Spicy Coconut Braised Chicken Thighs
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 chicken thighs, with skin and bone in
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 cup, finely chopped shallots
- 1 1/2 teaspoon, minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons chili paste
- 1/2 cup light coconut milk
- 1/2 a lime lime juice
- 1/4 cup, shredded basil
- pinch chili pepper flakes
Chicken has always been something I’ve loved, whether it is cooked on a rotisserie, in a sandwich or in the form of nuggets. I’m always cautious to order chicken when we’re out though, unless a place is known for being super juicy, you risk paying a premium for something that can come on your plate dry and sad. It might sound silly but I feel very strongly that there’s nothing worse than a piece of dry chicken at a restaurant, especially when people around you got something delicious and you just blame yourself the entire meal because you knew this could happen. So even more of a reason to perfect a recipe to make at home!
America is obsessed with chicken breast, specifically white meat – I remember hearing that on a podcast once. The more I thought about it the more I realized they were right, chicken sandwiches are always made of breast meat, the chicken on salads are always white meat, and yet the juiciest piece, in my opinion, is the thigh! I feel like I see thigh meat in Asian cooking all the time, so it was no surprise that I went to the store and had a hard time finding the right kind of thigh meat. Most of the major grocery stores around us were selling breast meat with one thigh options and it was always skin-less and bone-less, I’ll admit I had to go to a couple before finding any with the skin on, and this is crucial because you want something for all of that seasoning to stick to. If you’re close to an Asian grocery store, though, that’s your best bet as they love thigh meat and in their opinion, breast meat is boring and has no flavor – and they’re right!
We got a Le Creuset dutch oven for a wedding present and I’ve been dying to try a new recipe in it, I found this great one while perusing Foodgawker and just had to try it! I had a few people over and figured I could get in some meal prepping too. I love anything that has a little heat, and the coconut milk created a perfect balance to the spice. I’m obsessed with this and plan to make it again the next time I spot chicken thighs at my local grocery store.
I love the one pot dinner idea so we just cooked the green beans in the sauce that it was braised in, making clean up no bid deal. Expect more one pot dinner recipes to come! ^-^
- In a dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Mix the paprika, cinnamon, salt, black pepper, and chili powder in a small bowl.
- Pat the chicken thighs down with a paper towel until they’re dry.
- Sprinkle on a layer of the spice mixture on both sides of each piece of chicken and then when the oil is hot, place the chicken skin-side down in the oil. Brown each side for 4-5 minutes. Remove the chicken from the dutch oven and put to the side for now.
- Leaving just a tablespoon, remove any additional oil from the dutch oven. Lower the heat to medium and add the shallots. Saute for 2 minutes then add the garlic and chili paste. Stir for another minute.
- Make sure to shake up the coconut milk before adding it to the pan as it separates. Then add the lime juice and basil to the pan. Stir and once it’s come to a low boil, return the chicken to the pan, cover, and cook for 20 minutes. It’s always best to check the internal temperature, especially when dealing with chicken, so you’ll want to make sure it’s 165˚!
- Feel free to toss any veggies in to cook along side the chicken and eat over rice or potatoes!