Many coconut chicken recipes require frying and smothering chicken with dense, heavy (calorie laden) sauces. My recipe, however, is lighter but with a strong coconut flavor at a reasonable caloric value.
1 teaspoon madras curry powder (for the chicken coating) + 1 teaspoon for the sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
1 13.5 fl oz. can of unsweetened coconut milk
1 cup buttermilk
8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 shallots, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
32 ounces (4 cups) chicken broth
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon cumin
Preheat the oven to 350°. Spray a cookie sheet or roasting pan lightly with olive oil. In a wide bowl or on a large plate, combine the first 8 ingredients (up to the salt and pepper); mix well. In a wide bowl, combine 1/3 cup of the coconut milk and the buttermilk; stir to combine. Dredge each chicken breast in the wet ingredients, then in the dry mixture and place on the cookie sheet. If you have extra coconut flakes, feel free to dredge the chicken breasts a second time. Bake for about 25-30 minutes.
In the meantime, heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add the shallots and cook until translucent (about 6 minutes). Add the garlic, stir, and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Finally, add the remaining coconut milk, 1 teaspoon of curry powder, ¼ teaspoon turmeric, ginger, and cumin. Bring to a simmer and reduce to about half.
356 calories ∣ 173 calories from fat ∣ 20 g fat ∣ 17 g saturated fat ∣ 13 g carbs ∣ 3 g fiber ∣ 33 g protein ∣ Good source of vitamin B6 ∣ Niacin ∣ Manganese
*To balance the fat content of this meal, serve with a whole grain (like quinoa, prepared with chicken stock) and steamed mustard greens. Add the sauce for flavor.
*Don’t be scared by the saturated fat content; coconut is one of a few plant foods with saturated fat, but there is building evidence that this type of saturated fat is fine to consume in moderation.