level of spiciness according to your taste preferences.
Check out this Chicken, Sausage and Porcini Mushrooms recipe.
- Cutting Board: A sturdy cutting board will provide a stable surface for chopping and preparing the ingredients.
- Chef's Knife: A sharp chef's knife will be useful for cutting and slicing the chicken, onions, garlic, ginger, and other ingredients.
- Large Skillet or Dutch Oven: A large skillet or a Dutch oven with a lid is ideal for cooking the curry chicken. It should be able to comfortably accommodate the chicken and the curry sauce.
- Wooden Spoon or Spatula: A wooden spoon or spatula will help you stir and mix the ingredients while cooking.
- Measuring Spoons and Cups: You will need measuring spoons and cups to accurately measure the quantities of ingredients like curry paste, broth, and coconut milk.
- Grater or Zester: If using fresh ginger, a grater or zester will come in handy for grating the ginger.
- Citrus Juicer or Squeezer: To extract the juice from the limes, a citrus juicer or squeezer can make the process easier.
- Serving Dish: A serving dish or platter to present and serve the coconut curry chicken.
How to store Coconut Curry Chicken
To store Coconut Curry Chicken Recipe properly, follow these guidelines:
- Refrigeration: If you have leftovers, allow the coconut curry chicken to cool down to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container. Place the container in the refrigerator within two hours of cooking. Make sure the curry chicken is completely cooled before sealing the container, as trapping heat and moisture can lead to bacterial growth.
- Airtight Containers: Store the coconut curry chicken in airtight containers to prevent air exposure and maintain freshness. You can use glass or plastic containers with tight-fitting lids. Alternatively, you can use resealable plastic bags, squeezing out excess air before sealing.
- Proper Labeling: Clearly label the container with the date of storage to track its freshness. This will help you remember when to consume or discard the leftovers.
- Storage Duration: Coconut curry chicken can be refrigerated for up to 3-4 days. It's best to consume the leftovers within this timeframe to ensure food safety and optimal taste.
- Freezing: If you want to store coconut curry chicken for longer periods, you can freeze it. Transfer the cooled curry chicken to freezer-safe containers or freezer bags, ensuring there is minimal air inside. Seal tightly and label with the date.
- Freezing Duration: Coconut curry chicken can be stored in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. While it will remain safe to eat beyond that timeframe, the quality may start to decline.
- Thawing and Reheating: When you're ready to enjoy the frozen coconut curry chicken, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator. Once thawed, reheat it on the stovetop or in the microwave until heated through. Ensure it reaches a safe internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) before consuming.
Coconut Curry Chicken Recipe Top tips
- Browning the Chicken: Before adding the curry sauce, sear the chicken thighs in a hot skillet with olive oil to achieve a nice golden brown color and enhance the flavor. This step adds depth and richness to the dish.
- Adjust the Spice Level: Coconut curry chicken can be customized to suit your spice preferences. Start with a smaller amount of curry paste or chili peppers, and gradually increase the heat if desired. Taste and adjust as you go to find the perfect balance of flavors for your palate.
- Simmer for Flavor: Once you've added the curry sauce, bring it to a gentle simmer. Simmering allows the flavors to meld together and the chicken to become tender. Be sure to cook the chicken thoroughly until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).
- Add Lime Juice and Cilantro at the End: Just before serving, squeeze fresh lime juice over the coconut curry chicken to brighten the flavors. Also, sprinkle freshly chopped cilantro on top for a fresh and aromatic finish.
- Resting Period: Allow the cooked coconut curry chicken to rest for a few minutes before serving. This helps the flavors to settle and allows the chicken to retain its juiciness.
- Garnish and Accompaniments: Consider garnishing the dish with additional fresh cilantro leaves, lime wedges, or sliced red chili peppers for presentation. Serve the coconut curry chicken with steamed rice, naan bread, or any of your preferred side dishes to complete the meal.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove