Coconuts are everywhere these days. Coconut oil is the new olive oil, everyone is pinning coconut chia pudding recipes like they are going out of style, people are drinking coconut water like it’s actual water… we’re all coconuts for coconuts!
After a few failed coconut chia pudding attempts of my own (the stuff just isn’t that delicious), I had a few cans of coconut milk in my pantry that I didn’t know what to do with. Instead of attempting another dessert, I wanted to make something savory. Most of the recipes for “coconut chicken” that I found online involved marinating, breading and frying and I wasn’t in the mood for that. I wanted to use the coconut milk to make a delicious sauce for the chicken, so I took the basic premise of my mom’s Chicken Adobo recipe and improvised. I think the result it pretty yummy!
I have made this with chicken breast tenders and boneless skinless thighs (pictured above) and they both work very well. I would stay away from any cut with skin for this recipe or the fat could transfer to your sauce and make it a little funky.
1 can of light coconut milk
1/4 cup of soy sauce
1 tablespoon of sesame oil
2 cloves of garlic finely chopped (I like to use Dorot garlic cubes)
1-2 pounds of chicken (see note above)
1 tablespoon of coconut oil
Combine first four ingredients in large mixing bowl, stir well. Add chicken and marinate, refrigerated, for at least 4 hours or up to 24.
Heat oven to 400 degrees. On your stovetop, heat a large oven-safe skillet on medium-high heat and add coconut oil. Remove chicken from marinate and scrape off marinate (you do not have to be super careful about this step). Fry chicken about 4-5 minutes, or until browned on both sides. You may want to use a splatter screen if you have one, if not, be prepared to clean your cooktop tomorrow. Finish cooking chicken in the oven, depending on the size of your chicken pieces, about 10-15 minutes (the thighs above took 12 minutes).
While the chicken is frying on the stovetop, transfer the marinade to a small sauce pot and bring to a rapid boil on high heat. Turn heat to medium and continue to cook until marinade is reduced to a thick and creamy consistency. This will take about 15 minutes.
Serve chicken immediately with a couple of spoonfuls of the creamy coconut sauce. We like it with rice and some shelled edamame. Enjoy!