If you love Thai food, this Thai Coconut Chicken is for you! The chicken is marinated in coconut milk which adds flavour and richness to the chicken. Served with a Peanut Coconut Sauce to really drive home the coconut flavour, this recipe is fantastic for the BBQ, stovetop or roasting.
Bula from Fiji!!! I actually almost wrote “Hola!” then I almost wrote “Aloha!”. Duh!
When this post goes live, I’ll be enroute to Fiji for a short Fly ‘n Flop break with friends. Fiji is to Australians what Mexico & Hawaii is to Americans. And the Greek Islands to Poms. A short 4 hour flight from Sydney, it’s a balmy 28C/82F almost all year round. Warm without being too hot. Plenty of resorts, quite good value, family friendly, it’s just an easy break.
I’m packing walking shoes and exercise gear, but somehow I suspect they’ll remain unused. 😎 Pretty sure we won’t be leaving the resort for much!
I fully intended to share something on-theme….. but then I realised I have zero knowledge about Fijian food. I have visions of whole pigs roasted in cooking pits and pineapple rice salads……I’ll find out when I’m there.
So I’m sorry to say I’m not sharing a pig in a cooking pit today. 😜Just this Thai Coconut Chicken which I figure is in the spirit of a tropical holiday.
I’ve shared a Coconut Marinated Chicken previously. It’s terrific, adapted from a Bobby Flay recipe. Marinating chicken in coconut milk works wonders. The coconut flavour itself is actually quite subtle – at least, in the flesh. Which is why I like to serve this with a Peanut Coconut Sauce, just to really drive home the coconut flavour. Also to use up the whole can of coconut milk – because despite good intentions, I never seem to use up leftover coconut milk.
What I really like about marinating in coconut milk is that it adds richness to the chicken flesh. You can almost taste “butteriness” from the coconut (albeit not a buttery flavour, it’s a coconut flavour!). Marinades typically tenderise and infuse with flavour, but they don’t add richness. So that’s something a little unique about coconut marinades. 🙂
Though this recipe is not an authentic Thai recipe – at least, not to my knowledge – all the ingredients in the marinade certainly are. And when you take the first bite, it’s recognisably Thai. Real Thai, not Westernised Thai flavours. The use of fish sauce rather than soy sauce is classic Thai. Garlic, ginger, coriander/cilantro and chilli are also all very Thai.
And though not common knowledge, curry powder and tumeric are spices used in Thai cooking, like this authentic Southern Thai Tumeric Chicken – which, by the way, is INSANELY delicious and much easier to make than the more commonly known Gai Yang (which, by the way, is also INSANELY delicious!😍).
Actually, come to think of it, this Thai Coconut Chicken is kind of a mash up of those two recipes, but with coconut milk added. 🙂
I worked extra hard last week to get a line up of recipes for while I’m away, so you’ll still get the usual 3 recipes this week! And just think – when I’m responding to your messages, it will probably be from the sun lounge by the pool….cocktail by my side…..
I’m SO CRUEL to rub it in!!! 😜 – Nagi xx
PS Thai Coconut Chicken is pictured here with plain tomato and cucumber chunks (no dressing – you see that often in Thailand) – and Thai Fried Rice minus the chicken.
- 1 tsp garlic , minced
- 1 tsp ginger , minced
- 1 tsp chilli , finely chopped (or paste is fine), adjust quantity to taste (Note 2)
- 1 lemongrass , white part only, finely chopped (Note 3)
- 1 1/2 tsp coriander powder
- 3/4 tsp tumeric powder
- 1/2 tsp curry powder (any is fine)
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
- 3/4 cup coconut milk (full fat please!)
- 750 g - 1 kg / 1.5 - 2 lb chicken thigh fillets , skinless and boneless (Note 4)
- Oil for cooking
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1 tbsp peanut butter, smooth
- 2 tbsp Hoisin Sauce
- 1 1/2 tbsp lime juice
- 1 garlic clove , minced
- 1/2 tsp chilli paste or fresh chilli , adjust to taste
- Finely chopped coriander / cilantro and more chilli , for garnish
- Lime wedges (highly recommended)
Mix marinade in a large bowl. Add chicken and mix. Cover with cling wrap and marinate in the fridge for 24 - 48 hours (can't skip marinating for this recipe).
Brush BBQ with oil, or heat 1 tbsp in a skillet (I used a skillet). Use Medium heat - or Medium Low if your stove/BBQ runs hot (otherwise marinade may burn). Remove chicken from marinade, shaking off excess. Cook the first side for around 5 minutes or until caramelised and golden. Turn then cook the other side for 4 minutes until caramelised.
BAKING: See Note 4.
Transfer chicken to serving plate, cover loosely with foil and rest for 5 minutes. Garnish with coriander / chilli if desired, and serve with lim wedges and Sauce.
Place ingredients in a bowl and mix a bit. Microwave for 30 seconds, then mix until smooth. Bring to room temperature or serve warm (it thickens a bit when cooled).
1. The marinade is best made with fresh ginger, garlic, chilli and lemongrass but it is still terrific using store bought jarred garlic etc. Lemongrass is sold in tubes in the fresh produce section of Australian supermarkets and it is actually very good. I would use 1 1/2 teaspoons if using paste.
2. Chilli - use any fresh chilli you want. Rule of thumb - the smaller the chilli, the spicier it is! I used large red chillis in this (cayenne peppers) which are not that hot. Thai Chillies are super spicy, as are Birds Eye Chillies.
3. If using fresh lemongrass, peel the green reedy outer layer off to reveal the white part. Then finely chop the white part only.
You can also use lemongrass paste. I would use 1 1/2 teaspoons.
4. This recipe works best with chicken cuts with fat. Boneless thigh is my favourite. It is fantastic with drumsticks and other bone in cuts, but it is better to roast rather than cook on BBQ (marinade has tendency to burn and these take longer to cook).
Roast drumsticks and wings for 45 min @ 180C/350F, bone in thighs for 50 min - it caramelises nicely.
For CHICKEN BREAST, it is best to cut in half horizontally before marinating. Then they will only take 3 minutes on each side to cook so they'll be nice and juicy. Coconut milk is fantastic for adding richness into breast! I don't recommend roasting breast - you won't get the caramelisation on the surface (key for flavour)
5. SERVED WITH plain tomato and cucumber chunks (very typical side in Thailand) and Thai Fried Rice (but without chicken).
6. The Sauce is a variation of the fantastic (quick!) Vietnamese Peanut Sauce I use for my Vietnamese Spring Rolls. All I did was sub the milk for coconut milk and use lime instead of vinegar. Works a treat!
7. STANDBY / FREEZING: Once you put the chicken in the marinade, pop it in the freezer. I find that the time it takes for the chicken to freeze then defrost = good marinating time, plus you can also leave it for a further 24 hours after defrosting. Ensure it is defrosted before cooking.
8. Nutrition assumes 5 servings, 1 kg/2lb chicken, accounts for 1/4 cup coconut milk in the marinade (rest is discarded) and that all the sauce is consumed.
Thai Coconut Chicken recipe video! IMPORTANT: The video says Cumin instead of Curry Powder, the VIDEO is WRONG! It should be curry powder. The recipe above is right. I am currently overseas so will correct and replace the video when I get back. Sorreee!!! 🙈
LIFE OF DOZER
As usual when I’m away, Dozer is on his own holiday with the golden retriever boarder. His second favourite person in the whole world (only after me – I think 🤔), he has much more respect for her than me. She’s also great for getting dogs in shape – it’s like a Biggest Loser Boot Camp. Not that Dozer needs to lose weight now. But when I (accidentally) made him a bit tubby when he was younger, I boarded him with her and when I got back, he was a lean, mean, fighting machine!!! Ba ha ha!!!