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The Easiest Coconut Chicken Curry Recipe

Updated on September 7, 2011

Coconut chicken curry is an easy simple one pot delicious meal the entire family can enjoy. Even for those who need a quick meal to prepare and eat alone will enjoy coconut chicken curry. This super simple recipe can be quickly prepared in only 10 minutes and takes only 40 to 50 minutes of simmering time for cooked perfection.

I've found many of the best coconut chicken curry recipes from my travels around Asia from Japan to Malaysia and I've put together this recipe from my experiences through watching cooks prepare this delicious and popular Asian dish. This is my own unique recipe for cooking chicken - or at least I would like to think. But that's really the fun part about cooking. You can always add your own spin and flair to create something special.

However, my biggest tip to making your chicken in your coconut curry chicken even better is to brine your chicken. Brining or salting is a method of increasing a meat's capacity to hold onto moisture, rendering a much more succulent and juicy meat even during high temperature cooking. Brining is not really a prerequisite for Asian styled cooking and of all the coconut chicken curry recipes I've come across is never prepared with brining. So this is my own personal spin and I believe it will make the dish even more outstanding.

How to Brine Chicken Breast for this Recipe

This recipe calls for 2 whole boneless chicken breast, 1lb. each. Poke some holes into the chicken breast with fork. It may look a lot of chicken but it will shrink during cooking. The ingredients will serve 5 but if you're eating alone you can always halve the recipe or even better cook the entire recipe and just save it for lunch the next day.

Bring it to lunch and be prepared to have your co-workers linger and drool over your coconut chicken curry.

Take 1/2 cup of coarse Kosher salt and add to 2 quarts of cold water and stir to dissolve. Place whole chicken breasts in the brine and let it marinade for 30 minutes to 1 hour in refrigerator. When time is up make sure to pat the chicken breasts dry with a paper towel.

My Coconut Chicken Curry Ingredients

  • 2 pounds skinless chicken breasts (cut into half inch chucks, doesn't have to be exact), lightly salted with black pepper
  • 4 tablespoon good curry
  • 3 tablespoon oil, preferably vegetable oil*
  • 4 crushed garlic cloves
  • 1 medium sized onion sliced
  • 1 can coconut milk, (preferably Thai brand)
  • 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 14 oz. can stewed tomato (drained)
  • Red pepper flakes (season accordingly to your taste)
  • 3 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon (optional)

* Keep some extra oil handy. You will need a bit more when sauteing the onions.

Coconut Chicken Curry is a one pot meal. Have all of the ingredients ready so you can add it quickly.

Chaokoh Thai Coconut Milk - 5.6 oz can
Chaokoh Thai Coconut Milk - 5.6 oz can

This is the only brand of Thai coconut milk I recommend.


Time to Cook

  1. Add oil and curry powder to wok (a large skillet with a cover will work too) and heat on medium high heat for 2 minutes. When the wok gets hotter the oil is going to soak up the curry powder and resemble a paste. Keep the curry oil mix moving with a spatula to prevent burning.
  2. Add the sliced onions and garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Stir and keep the ingredients moving. If you feel that the ingredients look too dry you can add a tablespoon or two extra at this point, but not more (This is when your home is going to smell really good).
  3. Reduce heat to medium and add the chicken, making sure to coat all the pieces. Cook the chicken for about 7 minutes. You want to put a good sear on the meat so that it retains even more moisture inside during the simmering process that follows next.
  4. Now here is the easy part. Add coconut milk, tomato sauce, stewed tomato, sugar and red pepper flakes. You can also add the optional seasonings at this point. Set the heat to low, put a lid on the wok, just slightly to let some steam escape. By letting moisture out you are reducing the liquids and concentrating the flavor. Let the ingredients simmer for 40 to 50 minutes, stirring occasionally. You want to see that the liquids have been reduced by at least 25%.

One final tip is to always taste and season your dishes accordingly during the simmering process. Your taste buds will tell you if it needs more salt, sugar or spicy heat. Or if you feel you've added too much heat you can add some sugar to compensate. The great thing about cooking curry or cooking in general is that you can always adjust the flavors to your taste accordingly.

I like to enjoy my coconut chicken curry with a heaping bowl of brown rice. It goes quite well with toasted pita bread too since Nan bread is not readily available. This is a truly simple and easy dish to prepare and cook. This recipe is not easy to mess up. And if you follow the basic steps outlined above you and your family and friends will enjoy one of the best and easiest coconut chicken curry recipes.


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    • Vacation Trip profile image

      Susan 5 years ago from India

      Good Recipe.. It looks delicious.

    • Vacation Trip profile image

      Susan 5 years ago from India

      Good Recipe.. It looks delicious.

    • Trsmd profile image

      Trsmd 6 years ago from India

      Try the Asian grocery store, they should have different kinds of curry for you.