Have you ever had a hankering for a certain dish that you can’t quite explain? That’s exactly what happened with this recipe! We wanted grilled chicken thighs with a spicy coconut Thai sauce, not too thick and not too thin, but with plenty of fresh flavors. So, we started with sauteed sweet onion, tossed in a little garlic, fresh ginger, red chili peppers, and Thai basil with coconut milk. Bingo! It was just exactly what we were hoping for and it was so delicious! We hope you love it too, with all of the fresh and spicy flavors brightening up the subtle and delicious coconut broth. Be sure to serve it with rice so you can soak up all of the yummy sauce. We use basmati rice for this dish, mostly because we love basmati rice, but you can certainly use your favorite rice.
We were so excited to finally turn this idea into reality and enjoyed every, single, delicious morsel. It’s also a very easy dish to make and comes together quickly. In fact, it takes about 20 minutes to prepare and another 15 minutes to cook the chicken on the grill and make the sauce, so it’s a great dish for busy weeknights. Be sure to check the ingredients and have them on hand, and you’ll be good to go. Also, you can chop the onions and peppers ahead to save time. We often do the veggie chopping for a lot of our recipes a day or two ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator. It makes pulling the recipe together super quick!
Thai Coconut Chicken
- 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 large sweet yellow onion, chopped
- 2 tsp. fresh minced ginger
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup dry sherry
- 2 tsp. fish sauce
- 2 tsp. rice vinegar
- 2 tsp. fresh lime juice
- 2 cans coconut milk (13.5 oz. each)
- 4 stalks lemongrass, split in half lengthwise (about 4 inch lengths)
- 8 small Thai basil leaves
- 1 small Fresno chili pepper, stems and seeds removed and finely diced
- 2 limes, cut into eighths for garnish
- Thai basil leaves for garnish
- 2 cups Basmati rice, cooked according to directions
- Brown both sides of the chicken thighs in a large frying pan in the olive oil over medium-high heat. Remove chicken from pan and tent with foil.
- In the same pan with the meat drippings, add garlic, ginger, and onions. Continue to cook over medium-low heat, until onions are beginning to brown. If they get a little dark, it’s just fine and will only enhance the flavor of the sauce.
- Once the onions and veggies are browned, deglaze the pan with the dry sherry and cook until most of the liquid is absorbed.
- Add fish sauce, rice vinegar, lime juice and coconut milk, and whisk together. Add lemongrass pieces, diced Fresno chili, and basil leaves and bring just to a boil. Reduce heat to a very low simmer and keep hot until ready to serve. You can make the sauce a few hours ahead of time, too, and remove it from the heat until ready to reheat to serve. This sauce is supposed to be thin, like a creamy broth.
- Preheat grill to medium heat. Cook chicken thighs for about 3-4 minutes per side, or until done and slightly crispy around the edges. Remove from grill and discard the lemon grass. (You can keep it in the bowl for appearance, but you won’t want to eat it!)
- Spoon rice into your pasta bowls. Lay cooked chicken over rice. Spoon sauce over the top of everything.
- Garnish with extra Thai basil leaves and lime wedges.