Chicken is cooked until impossible tender in a sauce flavored with the creamy tropical flavor of coconut milk, turmeric (one of my favorite spices), a bit of tomato paste and a touch of soy sauce. It is a magical combination of Latin and Asian flavors and if you’re looking to up your chicken game, this is the dish for you.
Coconut Braised Chicken with Coconut Rice
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- 8 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground allspice
- 4 ½ cups of full fat coconut milk (be sure it’s coconut milk and NOT coconut cream)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1 ½ cups rice, rinsed and drained (my family is a huge fan of sticky rice, but white rice would also work)
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- ½ bunch kale leaves, roughly chopped
- In a large Dutch oven (or, if you have a braiser (a shorter, squatter version of a Dutch oven, this is the time to pull it out!), heat oil over medium heat. Stir in turmeric and cook until fragrant and the oil has turned a lovely shade of yellow, about 30 seconds. Add the onion and garlic and cook for about 3 minutes, until the onion has softened a bit. Stir in the tomato paste and allspice, then 1 ½ cups of coconut milk, soy sauce and a pinch of salt. Bring to a simmer, then nestle the chicken in the sauce, cover and reduce heat to medium low. Cook until chicken is completely cooked through, about 18-20 minutes. Flip the chicken over half way through the cooking time, so it cooks on both sides.
- While the chicken is cooking, get the rice going. I love using my rice cooker which makes it INCREDIBLY easy (and no worries about rice water exploding all over my stove!). Whether you use the stove/pot method or the rice cooker method, add the rice, then the rest of the coconut milk instead of water.
- When the chicken is done, using tongs (you want the sauce to stay in the pan) transfer to a plate. Bring the liquid to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, until reduced by about half and thickened, about 10 minutes. Pour any accumulated juices from the chicken back into the pot, simmer for a minute, then add the lime juice and kale. Simmer for another minute until the kale wilts. Then add the chicken back in, gently turning it over in the sauce to be sure the sauce coats all sides of the chicken.
- Serve chicken over the rice with some extra wedges of lime.