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Coconut Braised Chicken Thighs + Rice

Active Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Dairy Free
  • Gluten Free
  • Low Carb/Paleo
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Why we love it:

A can of coconut milk tenderizes chicken and brings a sweet depth to a very simple braise. This dish could easily be made in the Instant Pot if you prefer - check the substitutions column for instructions.


  • 2 teaspoons Whole Chicken Leg (drumsticks, thighs, or combo)
  • 1 15-ounce can Coconut Milk
  • 1 teaspoon Brown Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Soy Sauce
  • 12 Tablespoon Onion Powder
  • 112 teaspoons Kosher Salt (divided)
  • 1 Lime (zest and juice, divided)
  • 1 cup Basmati Rice (White)
  • 112 cups Water
  • 1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter (optional)
  • 1 pound Brussels Sprouts
  • 1 teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Cooking Instructions

  • 1. CHICKEN

    Place the chicken in a non-reactive pot with a lid (enamel or stainless steel). Add the can of coconut milk, sugar, soy sauce and onion powder. Add about 1 teaspoon of kosher salt. In a small bowl, zest the entire lime and set that aside. Squeeze ½ of the lime into the chicken. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Stir. Adjust heat to maintain a gentle simmer and return to stir occasionally. It will take about 35 minutes.

  • 2. RICE

    Meanwhile, combine the rice, water, and another ½ teaspoon or so of salt in a pot with a tight-fitting lid. Bring to a boil and stir. Turn down to low and cover. Steam for about 17 - 18 minutes, then turn off the heat. Stir to fluff, then replace the lid and set aside until you’re ready to serve. Stir in a Tablespoon of butter if desired.


    Trim the ends and any brown or holey outer leaves off. Slice the brussels into thin rounds, parallel to how you held it to slice the bottom off.

    8 minutes before serving dinner (so let the chicken finish cooking first), heat the olive oil in a large, flat bottomed pan over medium-high heat and add the brussels. Add a ½ teaspoon of salt and sauté, stirring every so often, and cook until they’re golden brown, bright green and tender.


    As the chicken is cooking, use a spoon to lift off any foamy impurities on the top. This is normal. After the chicken has become very tender, remove the pieces and stir the sauce well. Taste and add more lime (for brightness), or soy sauce (for salt) to taste.

  • 5. SERVING

    Place a scoop of rice on each plate. Top with chicken and coconut sauce. Brussels on the side and garnish with a pinch of lime zest. Squeeze the other ½ of the lime over top to taste.

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    be sure to use tamari soy sauce
  • BONE IN:
    you can use boneless chicken thighs
    this is good over rice noodles too
    combine all chicken ingredients in the Instant Pot and hit the poultry button. Bone in pieces should cook for about 15 minutes; boneless thighs only need about 12 minutes
    kids may enjoy the taste of the chicken if you pull the meat off the bone and don’t drench it in sauce; though the sauce is sweet and they may like it. Use brussels or a vegetable medley containing something they’ll accept

Prep Ahead & Use It Up

  1. You can braise the chicken ahead. It reheats nicely in a small pot, or in a casserole dish in the oven
  2. Cook the rice if preferred, microwave before serving
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