Coconut Curry Chicken

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.

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, 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) and I would suggest you use that in place of white rice in this recipe if you’re avoiding all grains.

Coconut Curry Chicken | Our Paleo Life

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 (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. 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.

Coconut Curry Chicken | Our Paleo Life

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.

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/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). See notes in the post above about white rice.

Coconut Curry Chicken | Our Paleo Life

Coconut Curry Chicken

Course: Main Course
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 8
Author: Kendra Benson

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.

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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.

Recipe 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 (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. 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.

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32 Comments on “Coconut Curry Chicken

  1. Lisa Roebuck

    The entire family LOVED this recipe so much, we made it 3x in 1 week! 🙂 Delicious!! We love your wonderful recipes and have tried so many. Thank you for making it an easy transition into Paleo Life! Your recipes are super easy to follow & pictures are tantalizing! Keep up the awesome work! It’s much appreciated!

    Reply
    1. Kendra Benson

      Thank you for your kind words, wow! I’m so glad your family loved the recipe, it’s one of our favorites too. I no longer notice that my house almost always smells like curry, ha!

      Reply
  2. Kait

    Delish! I added some sweet potatoes, peppers, and mushrooms to make it more of a hearty soup. Love your posts- it inspires me to stay healthy with a busy life!

    Reply
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  6. Miwa

    This looks amazing Kendra! I made something similar last night, but just guessed on spices and didn’t do onion.. Definitely going to try this version!

    Reply
  7. Brittany

    This was Ah-Mazing! I made a couple modifications…

    Red Curry Powder rather than standard Curry Powder
    Add sliced Shiitake mushrooms while simmering

    Garnish with fresh basil and sliced avocado

    We had this by itself, rather than over anything. This Shiitake mushrooms soaked up some of the broth, and it was simply outstanding! Thank you for such a yummy creation, with plenty of leftovers!

    Reply
  8. Shelly B

    I wished it had shown it over cauliflower rice, or spaghetti squash. That’s what I consider Paleo myself! I would have liked to read the comments about the other two down the white rice.

    Reply
  9. Cindy

    Absolutely delicious! I doubled it so we would have leftovers and it was even better the next day. I made rice on the side for my non-paleo family members, but I loved it just straight (I literally licked the bowl…don’t judge me).

    Reply
  10. Karly

    This was soooo good. I added extra curry spice and we finished every last bit. I don’t see why people are complaining about the picture, mine looked just as delicious with the cauliflower rice. Love your website. Thank you!

    Reply
  11. cindy

    looks so good! would tumeric powder be good with this? I’ve tried my friend’s indian food and they put all kinds of spices and it’s so goood

    Reply
  12. Jennie

    So I tried again but adding the curry powder with the chicken. This is very good. Thanks for the recipe!

    Reply
  13. Shauna

    This was AMAZING! I made the Bacon Bison Burgers the night before and I loved that recipe as well! This is my first Whole30 experience and you have made it so easy 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing these great recipes. Can’t wait to try the next one!

    Reply
  14. Jessica

    This was a great recipe and my family really like it. The directions were easy to follow and I loved that I could check-mark the list! I added cumin, coriander, cayenne, and cinnamon to add more flavor to the sauce, made cauliflower rice, and Paleo naan for a complete Indian meal. Delicious! Thank you!

    Reply
  15. Karen

    I came across this recipe while specifically searching for a paleo coconut chicken curry recipe. Made it tonight and absolutely LOVED it!!!! It was exactly what I was hoping for. I had mine on a bed of mashed sweet potato and brussels sprouts on the side. And….I couldn’t help myself….I HAD to have a second serving. Thanks for the awesome recipe….I’ll have to check out some of your others.

    Reply
  16. Denise

    I just made this with already cooked chicken (roasted) and it is absolutely delicious! We had it with califlower rice and an avacado salad. I will be making this even when we are not in the middle of a “Whole30”!

    Reply
  17. Betsy

    Just made this tonight! Sooo yummy over cauliflower rice! First time to make anything curry at home and it was fantastic! Can’t wait for leftovers tomorrow!! Also had a little sweet potato mash with it – yum yum!!! You do need a big skillet though – we opted for our big le creuset dutch oven and it worked perfectly!!!

    Reply
  18. GRENSON Marie-Jeanne

    Hi there Kendra, I just two days ago found your website. I just love it, the way you talk about how this or that recipe came about. I need to go back to a Whole 30 food approach as my medical issues seem to become worse. I want to heal my gut and hope that flavorsome and whole food will help me on this (long) road to healthiness. I am going to follow the 4 week meal plan and will let you know how I get on. One more thing : I crave sugar (ehmm, who doesn’t :-))))) is there anything that can help me get over this craving???? All the rest I can manage for sure, but the sugar!!!! help!!!
    All the best to you all from Belgium, where Spring is taking hold and little green shoots seem to sprout all over the place, love it!
    Thanks for your help
    Marie-Jeanne

    Reply
  19. Melissa

    Tonight this recipe singlehandedly saved me from caving on my Whole30 plan. Thank you!! One of those rough nights when the kids are fighting, everyone’s hungry and you realize you have nothing planned for dinner. I randomly had almost everything I needed. Didn’t have a can of diced tomatoes so just chopped up a big handful of cherry tomatoes. Only had a can of coconut milk. And still, it turned out so amazing. My 7-year-old son was super hesitant, said it didn’t smell good but he would give it a try. His face lit up when he tried it and he ate his whole portion. Thanks again!!

    Reply

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