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Coconut Curry Chicken

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Last Updated on July 24, 2020

Guess what today is? One year ago today, I created my Facebook page. I launched my website on April 9, 2013 (whoops, forgot about that anniversary until just now), and only after receiving quite a few emails asking about a Facebook page did I decide to go ahead and do it, just for fun. Well, I can’t even begin to tell you how blown away I am by what has happened in the past 12 months. What started as a fun outlet for my recipe creations and love of web design has turned into a 55,000+ following on Facebook, thousands of you visiting my site daily, and the joy of knowing my recipes are helping families eat healthy food and make wonderful lifestyle changes.

Coconut Curry Chicken | Our Paleo Life

In honor of this little anniversary, I thought I’d post a recipe that quite a few of you Facebook followers have requested after seeing a photo I posted on Instagram earlier in the week. I actually made this recipe twice this week, not only to get all the measurements right for this recipe, but because it was requested twice by the husband and kidlets. They love it that much. And I honestly don’t even mind that my house smells like curry for the following 24 hours, I love the smell. Though I have officially run out of curry powder, so no more Coconut Curry Chicken until I can find the time to run out to the spice shop. My shopping list for that store is getting long. It’s my favorite place, so much fun stuff. You can find Indian spices like curry or garam masala, Thai spices in powder, and more to add to your paleo curry. 

So, you might be wondering why I have served the chicken over a bed of white rice.  I mean, that’s totally not paleo, right?! Right, it’s not. Rice is a grain, and grains are a no-no for sure. Our family has recently re-introduced small amounts of white rice and even smaller amounts of red potatoes. We don’t eat it often, and when we do, we don’t eat large portions. For the most part, we are an active family (especially Rob and I, what with CrossFit and all) and replenish every now and then with a little extra starch. We don’t have any medical conditions that can be aggravated by eating these starches, so it’s a personal choice that we have made.

Obviously, if you do have sensitivities to these starches like sweet potato or any other, definitely don’t eat them just because I’ve pictured this recipe with rice. Riced cauliflower is an excellent alternative to white rice (though I don’t have a recipe for it on my site, but there are plenty good ones out there that goes great with paleo curry) and I would suggest you use that in place of white rice in this recipe if you’re avoiding all grains.

Coconut Curry Chicken

When we lived in Orlando (which seems like forEVER ago), Rob had a favorite Indian restaurant. I had never really eaten Indian food before and he insisted that I try it out. I went and was blown away! By the naan. I was a bread-loving freak back then, and the naan impressed me way more than the actual meals. I thought the food was too spicy and the flavor was just ok, not great. Ever since then, I have not been a huge fan of Indian food. Until recently. I was scrambling to make something to make for dinner (hadn’t planned, shame on me) and only had some chicken thawed. I had a ton of curry powder and garam masala (why, I have no idea since I don’t eat Indian food) and decided to figure out this curry thing and see if my taste buds had matured any. Turns out they had. I love this stuff so much, I could eat it for 3 meals a day.

Well, now that I’ve chatted a little, how about we get on with making this delicious dinner. Or lunch. Or breakfast…

Cut chicken tenders in half lengthwise then cut into small bite-size pieces. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside (you can add red pepper flakes as well). Cut the onion in half, then thinly slice each half. Cut the slices in thirds. Set aside.

In a large skillet (I mean the biggest one you have), heat 4 tablespoons of the olive oil over MED-HIGH heat for 1 minute. Add the curry powder and stir to combine with the oil to make a thin paste. Cook for 5 minutes. (You can experiment with coconut oil or avocado oil as well)

Coconut Curry Chicken | Our Paleo Life

Add the onions and minced garlic cloves to the skillet, stir to evenly coat everything, and cook until the onions are soft and translucent, stirring often. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, or the oil of your preference while the onions are cooking.

Coconut Curry Chicken | Our Paleo Life
Coconut Curry Chicken | Our Paleo Life

Add the chicken pieces to the skillet, stir to evenly coat everything. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, and cook the chicken until all pieces are cooked through and no longer pink, stirring occasionally.

Coconut Curry Chicken | Our Paleo Life
Coconut Curry Chicken | Our Paleo Life

While the chicken is cooking, combine the coconut milk, diced tomatoes (with liquid), tomato paste, and honey in a large bowl, stirring to combine everything evenly. This makes it easier to add to the skillet later. When the chicken is cooked, carefully pour the coconut milk  and tomato mixture into the skillet and stir to combine everything.

Coconut Curry Chicken | Our Paleo Life

Reduce heat to MED and simmer for about 40 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and reduced a bit, stirring occasionally.

Coconut Curry Chicken | Our Paleo Life
Coconut Curry Chicken | Our Paleo Life

*The sauce doesn’t reduce THAT much, but I couldn’t get a picture before everyone started helping themselves to dinner. You can see the sauce line at the top of the pan before they started scooping it all out.

Serve over rice (real or cauliflower rice) and add some fresh cilantro and lime if you want to. See notes in the post above about white rice.

Coconut Curry Chicken | Our Paleo Life

Coconut Curry Chicken

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Coconut Curry Chicken is one of those easy set-it-and-forget-it type of meals that everyone in the family will devour and then ask for more. Restaurant quality food right at your dining room table.

Ingredients

  • 3 lb Chicken Tenders
  • 1 Medium Yellow Onion
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 6 Tbsp Olive Oil, divided
  • 4 Tbsp Curry Powder
  • 28 oz can Petite Diced Tomatoes, not drained
  • 1 1/2 cans Full-Fat Coconut Milk
  • 1 8 oz can Tomato Paste
  • 4 Tbsp Honey, leave out for a Whole30 meal
  • Sea Salt, to taste
  • Fresh Ground Black Pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Cut chicken tenders in half lengthwise then cut into small bite-size pieces. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
  2. Cut the onion in half, then thinly slice each half. Cut the slices in thirds. Set aside.
  3. In a large skillet (I mean the biggest one you have), heat 4 tablespoons of the olive oil over MED-HIGH heat for 1 minute. Add the curry powder and stir to combine with the oil to make a thin paste. Cook for 5 minutes stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the onions and minced garlic to the skillet, stir to evenly coat everything, and cook until the onions are soft and translucent, stirring often. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil while the onions are cooking.
  5. Add the chicken pieces to the skillet, stir to evenly coat everything. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, and cook the chicken until all pieces are cooked through and no longer pink, stirring occasionally.
  6. While the chicken is cooking, combine the coconut milk, diced tomatoes (with liquid), tomato paste, and honey in a large bowl, stirring to combine everything evenly. This makes it easier to add to the skillet later.
  7. When the chicken is cooked, carefully pour the coconut/tomato mixture into the skillet and stir to combine everything. Reduce heat to MED and simmer for about 40 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and reduced a bit, stirring occasionally.
  8. Serve over rice (real or cauliflower rice). See notes below about white rice.

Notes

Rice is a grain, and grains are a paleo no-no for sure. Our family has recently re-introduced small amounts of white rice and even smaller amounts of red potatoes. We don't eat it often, and when we do, we don't eat large portions. For the most part, we are an active family and replenish every now and then with a little extra starch. We don't have any medical conditions that can be aggravated by eating these starches, so it's a personal choice that we have made. White rice is making a comeback in most paleo circles, but this is a personal choice for you. Don't do it just because it's in this recipe if eating white rice doesn't agree with you.

Nutrition Information
Yield 8 Serving Size 1 g
Amount Per Serving Calories 532Total Fat 31gSaturated Fat 16gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 108mgSodium 564mgCarbohydrates 26gFiber 4gSugar 17gProtein 41g

Nutrition is calculated by a third party and may not be 100% accurate

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Jasmine

Tuesday 26th of January 2021

Good morning! I am following your Whole30 meal plan and so far everything has been delicious ? Themes came out just alright. It seemed to be missing something and a bit bland. My curry could have been old and a bit flavorless, or perhaps I could have added different spices. What do you suggest to give it a bit more depth and a little spice. I didn't want to go with jalapeños in case a different pepper or chili might be better. Than you btw for all these incredible recipes. ?

Kendra Benson

Thursday 28th of January 2021

Thank you for your feedback, and glad you're (mostly) enjoying all the recipes. As far as the flavor, there are different types of curry, so that may have played a part. Also, I tend to shy away from spicy/heat in my recipes because I'm a wuss when it comes to spicy. If you prefer spicy and used a mild yellow curry (as I do), that may be the culprit. Maybe use a different, bolder curry OR you could try adding more curry next time. Every now and then I accidentally add a tad too much and it definitely ups the flavor.

Brooke

Wednesday 3rd of June 2020

This looks delicious! Just wondering if you can use curry paste instead of curry powder?

Kason Walker

Wednesday 3rd of April 2019

Wanted to know what the serving size is for the nutritional facts. Thank you.

Catherine E Richards

Thursday 31st of January 2019

Can this be made in a slow cooker/crockpot?

Kendra Benson

Thursday 31st of January 2019

I've made it in the Instant Pot and it turned out thinner than I would have liked, but haven't tried a slowcooker yet. I think it would turn out well, but you may need to remove the lid towards the end to let the sauce reduce/thicken.

Drea

Wednesday 30th of January 2019

Made this tonight and it is a keeper!!!! Hubby didn't go for it (doesn't like curry) but my 7 year old asked for seconds!! sprinkled a little more curry over mine as to not make it too spicy for her .... will be making it again!!

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