Sweet coconut steals the show in simple, yet aromatic dish. This recipe for coconut curry chicken packs serious flavor and doesn’t require too much elbow grease. Chop, mix, done.
If you are feeling adventurous, feel free to add a dash of cayenne for a touch of heat.
Coconut curry chicken is perfect for a dinner party or a quick weekday meal. Any part of the bird will taste amazing in the coconut curry sauce. It’s a healthy dish too. A balance of proteins, healthy fats, and the mighty turmeric.
A little curry history for thought.
The other day I was talking to a co-worker who happens to be an authority on curry and its history. According to her, curry dishes are popular throughout all of Asia, not just India. The use of coconut milk tends to be more popular in Southern India and Southeast Asia. Plenty of palm trees! In the north of India, yogurt is preferred. The northern parts of the Indian subcontinent developed as pastoral societies that raised and herded milk producing animals. As a historical side note, coconut also held a sacred place in ancient Indian culture. Old Sanskrit texts speak about the revered status of coconuts in ancient times.
Don’t hate the coconut.
I know a couple of coconut haters myself. You can definitely use another liquid, chicken broth instead of coconut milk. To achieve a creamy consistency you can add 1/4 cup of heavy cream. I like to serve my coconut curry chicken with jasmine rice. I find that the floral quality of this rice is a nice complement to the sweet/savory nature of this dish
Here are the step by step photos to make a great coconut curry chicken.
- Slice the chicken breasts or cutlets into 1.5″ to 2″ pieces.
- Add 1 Tbsp of canola oil to a pan on medium heat and then add the chicken pieces. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Cook the chicken until all the pieces have slightly brown edges.
- Add the onion and cook until it is translucent.
- Pour in the coconut milk. If you like it a bit more saucy add more coconut milk. (This will deglaze the pan too, bonus!)
- Add the curry powder and simmer covered for 20-25 minutes.
- Add the tomato, cilantro and the garam masala for a punch of spice.
- Stir to combine and check the spice level. Add more salt and garam masala to taste. If you want some heat, add 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper and stir.
- Coconut curry chicken is indeed healthy. It packs protein, healthy fats, and the mighty turmeric.
- Freeze it or meal prep it. It holds up well made ahead. Some say that curry is better the second day.
Crazy for curries? Try this South Indian dish, Chicken Xacuti.
The Easiest Coconut Curry Chicken
Here is an easy Indian stye coconut curry chicken with tomatoes. The sweet and savory flavors of coconut milk, spicy curry and garam masala are a great combination. If you like food from India you have to try this dish. I like to service with some jasmine rice for a nice floral note.
- 2 lbs chicken cutlets cut into 1.5" to 2" pieces
- 1 Tbsp canola oil
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 onion small, diced
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 2 Roma tomato diced
- 2 Tbsp cilantro chopped
- 1 Tbsp curry
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- salt and pepper to taste paleo diet: sea salt
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional for a spicy heat)
- Heat oil in skillet on medium and add the chicken pieces. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and brown on both sides, about 3-5 minutes on each side.
- Add the onion and cook until translucent. Add the garlic.
- Add coconut milk and curry and simmer covered for about 10-25 minutes.
- Add the garam masala, cilantro and the tomato and continue to cook for an additional 5 minutes.
- Serve with jasmine rice.