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Coconut Curry Braised Chicken


Coconut Curry Braised Chicken

Coconut Curry Braised Chicken

Diana Rattray

Coconut milk and curry powder make this oven braised chicken tender and super flavorful. I used whole chicken legs in this dish, but chicken thighs or a combination of drumsticks and thighs could be used as well. Feel free to adjust the cayenne pepper if you like more or less heat. 

Serve the chicken over creamy grits or rice, or serve with potatoes and a side vegetable.


Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Stovetop: 26 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 26 minutes

Yield: Serves 4 to 6


  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 to 6 whole chicken legs, about 3 to 4 1/2 pounds
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. divided
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 medium cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger or ginger paste
  • 3 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (13.5 ounces) lite coconut milk
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, optional


Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. 

Sprinkle the chicken pieces lightly with some of the salt and freshly ground black pepper

Put half of the chicken pieces in the Dutch oven and cook for about 5 to 6 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Remove the chicken to a plate and repeat with the remaining chicken. Remove the chicken to the plate.

Add the onion to the Dutch oven; cook, stirring, until lightly browned. Add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in the curry powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, and remaining kosher salt. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. 

Heat the oven to 300° F.

Stir in the tomatoes and coconut milk. Bring to a boil and add the chicken pieces.

At this point, if your Dutch oven or cooking pot is not oven safe, transfer the chicken mixture to an oven safe baking dish or pot.

Put the pot in the oven and cook, uncovered, for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until the chicken is very tender. The chicken should register at least 165° F on a food thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken, not touching bone.

Skim the fat from the juices, if desired. Stir in cilantro, if using, and serve with the chicken and rice or creamy cooked grits. 

Serves 4 to 6.

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