Coconut Curry Chicken

Why is it that home improvement projects always grow much bigger than you ever intended them to?  A simple valve replacement on the toilet that won’t stop running suddenly turns into a 2-day project.  Repainting the front porch suddenly becomes a two week project when you realize that a previous owner just painted right over the old lead paint, so now you have to pull on a mask and gloves and scrape up both layers.  Peeling wallpaper takes much longer than you’d expect (at least until you discover the vinegar+water trick).

And half the time, you realize part-way through that you don’t have a particular tool you desperately need, but you know your friend does.  So you ask to borrow it, and invite them to stay for dinner when they drop it off.  Which means you need a simple, filling meal that takes under an hour.  Like coconut curry chicken, where the vegetables and sauce are built right into the dish.  Just throw together a pot of jasmine rice while you wait for the chicken to roast, and you’re golden.

Coconut Curry Chicken

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Yield: Serves 4-6

Coconut Curry Chicken

Serve with jasmine rice. Adapted from Poulet by Cree LeFavour


  • 1 3-4 pound chicken
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 13.5 oz can light coconut milk
  • 5 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 bell peppers, sliced
  • 3 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro


  1. Preheat the oven to 450F.
  2. Rinse the chicken in cold water and pat dry.
  3. In a large oven-friendly skillet or Dutch oven (such as cast-iron), heat the oil over medium. Place the chicken, breast-side up, in the oil and allow it to brown on the bottom, about 5 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan and set it aside.
  4. Add the fat from the top of the coconut milk to the oil, then toss in the garlic, peppers, cabbage and curry powder. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are beginning to soften and you can smell the curry, about 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in the coconut milk, fish sauce and water. Place the chicken on top, breast-side up.
  6. Slide the entire pan into the oven and roast at 450F for 40-45 minutes, or until the skin is brown and crispy and a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 175F.
  7. Allow the chicken to rest 5-10 minutes before carving. Serve the chicken with the vegetables and sauce from the pan, topped with some chopped cilantro.

Make Ahead and Storage

Save the bones of the chicken for making stock.




  1. Maryden25 says

    This food is indeed a savvy food! I love the spicy ingredients. Hmmm.. Looks so delicious! I can’t wait to try this recipe!

  2. Lidgett says

    Love chicken curry! In fact I love making most kinds of curry, I think my favourite at the moment is a red goan chicken curry which I make from a recipe by Anjum Anand.

  3. Meredth says

    How timely!! I just found a can of lite coconut milk on my pantry shelf tonight and was googling “canned light coconut milk recipes” -w/out success! I found your blog through a link on Blog Her for your chocolate chip cookie dough egg rolls, and then found this recipe through your weekly menu feature. Can’t wait to try it!!!