I am a huge fan of coconut milk. Unbelievably so. In fact, I almost always have cans of coconut milk in the pantry. You just never know when you’re going to find a recipe you can sneak it into. Maybe that’s just me. Shhh – don’t tell anybody. Incidentally, that’s kind of what happened with this recipe. I was craving the warmth of curry spice, but I really wanted something that I could add a can of coconut milk to. There’s just something about the creamy, rich flavor of it that makes me a happy girl. As I stood in front of the pantry, it struck me….stew. What kind of stew, you ask? Coconut curry chicken stew!
When I made this dish, I used yellow curry powder. I absolutely love turmeric and the blend of spices in yellow curry, and it pairs very well with coconut. In my opinion, though, the key to this dish is rubbing the chicken with the spices before cooking, because it adds an extra layer of flavor to the dish. And, when you cook the chicken in butter before it goes in the soup, you get that brown, nutty finish on the surface of the chicken that makes it irresistible.
I have seen many versions of this stew, and after enough tasting while cooking to almost leave me not hungry at dinner time, I think I found the perfect combination of those variations to create a hearty stew that’s filling, warming, comforting, and bright all at the same time. Yup, that’s a whole lot to put on one bowl – but it delivers.
I made a big batch hoping that we’d have leftovers and was stunned when we ended up with nothing more than a little bowl to put in the fridge. As it turned out, it was a total hit. And, as an aside, it reheats fabulously, so if you make a lot of it, you can have it for lunch the next day and it’ll be just as good. I imagine it’d be fantastic to dip some Naan bread in, too! Do you like curry? What’s your favorite kind? Am I the only coconut milk addict? These are the things that go through my mind…
- 2 chicken breasts, diced in bite-sized pieces
- ½ cup butter, divided
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 2 teaspoons yellow curry powder, divided
- 1 teaspoon cumin, divided
- ¼ cup diced onion
- 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1½ cups cooked white rice
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Rub the chicken with ½-teaspoon of the curry powder, ½-teaspoon of cumin, the salt and the pepper. Make sure all of the meat is coated evenly.
- Melt half of the butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat.
- Add the chicken to the pan and cook it until it’s golden brown on all sides.
- Remove the chicken and set it aside in a bowl.
- Add the remaining butter to the pan, then cook the diced onion until it’s nearly translucent.
- Stir in the garlic and the apples, then cook for about 4 minutes.
- Add the chicken stock and the remaining curry powder and cumin to the Dutch oven, then stir in the ginger as well. Bring it to a gentle simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Stir in the coconut milk, the rice and the chicken. Return it to a simmer and cook it for about ten minutes.
- Add the lemon juice right before serving.