Curried Coconut Chicken Thighs

This is a curry without a country. It’s not an authentic representation of any cuisine. It utilzes flavors found in a number of traditions. It’s simple, and delicious. This coconut based simmered chicken dish is also fast, can be made mild or spicy, and takes only minutes to prepare.  Unlike some of the “curry” recipes on this site, it doesn’t rely on complex spice mixes – just a dash of turmeric and a bigger dash of Garam Masala – for flavor. 

I occasionally add curry leaves to this dish.  They add a complexity and fragrance that really makes it an entirely different dish.  Curry leaves are available at many Asian groceries and keep well in the freezer.

Curried Coconut Chicken Thighs

Recipe by DrewCuisine: American


Prep time


Cooking time



A quick and tasty coconut based chicken curry.


  • 4 bone in, skin on chicken thighs

  • 1 can coconut milk

  • 1 tsp coconut oil

  • 2 tsp garam masala

  • 1 tsp ground turmeric

  • 2 small green serrano, or thai chili

  • 1 medium onion

  • 1 tsp minced ginger

  • 1 tsp minced garlic

  • 2 tsp kosher salt

  • 3-4 curry leaves (opt)


  • Peel, trim, and slice the onion from end to end.
  • Thinly slice the chilis, discarding the stem.
  • Add coconut oil to a pan large enough to just accommodate 4 thighs and sauce and place over medium heat.
  • Season the chicken thighs well on both sides – using approximately 1 tsp of salt.
  • Once the oil is melted, lightly brown the thighs on both sides.
  • Remove the chicken and set aside.
  • Add the onions to the pan, along with the remaining 1 tsp of salt.
  • Cook until the onions are transparent.
  • Add the chilis, garlic, curry leaves (if using) and ginger and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Add the turmeric and garam masala and continue cooking until very fragrant.
  • Add the coconut milk and return the chicken to the pan.
  • If needed add water until the chicken is ¾ covered.
  • Bring to a low simmer and cook for 45 mins to 1 hr., or until chicken is nearly falling from the bone.
  • Serve with steamed rice.

Be sure to check out my other food project, The Weekly Menu!

One Comment

  1. Very tasty! Thanks Drew! The chicken was delicious and the liquid I have left over will be great to pour over pretty much anything!

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