Chicken in Coconut Sauce

Chicken in Coconut Sauce
School is back in session and I’m doin the happy dance!  I love back to school days.  Crisp cool evening breezes, a new season of fruits and veggies, that are almost ready to roll into Autumn’s delish dishes and Monday night football!  Whoo hoo!
Not that I love watching hours of football, but for some reason it just makes me feel festive hearing all that noise in the background while I whisk away at a new recipe in the kitchen. 
And speaking of something new…  Colombian inspired and simply prepared.  This chicken dish even impressed Ranger Craig.  And he doesn’t like coconut. 

Santa Marta, Colombia courtesy Tourism Colombia

I’m deeply intrigued by Colombian cooking,  Ummm…. probably obsessed at this point.  I routinely bug my beautiful sister-in-law, who happens to be from Colombia, for Colombian recipes.   

Colombian Chicken Soup from Simply Recipes

I love the unique blend of flavors in Colombian and South American food.  And I try my best to re-create those dishes as often as possible.  Although we don’t have some of the ingredients needed here in the states, there’s always a good substitute.  (or at least that’s my motto!)

A Table of Colombian Food

I found this lovely chicken dish on one of my fave Colombian food blogs, My Colombian Recipes.  Simple, fresh, delicious!  However, in typical Karista fashion, I fudged. 
Yep, I’m like the gal that can’t keep her fingers out of the chocolate chip cookie dough.  Or out of the frosting bowl. 
I always say to myself, I’m going to prepare the recipe as written. And then, somehow, when it’s done, I’ve changed something.  Usually because I didn’t have an ingredient or two and needed to substitute, or… I suppose I should say I can’t leave well enough alone. 
So you guessed it, I changed a few things.  I revise for my family’s tastes, and sometimes for my mood.  You can make this recipe a little more Thai style by adding fresh grated ginger, some diced jalapeno and maybe some curry powder.   
Let me know what you think.  I’d love to hear your version!  Post a comment in the comment section with your changes and/or comments about the dish.   Let’s have some food fun!

Chicken in Coconut Sauce

Serves 4 (recipe easily doubled)

Recipe adapted from the blog My Colombian Recipes


8 pieces chicken, bone in and skin on (or 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts)

Salt and fresh ground black pepper

2 tablespoons high heat veggie oil, grapeseed oil or coconut oil

1 small white onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 small red pepper, small diced

1 chicken bouillon cube (or 1 teaspoon Better than Bouillon)

My favorite broth base

1 teaspoon ground cumin

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 14oz can coconut milk (I prefer Thai Kitchen)

¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

White Rice for serving


 Season the chicken with salt and fresh cracked black pepper. 

Heat the oil in a large skillet, sauce pan or Dutch oven, over medium high heat. Place the chicken in the skillet and cook on both sides until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side.

Transfer the chicken to a platter and set aside.

Add the onions and red pepper to the sauce pan. Sauté, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.  Stir in the garlic and sauté a minute longer. 

Add the tomato paste and cumin and cook stirring constantly for a minute or two. 

Return the chicken to the skillet and stir in the coconut milk and chicken bouillon. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium low, cover and let it simmer for about 20 minutes or until the chicken is tender. If using chicken breasts, cook time will be shorter. Check after about 10 minutes. 

Taste for salt and pepper and add as needed.

Stir in the chopped cilantro and serve warm over brown or white rice.

* This recipe is also fabulous over fish! 



  1. hola yo soy colombiana y es una delas comidas mas deliciosas esta receta que bien muchas gracias carmen….

  2. Absolutely! Making a recipe to your tastes is crucial. Well, for me it is, especially if I want my family to eat it! 🙂

  3. I am SO trying this! And I am exactly the same way with recipes…all about flexibility and adaptation:)

  4. That just looks amazing! I’m not a big coconut fan but I’d be willing to re-think that to try this 🙂

  5. Hi Karista, I like this recipe very much, can’t wait to give it try! Thanks for sharing this!

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