This recipe for creamy coconut chicken is a family favorite and has been cooked by the Remolona men for decades. When my parents were in Hong Kong recently, we were all craving a home cooked meal after more than a week of eating out at different restaurants. My dad cooked this for us after we arrived back from our family vacation to Malaysia (blog posts coming soon!) and Peter and I gobbled up the savory chicken dinner. After everyone had had their fill, Peter quickly made a claim to the leftovers.
Everyone has a few adjustments that they make to suit their own tastes, but this is my dad’s recipe and it is based on an award winning family recipe that my grandfather used to make. Back in the Philippines my grandfather entered a cooking contest and submitted this delicious creamy coconut chicken. He won second place, but once you try the juicy chicken and flavorful coconut sauce, you’ll be just as shocked as I am that he didn’t win first.
You may recognize that the recipe has a lot of similarities to my recipe for chicken adobo, a favorite Filipino recipe of mine. Think of this as a coconut chicken adobo. This version has bell peppers in the dish and it’s great served with a side of garlic water spinach. You’ll want to serve it with a heaping pile of warm rice then generously ladle heaping spoonfuls of the rich, creamy sauce over it.
This dish can be cooked in about 30 minutes, so it’s an easy chicken recipe that’s perfect for a weeknight dinner. I like using juicy chicken thighs but you can you can use legs or wings too if you prefer. Make a big batch for your next dinner and pack up the leftovers. After a day in the fridge, the sauce is even more flavorful! Peter and I have to fight over who gets to have the leftovers for lunch the next day.
Creamy Coconut Chicken
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 cup vinegar
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 tbs oil
- 2 lbs chicken thighs (skin on)
- 1 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 2 cans or cartons of coconut cream (~13.66 oz each)
- In a large bowl, mix garlic, bay leaves, vinegar, and soy sauce.
- Add chicken and marinate for at least one hour
- In a large pan, heat oil over medium to high heat
- Place chicken pieces in pan and brown both sides
- Remove chicken from pan
- Reduce heat to medium
- Add sliced bell pepper and cook until soft
- Put chicken back in the pan and pour in remaining marinade
- Bring to a boil
- Reduce heat to simmer
- Pour in coconut cream
- Simmer gently until chicken is cooked through (~30 min)
- Remove pan from heat and allow dish to sit for 5 min
- Serve warm with rice