It is difficult to trace the exact history of coconut chicken. After all, most savoury dishes around the world, including Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, and South America use coconut. However, it is likely that the dish has roots in the cuisines of these coconut-growing regions. Here the farming and use of the fruit in cooking have gone on for centuries.
In many of these cuisines, chicken is often combined with coconut in a variety of dishes, such as curries, stews, and stir-fries. The rich, creamy texture of coconut milk makes it a particularly popular combination with chicken in the tropics. Especially because the milk in coconut complements the tenderness of the chicken and adds a subtle sweetness to the dish.
Coconut chicken is often served with rice or chapati and is typically garnished with fresh herbs or spices. It is a flavorful and satisfying dish that can be enjoyed as a main course for a hearty meal.
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
- Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces. In a shallow dish, combine the flour, salt, and pepper. In a second shallow dish, beat the eggs. Place the shredded coconut in a third shallow dish.
- Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour mixture, then dip them in the beaten eggs, and finally coat them with the shredded coconut.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken pieces and cook until they are golden brown on both sides and cooked through, about 5-7 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the chicken broth, coconut milk, brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger. Pour the mixture into the skillet and bring to a boil.
- Return the chicken to the skillet and simmer until the sauce is thickened and the chicken is cooked through, about 10-15 minutes.
- Garnish with fresh cilantro (if using) and serve hot. Enjoy!