I have a ton of coconut milk in my pantry, because I’m supposed to make some coconut bread with it, but it takes so long that I’ve kept putting it off.
So instead, I decided to look around online and see if I could find any good recipes to use the coconut milk for dinner.
I stumbled across one recipe that sounded really interesting: Coconut Milk and Thyme Braised Chicken. I looked through the recipe and process, figured it would be easy enough and went for it.
Overall, it was fairly easy to make, not a lot of effort really went into it, which was really nice because some days I want an easy to make meal, that won’t take me hours of prep work.
First thing first, I preheated my oven to 375 degrees (F) and then I gathered all my ingredients together and put them near my cutting board. Garlic, Thyme, Coconut Milk, Olive Oil, Butter, Salt, and Pepper. What I really liked about this recipe was that there isn’t a lot that goes into it, ingredient-wise, but there was still a ton of flavor.
Then, I gathered all my chicken together. I originally wanted to do bone-in chicken thighs, because they tend to have more flavor, especially when you’re using them in a stew, or braising them like this. However, I did not have any bone-in chicken thighs, so I just bought the boneless because they were on sale. I seasoned them generously with salt and pepper on both sides while waiting for the dutch oven to heat up.
I heated the butter and olive oil in the dutch oven and then cooked the chicken (not completely) in the dutch oven until the skin had a nice brown on each side. You definitely don’t want to cook them all the way, since they’ll be in the oven for a while afterwards.
Once all that chicken is browned, put the garlic and thyme in the pot and cook them around for a little bit. The recipe said cook and stir for 30 seconds, however, my thyme started going off like firecrackers, so I just let them sit in the dutch oven for 10 seconds and just dumped the milk in. I put a little bit more than two cups, just because I wanted to get the chicken most of the way covered.
Then pop it in the oven and let it cook. The recipe says let it cook for 50 minutes to 1 hour, but I usually don’t trust those times (I’ve had way too many experiences where the cooking time was too long), so I always make it a habit to check at the halfway point, just in case. I pulled the chicken out at 30 minutes, checked the internal temperature of three different thighs and they all read about 190-200 degrees (F). I pulled them out of the oven and let them sit in the pot for a little while, but I was kind of afraid of them being overcooked.
But my goodness, this chicken was so ridiculously tender. Like, I don’t think I have ever had chicken so tender before! You could just apply pressure with your fork to the middle of the thigh and it would just tear apart beautifully. I was very surprised/delighted by how well it turned out! The flavor was there, very coconutty, and I ate the garlic alongside the chicken and it worked really well together.
I would definitely recommend doing some bone-in chicken thighs and even chicken legs if you decide to try this out. And maybe throw in some different herbs and spices in there to really make it your own. It was a super simple dish to make, ready in about 45 minutes, with prep time!
Coconut Milk Braised Chicken
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 6 servings
12 boneless skinless chicken thighs
2 cups coconut milk
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 bulb of garlic
6-8 sprigs of Thyme
Salt and Pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees (F). Peel garlic and set aside. Heat olive oil and butter in a dutch oven. Season chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Cook chicken in dutch oven until browned on all sides. Set aside chicken as it’s cooked (especially if you have a smaller pot like me). Cook and stir garlic and thyme in the pot for 15 – 30 seconds. Pour in coconut milk and stir briefly. Add in chicken and coat well with coconut milk. Cover dutch oven with lid and place in oven to cook for 30 minutes (depending on what cut of meat you use, time may vary. Always check the internal temperature of your meat to make sure it’s cooked properly). Remove chicken from oven and allow to sit for several minutes, with lid still on. Serve with the garlic and a spoonful of the coconut milk, and enjoy!