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Braised coconut chicken and rice recipe at lynnecurry.com.

One-Pot Braised Coconut Chicken and Rice

When I want to bust out of my weeknight dinner ruts, I often reach for a can of coconut milk.

For many of us, this ingredient has become a staple. But coconut milk can still coax my imagination into new directions–even after a long workday.

This one-pot braised coconut chicken with rice came about just that way. A can of coconut milk from the cupboard combined with a memory of the most perfect coconut rice.

Braised coconut chicken and rice recipe at lynnecurry.com.

Make that two cans. The result is a mild, aromatic, and wonderfully uplifting comfort food main dish: braised coconut chicken and rice in a single skillet.

The chicken was really an afterthought to turn a pot of coconut rice into a meal I could feed my family.

Chicken thighs are the best cut to braise on the bird. I buy bone-in and skin on. The first time I prepared this meal with pasture-raised chicken thighs, I peeled off the beautifully browned chicken skin.

And while the chicken braised and the rice swelled in the coconut milk in the oven, I fried the skin in a skillet until crisp as a potato chip.

Braised coconut chicken and rice recipe at lynnecurry.com.

I may have snacked on more than one piece. Then, I served the rest cut into strips as a garnish at the table. Since crisping the chicken skin does involve using an additional pan, it’s entirely optional.

I don’t always take the time for the crispy chicken skin garnish, though I usually wish I had.

No matter what this is a stove top-to-oven-to-table dinner. Use your largest skillet with a lid that fits well to braise the coconut chicken cook the rice in the oven.

Braised coconut chicken and rice recipe at lynnecurry.com.

The chicken will become fall-apart tender and the rice will swell up around it. And it will hold in a warm oven as long as you need it to.

But it’s hard for me to wait to dig into the pan to get all the coconut rice I want mounded into a shallow serving bowl. {There’s extra for everyone in this recipe.}

Then top it with one of the chicken thighs, a scattering of scallion and cilantro. A squeeze of lime brings it all into relief.

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Coconut Chicken & Rice

A simple but sumptuous feast of coconut chicken and rice. To make this recipe, use your largest skillet with a lid that fits securely. Serve it with your favorite steamed green vegetable, such as broccoli, bok choy or snow peas.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Thai
Keyword coconut chicken
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Lynne Curry

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil vegetable oil or ghee
  • 4 chicken thighs, skin on and bone in
  • kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 14-ounce cans coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoons fresh lime juice or rice wine vinegar
  • 2 cups jasmine rice, rinsed
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 4 scallions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • lime wedges for serving

Instructions

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the coconut oil and let it melt. Season the chicken thighs with kosher salt on both sides and cook skin-side down without moving until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Turn the chicken and cook on the second side for 2 minutes more, then transfer to a plate.

  2. Drain any excess fat, reduce the heat to medium and cook the ginger and garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the coconut milk, fish sauce and lime juice, scraping the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Bring to a simmer, then add the rice and salt. Stir well to combine.

  3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the reserved chicken on top of the rice, cover the skillet and place it in the oven to bake until the chicken is cooked through (internal temperature is 165 degrees F) and the rice is tender to the bite, about 30 minutes. Serve with the scallions, cilantro and lime wedges.

Recipe Notes

To make the crispy chicken skin garnish: After browning the chicken, slip off the skin and set it aside. While the chicken braises in the oven, brown the underside of the chicken skin in a dry skillet over medium heat until browned and crisp. Use tongs to press sections of the skin on the pan’s surface as needed for even browning. Turn and re-crisp the top side. Cut the chicken skin into strips or tear into smaller pieces for serving over the coconut chicken rice or just for snacking.

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