Easy Coconut Milk Braised Chicken – big in flavor, low in calories (under 300)! Pan seared seasoned chicken breasts are cooked in, and topped with a spiced coconut milk sauce. You’re gonna LOVE this dish! YUM!
We just returned from our annual summer vacation to Whidbey Island, WA. One of my traditions while there is to visit a local community thrift store and browse for cookbooks to add to my collection. I LOVE to look at recipes in cookbooks… it’s been a crazy “down time” hobby of mine for years, even before I started blogging. I love the “thrill of the hunt” for great recipes to make for my family.
This year I found several (8) “new to me” used cookbooks, including the one I found this recipe for coconut milk braised chicken in, for a tiny fraction of their original retail price. I paid $17.35 for 8 cookbooks, but their original retail value was over $150! Now that’s what I call a DEAL!!!! This recipe, for coconut milk braised chicken sounded really interesting to me, so I gave it a try…wowzer! This is a FANTASTIC recipe! Seriously GOOD! It’s also very easy to prepare, so it’s a WIN-WIN in my book!
The chicken is seasoned nicely (it only has a tiny “kick” to it), and the coconut milk sauce tastes amazing! I “might” have taste-tested the sauce several times as it cooked…yum. Who knew coconut milk braised chicken could taste so good? Let me show you how easy this dish is to make!
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How To Prepare Coconut Milk Braised Chicken
Mix spices for the chicken in a small bowl (coriander, cumin, turmeric, cayenne pepper). Add white wine vinegar, and stir to combine ingredients fully.
(SIDE NOTE: I was able to hand grind coriander seeds I had dried from our garden a year or two ago… YAY for homegrown! If you use store bought ground coriander, it will be more powdery, so your sauce will be smoother… mine has “bumps” from hand-grinding coriander seeds).
Give the chicken breasts a rinse, then place them on a paper towel, and pat them dry. Rub or brush on the seasoning mixture, covering both sides of chicken.
Cook The Chicken
Heat oil in a large (10-12 inch) non-stick skillet on high heat. Once the oil gets really hot (but not smoking), add the seasoned chicken breasts. Cook chicken for 2-3 minutes (without moving), then carefully flip chicken over and cook the other side 2-3 minutes.
Both sides should be a nice golden brown color. Transfer the chicken to a rimmed plate (a rimmed plate will catch any juices from chicken as it sits). Do NOT clean out skillet.
Create The Sauce For The Chicken
Place onion slices and minced ginger into the same skillet. Cook, stirring often for 2-3 minutes while the onions turn a golden color. Add the garlic, and stir well while it cooks for 1 more minute. Stir the coconut milk well with a fork or spoon while still in can (it’s thick). Pour entire can of coconut milk into the onion mixture in the skillet. Add salt. Stir well, to combine ingredients.
(Note: this recipe (as written) calls for LIGHT canned coconut milk, which has far less calories than regular. I only had regular coconut milk in our pantry, so that is what I used, and what you see in photo below).
Finish The Coconut Milk Braised Chicken
Cook on medium heat until the sauce comes to a boil. Transfer the chicken breasts back into the sauce. Pour any accumulated juices into the skillet, as well. Reduce heat, and cook chicken (turning once) for 10-12 minutes total, and the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink in the thickest part. I also spoon sauce over the top of chicken occasionally as it cooks.
When chicken is finished cooking, remove chicken breasts; transfer them back onto the rimmed plate. Cover with foil to keep warm. Turn the heat back up to high and bring sauce to a boil. Cook the coconut sauce for about 4 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened a bit, and reduced down to about 1½ cups.
Toast Shredded Coconut While the Sauce Thickens
While the sauce is cooking, I quickly toast some shredded coconut in a small dry skillet. I use this toasted coconut as a garnish for the finished dish.
To toast coconut, simply place coconut in skillet, and cook on low heat, stirring often, until coconut turns a golden brown in color (only takes a couple minutes). Remove from heat; transfer coconut to a plate or paper towel to cool. This step can also be done ahead of time or while the chicken is cooking.
Serve Coconut Milk Braised Chicken
Place the coconut milk braised chicken breasts onto individual plates or a serving platter. Spoon the sauce evenly over the pieces. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and toasted coconut, (if desired). Season with additional salt, if desired. I served the coconut milk braised chicken with white rice and peas. YUM!
I REALLY hope you will give this recipe for coconut milk braised chicken a try. My husband and I really enjoyed it, and I will definitely be making this quick dish again! I sure got my money’s worth finding that old used cookbook!
Looking For More CHICKEN Recipes?
If you enjoy chicken dishes, be sure to check out my recipes for Coq au Vin, Chicken Broccoli Fettucine Alfredo, Chicken Fried Chicken, and many, many others, all of which are listed in the Recipe Index shown at the top of the page.
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Recipe Source: Sunset – Recipe Annual Cookbook (2002 Edition), page 14, Published November, 2001 by Sunset Publishing Corporation.
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground dried turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 4 chicken breasts (5-6 oz. each) (boneless, skinless)
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 1 cup thinly sliced onion
- 2 Tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 Tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 1 (14 oz.) canned coconut milk (reduced fat)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped (optional garnish)
- 3 Tablespoons shredded coconut
Mix seasonings for chicken in a small bowl (coriander, cumin, turmeric, cayenne pepper). Add white wine vinegar; stir to combine ingredients fully.
Rinse chicken, then place on paper towel, and pat dry. Rub or brush on seasoning mixture, covering both sides of chicken. Heat oil in a large (10-12 inch) non-stick skillet on high heat. Once oil gets hot (but not smoking), add chicken. Cook 2-3 minutes (without moving), then flip chicken over and cook other side 2-3 minutes. Both sides should be golden brown. Transfer chicken to a rimmed plate (rimmed plate will catch juices from chicken). Do NOT clean out skillet.
Place onion slices and minced ginger into the same skillet. Cook, stirring often for 2-3 minutes until onions turn a golden color. Add garlic; stir well while it cooks for 1 minute. Stir coconut milk with a fork or spoon while still in can (it's thick). Pour coconut milk into onion mixture. Add salt. Stir well to combine ingredients. Cook on medium heat until it comes to a boil.
Transfer chicken back into sauce. Pour any accumulated juices into skillet. Reduce heat; cook chicken for 10-12 minutes total (turning once), until chicken is no longer pink in the middle of thickest part. Spoon sauce over top of chicken often as it cooks. When chicken is done, remove chicken from skillet back onto rimmed plate. Cover chicken with foil to keep warm.
Turn heat back up to high; bring sauce to a boil. Cook sauce for 4 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened a bit, and reduced down to about 1½ cups.
While sauce is reducing, toast coconut (for garnish) by placing shredded coconut into a dry skillet; cook on low, stirring often, until it turns golden brown (takes a couple minutes). Remove from heat; transfer coconut to a paper towel to cool. **This step can also be done ahead of time or while the chicken is cooking.
Place chicken breasts onto individual plates or serving platter. Spoon sauce evenly over chicken. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and toasted coconut, (if desired), and season with additional salt, to taste. Serve, and enjoy!
Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!