Creamy Coconut Milk Chicken

This Coconut Milk Chicken recipe comes together in one pan, with a creamy sauce that’s out of this world. You’ll love this stellar combination of delicate coconut milk, perfectly cooked chicken breasts, and exotic spices!

Enjoy tender chicken breasts simmered in a creamy coconut sauce with this easy, one-pan Coconut Milk Chicken recipe.

Creamy Coconut Milk Chicken INGREDIENTS  

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, 1-inch to 1-1/2 inch thick
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked or sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, If you like spicy food, use 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper. If you don’t like spicy food, omit the cayenne pepper.
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups seeded and diced tomatoes, or use 1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes, well drained
  • 1 can (14 ounces) unsweetened, lite coconut milk
  • chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish

How To Make Creamy Coconut Milk Chicken

  1. Pat dry the chicken breasts with paper towels and set aside.
  2. In a small mixing bowl combine cumin, paprika, oregano, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper; stir until thoroughly incorporated.
  3. Rub the seasoning mixture all over the chicken breasts.
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken breasts to the heated oil and cook for 6 to 7 minutes on each side or until browned and almost cooked through. Cooking time will depend on the size of the chicken breasts.
  5. Remove chicken from skillet and set aside on a plate; keep covered.
  6. Add remaining olive oil to the skillet; add onions to the heated oil and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until tender and translucent.
  7. Stir in garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and continue to cook for 5 minutes, or until tomatoes are soft.
  8. Stir in the coconut milk and bring to a simmer; let simmer for 5 minutes, or until sauce thickens.
  9. Return chicken breasts to the skillet; reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 4 to 5 more minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Chicken is done when internal temperature registers at 165˚F.
  10. Taste the sauce for salt and pepper; adjust accordingly.
  11. Garnish with cilantro or parsley, and serve.

Tips For Perfectly Tender Chicken

Chicken breast is a wonderful protein option when prepared correctly, but it does dry out easily! To avoid this, try these tips.

  • Use a thermometer: If you think the chicken is nearly done, test it with a meat thermometer first. The internal temperature should be 165°F.
  • Do the knife test: Try cutting the chicken with a sharp knife. If it seems rubbery and resistant, but not dry, cook for 3 more minutes and try again. Rubbery chicken will be juicy, but not tender.
  • Be careful not to overcook the chicken. Once it has gone past the rubbery stage, it will be perfectly tender and moist. Further cooking will dry out the chicken and cause it to be tough.

How To Store And Reheat Leftovers

  • How to store: Store leftover chicken in the sauce to keep it from drying out. Place the chicken with its sauce in a food storage bag or container and refrigerate up to 4 days. Refrigerate the rice in a separate container for the same length of time.
  • How to reheat: To reheat on the stove top, heat the chicken and rice separately, covered, on low until just heated through. Add a tablespoon or so of water to the rice to help it soften and re-steam.

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