Coconut Curry chicken is found a lot throughout the Caribbean and is quite uniquely flavoured. It’s distinctly different from curry you’ll find in India or Thailand and of course every Caribbean nation has their own version of curry, not to mention each cook within each nation has their own creation of curry. I think the addition of coconut milk is what makes this truly tropical and cooking in coconut oil amps this dish up.
You can buy coconut oil that is flavourless but in this dish you want to have a mild taste of that wonderful coconut. It’s not sweet coconut you’re after but rather the mild nut flavour that shines when combined with the rest of the ingredients.
I really like this dish when I’m feeding a large group on a budget. I sometimes will add a root veg like potato if I need to stretch my meal. Sometimes I won’t use carrots because my son is not a huge fan of carrot. But you could add any root veg you like or peas to vary up this dish.
Grocery stores readily have curry powder and the combination of curry will vary greatly depending on where in the world you’re buying it.
India, Thailand, Africa and Caribbean countries all have their version of curry. Unless you have all the different spices in your pantry and you make your own curry, you’re looking to buy a ready made curry powder that’s bright yellow. I prefer to buy small quantities of all my spices. Some spices we may go through like water and so its advantageous to buy large quantities. But spices do have a shelf life. They lose their power and flavour. You don’t want dull food!
Look for a curry powder that had turmeric (which is what makes it bright yellow) fenugreek, coriander, cumin, ginger, cinnamon, garlic, celery seed, all-spice and cayenne pepper. This combo won’t be too piquante (hot from spice) If you like more heat you can add yourself more cayenne pepper. Be careful with your curry powder by-the-way. Turmeric will stain!
This is a great make-ahead meal. It tastes even better the next day or prepare it in the morning and reheat it on medium heat. I love cilantro so I like to top it with a lot and the addition of freshly chopped pineapple is amazing!!!! Serve it with coconut rice, cilantro rice, plain rice or tortilla shells.
Coconut Curried Chicken
- 2 Tbsp Oil or butter Ideally use coconut oil, but vegetable or grapeseed oil would work. Don't use olive oil
- 12 Pieces Chicken thigh and drumb stick, skin on & with bone You can use chicken breast but this dish is best with dark meat
- 2 Large cooking onions, chopped
- 2 Garlic cloves, minced Opt for local garlic
- 3 Tbsp Curry Powder
- 1 Large tomato, chopped
- 1/2 Cup Water
- 1 3/4 Cup Coconut Milk 400 ml tin
- 2 Carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 Potato, peeled and chopped If you want to keep the starch level low, especially if serving rice then omit potato
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1/2 Cup Cilantro, finely chopped Optional
- 1 Cup Freshly chopped pineapple Optional
- In a large pot or frying pan brown chicken on medium heat, about 5 minutes per side. Remove from frying pan and set aside.
- In same pan you browned chicken in add onion and cook till soft, about 4 minutes. Then add garlic and cook additional 2 minutes.
- Add chopped tomato and cook till very soft and cooked down, about 5 minutes. Add a little water to keep mixture from clumping up and drying out and stir well. Add curry powder and stir well. Cook about 1 minute.
- Shake coconut milk really well then add to onion, garlic, tomato mix and stir well.
- Add carrots and potato if using them and return chicken and all its juices back to the pan. Cook on low for another 25 minutes, gently stirring often.
- This dish is best served with rice and topped with lots of cilantro and a lime wedge.