This Sticky Coconut Chicken is marinated in coconut milk, fresh ginger and red pepper flakes, then grilled and covered in a fabulous sticky sauce! It’s a winner all the way and perfect for the entire family.
You guys, I survived my 50th!
It actually ended up being a really fun day! So many fun things . . .
- I woke up to balloons and signs in my yard.
- My son serving a mission called me.
- I met some friends at a park for lunch and my friend Pat made me a delicious birthday cake.
- Zach and Kaylee made butter chicken and flat bread for dinner.
- My husband made my birthday cake and had planned a surprise “drive by” 50th party for me. It was so great to see so many friends and family. Some neighbors walked over instead of driving by and we did our best to practice social distancing (I may or may not have gotten a few hugs from people).
It honestly ended up being a great day despite the craziness of the world right now. #coronavirus
Enough of that, let’s talk food now. This Sticky Coconut Chicken has very quickly become a favorite around here. We are seriously in love with it and could eat it on a weekly basis. It’s so simple to make and has the best flavor.
The thing that takes this over the top is making coconut rice to go with it. Yes, plain white rice is good, but coconut rice is even better! I highly, highly recommend it for this recipe. I think most people don’t like coconut because of the texture, at least that’s how it is for my son Zach. This coconut rice has just the slightest hint of coconut from cooking the rice in coconut milk and water. Honestly it’s so fabulous!
HOW TO MAKE STICKY COCONUT CHICKEN:
- Whisk together the coconut milk, ginger, and chili flakes
- Place the chicken in a gallon-size resealable bag. Pour the coconut marinade over the chicken breasts.
- Seal the bag and shake well making sure all of the chicken pieces are covered. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Remove chicken from marinade and grill over medium heat, about 3 to 4 minutes per side or until cooked (depending on what kind chicken you use, cooking times will vary).
- Remove chicken from grill and place on platter. Immediately spread a generous amount of sticky sauce on each piece of chicken.
- Make sticky sauce by combining rice vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, and chili flakes. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until mixture is reduced and starts to thicken, 8 to 10 minutes.
TIPS FOR MAKING STICKY COCONUT CHICKEN:
- The key to making this chicken moist and tender is to marinate it for as close to eight hours as you can. If you are running short on time, you can get away with an hour or two, but the flavor won’t be as deep and the chicken won’t be as tender and moist.
- I prefer using chicken tenders or boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into strips for this. I’m not a huge fan fo chicken thighs, but if you are go ahead and use them (use boneless, skinless thighs).
- I guy a knob of fresh ginger and just keep it in my freezer. When I need some for a recipe, I use my microplane and grate it frozen. Works great! If you don’t have a microplane you can use a the small holes on a box grater.
- Be patient when making the sauce, it will take about 8 to 10 minutes to start to thicken. Keep in mind, it will thicken more as it cools. The first time I made this I kept cooking it and cooking it until it became really thick. Then by the time it cooled, it was so thick and sticky you couldn’t even drizzle any over the chicken. It also had a slight burnt taste to it. Cooking it for 8 to 10 minutes is the perfect time I’ve found. You don’t have to stir it the whole time, but stir it frequently, especially towards the last few minutes of cooking time.
- Drizzling the extra sauce over the rice is a must so I like to 1 1/2 the sauce recipe.
- I prefer using the full fat coconut milk. The fat in the coconut milk helps keep the meat tender and rich as it cooks.
- If you’re worried about the heat from the red pepper flakes, start with 1/2 teaspoon in the sauce and then you can always add more.
Sticky Coconut Chicken w/ Coconut Rice
- Total Time: 45 minute
- Yield: 4 to 5 servings 1x
- 1 cup canned coconut milk
- 1/2 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 10 to 12 chicken tenders (or you can use chicken breasts or chicken thighs)
- 3/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (depending on how much kick you want)
- 1 cup jasmine rice
- 1 cup canned coconut milk (light or regular)
- 1 cup water (SEE NOTES)
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- Whisk together the coconut milk, minced ginger, black pepper and red pepper flakes.
- Place the chicken in a gallon-size resealable bag. Pour the coconut marinade over the chicken breasts. Seal the bag and shake well making sure all of the chicken pieces are covered. (You could also use a shallow dish to marinate the chicken in.) Refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to 8 hours (I do 8 hours).
- Remove chicken from marinade and grill over medium heat, about 4 to 5 minutes per side or until cooked (depending on what kind chicken you use, cooking times will vary).
- Remove chicken from grill and place on platter. Immediately drizzle or spread sticky sauce on each piece of chicken.
- In a 2- to 3-quart pan combine rice vinegar, sugar, soy sauce and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently, and cook until mixture is reduced to ¾ cup, 8 – 10 minutes. (*Using a medium size saucepan, rather than a small one, will help this sauce cook quicker and thicken quicker without becoming burnt.)
- Give the rice a quick rinse in a colander (this helps it not turn out “gummy”).
- In a medium saucepan, bring the rice, coconut milk, water and salt to a low boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes until the liquid is mostly evaporated. Remove from the heat and let stand for 10 minutes, then fluff with a fork before serving.
- The red pepper flakes will give this some heat. I usually use a full teaspoon in the marinade and about 3/4 teaspoon in the sticky sauce. Keep in mind I am kind of a whimp about hot stuff, and 3/4 teaspoon in the sauce is perfect. It has just a tiny bit of kick, but not too much for me to handle.
- Because I love the coconut flavor, sometimes when I make the rice I use more coconut milk and a little less water, still making sure I end up using 2 cups of liquid. So for example, I may use 1 1/2 cups coconut milk and 1/2 cup water.
- I usually always double the rice so I have leftovers!
- Prep Time: 20 mins + marinading time
- Cook Time: 10 mins
- Category: Main Dishes
Recipe Source: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe (saw it on her instagram story the other night . . . thanks Mel! It’s our new favorite!)
Lori West says
Holy Cow……this is a keeper! The rice, the chicken, the sauce…….it is all incredible! My family gave it 5 stars! It quickly became one of our favorites!!
Michelle Gill says
This was such an amazing recipe!! I loved the chicken and the rice and the delicious sauce!! It was a different flavor, but I absolutely loved it!!!! Definitely something I will make over and over!!!