Smoky Coconut Milk Braised Chicken

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Smoky Coconut Milk Braised Chicken, full of flavor surprises from coconut milk, to smoky paprika, sun-dried tomatoes, and a surprise ingredient that will take you over the top! You will fall in love with the rich flavors of this dish! | joyfulhealthyeats.com

Smoky Coconut Milk Braised Chicken, full of flavor surprises from coconut milk, to smoky paprika, sun-dried tomatoes, and a surprise ingredient that will take you over the top! You will fall in love with the rich flavors of this dish!

Believe it or not this dish was part of our anniversary dinner Tuesday night. Mike and I just celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary, which is crazy. How have I been married almost ten years!

I can still remember our wedding day like it was yesterday. Standing outside the door with my dad, waiting to walk down the aisle and up to Mike. I just looked at my dad, squeezed his arm and said, “I’m so nervous.” He looked at me tenderly and more calm than I’d ever seen him and said, “You look beautiful sweetpea… let’s go get him.” He smiled and the doors opened. The whole night was a blur, it went by so fast. Before we new it my mom surprised us with fireworks over the lake and then we were off… as husband and wife.

Smoky Coconut Milk Braised Chicken, full of flavor surprises from coconut milk, to smoky paprika, sun-dried tomatoes, and a surprise ingredient that will take you over the top! You will fall in love with the rich flavors of this dish! | joyfulhealthyeats.com

I haven’t looked back since. The memories I’ve made with Mike will forever be written on my heart. Yes, we have gone through hard times, just like any marriage but I am a firm believer that out of heartache comes growth and an even deeper love for each other and God’s grace as we walk through this crazy thing called life.

Any who, since our anniversary fell in the middle of the week this year we decided to have dinner at the house with Cason and then go out for dinner on the weekend! I have been drooling over the cover photo of the most recent Food & Wine Magazine for about a week now. So today’s recipe is an ode to the gorgeous Braised Chicken that was on the front cover!

Smoky Coconut Milk Braised Chicken, full of flavor surprises from coconut milk, to smoky paprika, sun-dried tomatoes, and a surprise ingredient that will take you over the top! You will fall in love with the rich flavors of this dish! | joyfulhealthyeats.com

Making this Smokey Coconut Milk Braised Chicken ran me through a gamete of emotions. I was excited because I couldn’t wait to try it. Nervous because I had no idea what I was going to add to this dish, how to make it, and then the skin didn’t crisp up like I wanted. But as soon as I added the coconut milk the aroma coming from the pan was intoxicating and soothing from the rich smoky flavors it gave off.

This recipe really is the ultimate savory dish. After the chicken reached it’s cooking temp I couldn’t wait to give it a try, after all the smells had been permeating the house for the last 20 minutes!

Smoky Coconut Milk Braised Chicken, full of flavor surprises from coconut milk, to smoky paprika, sun-dried tomatoes, and a surprise ingredient that will take you over the top! You will fall in love with the rich flavors of this dish! | joyfulhealthyeats.com

It was the moment of truth. I plated little man’s plate, Mike’s, and then myself. We sat down, prayed and took our first bite. Cason just devoured it, he didn’t say anything, which if you’re around my little chatter box now you know is an accomplishment! Mike took a couple more bites before speaking. But when he finally did he said, “This is the perfect dish for our anniversary. It really tastes like something you would order at a restaurant, it’s that good. I love it babe.”

Happy Dance!

I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. There is a smoky flavor from the paprika, rich depth from the cinnamon (yes cinnamon), tartness from the sun dried tomatoes, and then an unexpected creamy sweet flavor from the coconut milk. After a while the flavors just become one and it is absolutely amazing! I cannot WAIT to hear what you think of this dish. It is a pop of flavor in your mouth and definitely leaves you wanting more of that incredible sauce! Bon Appetite my friends! Happy weekend!

Smoky Coconut Milk Braised Chicken, full of flavor surprises from coconut milk, to smoky paprika, sun-dried tomatoes, and a surprise ingredient that will take you over the top! You will fall in love with the rich flavors of this dish! | joyfulhealthyeats.com

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Smoky Coconut Milk Braised Chicken

  • Author: Krista
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 35 mins
  • Total Time: 40 mins
  • Yield: 4
  • Category: Gluten Free, Poultry, Easy Dinner Recipes

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 lbs. chicken thighs (optional – remove skin)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup shallots
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons marsala cooking wine
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh basil
  • 9 sun dried tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup coconut cream (coconut milk from a can)

Instructions

  1. Heat large skillet to medium high heat.
  2. Add olive oil and shallots, saute until slightly caramelize. Approximately 3-4 minutes.
  3. In the meantime, add smoked paprika, cinnamon, sea salt, and ground pepper to a small bowl. Mix. Set aside.
  4. Pat dry chicken. Rub seasoning on skin side of chicken thighs. Set aside.
  5. Add garlic to the pan, saute for 30 seconds. Add in marsala cooking wine, fresh thyme, and basil. Cook down liquid for 1 minute, stirring the whole time.
  6. Add in chicken thighs, skin side down. (do not touch)
  7. Cook for 3-5 minutes, until you get some nice browning on the skin. Flip chicken, cook for 2-3 minutes.
  8. Add coconut milk, scrap all the brown bites off the pan. Add in sun dried tomatoes.
  9. Cover and cook chicken for 15-20 minutes until internal chicken temperature reaches 180 degrees.
  10. Serve!

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 chicken thigh + sauce
  • Calories: 369
  • Sugar: 4 g
  • Sodium: 604 mg
  • Fat: 20 g
  • Carbohydrates: 9 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 27 g
  • Cholesterol: 140 mg

IF YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE, BE SURE TO SNAP A PIC AND HASHTAG IT #JOYFULHEALTHYEATS. I LOVE SEEING WHAT YOU MAKE!

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Smoky Coconut Milk Braised Chicken, full of flavor surprises from coconut milk, to smoky paprika, sun-dried tomatoes, and a surprise ingredient that will take you over the top! You will fall in love with the rich flavors of this dish! | joyfulhealthyeats.com

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Hey There

Krista
Hi! I'm the recipe developer and food photographer behind all these easy healthy recipes! I love food, Jesus, morning lattes, and am obsessed with fantasy football! { more }
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49 Responses
  1. What a lovely reason to develop a recipe and you’ve clearly developed a winner! I love the unexpected combination of ingredients – can’t wait to try this. Cinnamon and sun-dried tomatoes? Hmm – worth withholding judgment and going with it – kind of like marriage (from someone who has been happily married for decades:)

  2. Gail

    I made this last night. It was so yummy. But very sticky.I may have used the wrong ingredient. In the list of ingredients, you list 1 cup of coconut cream.But in the instructions, you call it coconut milk. I used cream of coconut thinking that was coconut cream. I want to make this again soon- which should I use.

    1. It is coconut milk, but I use the stuff in the can. (its in the asian food aisle) When you buy the can it separates into coconut cream (on the top) and then the coconut water on the bottom. Thanks for the feedback Gail, I will adjust the directions so it’s more clear. 🙂 So glad you liked it Gail!

      1. laura

        Hi Krista, this recipe looks fantastic but I can’t figure out whether you used the coconut “cream” or coconut “milk” in the can (even after reading these comments)–please clear this up for me

  3. Update time! I made this last night. I didn’t have marsala wine so I just subbed for chicken stock. I also used dried thyme since I didn’t have any fresh on hand. There was quite a bit of sauce left over, so I simply shredded the chicken, made cauliflower rice and then added the shredded chicken and rice in o the sauce. OMGOSH it was so so so good! It took longer than 15-20 min for my chicken to thoroughly cook but the wait was well worth it! I wish I took a photo and tagged you but we ate it so darn fast. I will try and remember next time 🙂

    1. YEAH!!! Love that you shredded the chicken and added it to cauliflower rice. Way to improvise! I have to try that!

      And yes girl, tag me next time and I’ll give you a shout out on instagram! 🙂

    1. hmm… I would pair the garlic parmesan smashed potatoes I have on my site and then a light salad. I think the potatoes will go really well with the sauce from this chicken. 🙂 Enjoy Trish!

  4. Franca

    I just made it for tonight’s dinner. Fantastic recipe! The aroma of spices, herbs, and coconut milk melted my heart while I was cooking. The question I have is if you can use coconut milk (like Silk brand) instead of a can. Thanks!

    1. Right! That was my favorite part too .. the smell in the kitchen before dinner time. YUMMY!

      As far as the coconut milk, I would stick to the can. The coconut milk in the can is a lot more watered down. If you’re ok with that then go ahead, I just prefer the cream for a nice thick rich sauce. 🙂

  5. Andrea

    I made this tonight and it was outstanding! Thanks for a great recipe! I will definitely make it again. My son and husband loved it as well.

  6. SlashFan

    I made this for my family last week. Everyone loved it but it didn’t have much of a coconut flavor. I used just the top of the coconut milk(cream). Found a can in HEB in the Asian section. They had several cans of coconut milk to choose from and several different brands. I chose Polar brand. Is there another brand that might have more of a coconut-y flavor? The presentation of this dish is beautiful. I would like to make this again but looking for more of a coconut-y taste. Thank you!

    1. Hey SlashFan, I was going for more of a heavy cream substitute in this dish as opposed to a strong coconut flavor. However, if you want to have more coconut flavor you could use another can of the coconut cream to create more of that flavor. You did get the cream the right way though… so woohoo! I’ve used polar before as well as Thai Kitchen. Both are good, just make sure it is full fat not light!

  7. […] Smoky Coconut Milk Braised Chicken, full of flavor surprises from coconut milk, to smoky paprika, sun-dried tomatoes, and a surprise ingredient that will take you over the top! You will fall in love with the rich flavors of this dish! […]

  8. Robin

    This recipe looks amazing!! We prefer chicken breasts over thighs, do you think it would be just as good? If so, should I use skin on or boneless? I plan on making it this weekend, thanks!

    1. Oh absolutely! It would definitely be just as good. The flavor in this dish is in the sauce and the spice blend. I would use the skin on because I think you’ll get more flavor from it but it’s totally up to you. It’s gonna taste great either way. Hope you like it Robin!

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