Coconut Cream Chicken with a Twist

Andy Anderson !


Chicken simmered in coconut milk with other "stuff" is pretty common.

In this dish I made a few changes… we’re using the cream from the coconut milk and not the liquid, and we’re going to brighten it up at the end with some lemon juice, and kick it up with some cayenne. Plus we’re going to be cooking the chicken in coconut oil to give it just a bit more flavor.

So, you ready… Let’s get into the kitchen.

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15 Min
1 Hr
Stove Top


2 Tbsp
coconut oil
1 1/2 lb
chicken breasts, diced
13 1/2 oz
coconut milk, one regular can
14 1/2 oz
diced tomatoes, one regular can, or 2 medium tomatoes
1 c
fresh chicken stock, if you have it, canned or boxed, if you don't
2 c
carrots, small dice
1 c
celery, small dice
1 Tbsp
mild curry powder, or more to taste
1 Tbsp
ginger root, freshly grated
5 clove
garlic, minced
1/4 tsp
kosher salt, or to taste
1 pinch
cayenne pepper, more if you're adventurous
zest of one lemon, use the one you're squeezing for the lemon juice
1 Tbsp
freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 c
long-grain white rice, cooked according to package directions


1/2 c
cashews, unsalted
1/2 c
peas, frozen variety, but allowed to defrost before adding


Step 1 Direction Photo

Hi Ho, Hi Ho… it’s off to work we go.

2Place the can of coconut milk in the refrigerator an hour or two before starting. Or if you’re planning on doing this dish tomorrow, stick it in the fridge before going to bed. This is an important step… don’t skip or forget to do it.

Step 3 Direction Photo

3Dice the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
If you’re using canned tomatoes, drain them; if you’re using regular tomatoes, blanch, peel, and dice.
Dice the carrots, and the celery, grate the ginger, and mince the garlic.
Remove the zest from the lemon, and then squeeze it for the lemon juice.
Get out the salt, curry powder, and the cayenne. Don’t forget the chicken stock, and I do recommend chicken stock over broth for this dish.

Step 4 Direction Photo

4Chef’s Note: Why refrigerate the coconut milk? A can of coconut milk contains two things: coconut cream, and coconut water (at least that’s what I call it). When you refrigerate it, the cream solidifies and separates from the water. When you open the can, you can spoon out the cream, and then discard the water… or drink it, if you like that kind of thing.

Step 5 Direction Photo

5Chef's Tip: Not all canned coconut milk is created equal. Some have a much greater water-to-cream ratio than others. Native Forest is my favorite brand. If you can find it I suggest picking up a can or two. You never know when you might need some.

Step 6 Direction Photo

6Place the coconut oil in a large sauté pan, over medium heat, and then add the chicken.

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7Sauté until the outside of the chicken has turned all white. It will still be quite raw in the middle, but that’s okay.

Step 8 Direction Photo

8Grab the coconut cream. Since you separated the cream from the water, it should look a big lump of lard… YUMMY.

Step 9 Direction Photo

9Add the coconut cream and the chicken stock to the sauté pan, and stir to combine.

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10Add the carrots, celery, and tomatoes.

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11Gently stir until well combined.

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12Add the ginger and curry powder, and stir to incorporate.

13Bring up to an easy boil, and then reduce to a slow simmer.

14Cover, and allow it to simmer slowly for 45 minutes. Every once and awhile, open the lid, and give it a stir.

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15Add the garlic, cayenne, lemon zest, and optional items, if using.

16Cover and allow it to simmer for an additional 5 to 7 minutes.

17Add the lemon juice and give it one final stir to incorporate.

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18Serve immediately over a bed of rice. Enjoy.

Step 19 Direction Photo

19Keep the faith, and keep cooking.

About this Recipe

Course/Dish: Chicken
Main Ingredient: Chicken
Regional Style: Asian
Other Tag: Quick & Easy