Whole coconut milk braised chicken in a braising pan with yellow curry sauce.

Coconut Milk Braised Chicken

  • Author: Kristen Stevens
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 2 hours 20 mins
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Braised
  • Cuisine: Thai


Coconut Milk Braised Chicken is a delicious whole chicken recipe that is very easy to make. The chicken is coated with a lemongrass and ginger rub then slow-cooked in coconut milk. The flavorful sauce is incredible poured over rice or cauliflower rice!

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  • 1 4-lb. whole chicken
  • 4 tablespoons melted coconut oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon ginger paste, divided (see notes)
  • 1 tablespoon lemongrass paste
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Thai green curry paste
  • 10 stems of cilantro, leaves and stems separated
  • 1 14-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk (about 2 cups)


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of the melted coconut oil with 1 teaspoon of the ginger paste, the lemongrass paste, and salt. In another small bowl, mix the remaining tablespoon of ginger paste with the lime zest and juice, garlic, green curry paste, and the cilantro stems.
  3. If there is a string tying your chicken, remove it. Dry the chicken with paper towels. Carefully seperate the skin from the chicken breast, trying not to tear the skin. Using a spoon, spread the mixture with the lemongrass under the chicken skin. If any gets on the chicken skin, remove it with paper towels or it will burn.
  4. Heat one tablespoon of oil in a large pot or braiser. Place the chicken in the pan, bottom side down to start, and sear it on all sides until it is nicely browned. Use a pair of tongs to turn the chicken, inserting one tong end into the chicken and gripping with the other tong end on the outside of the chicken. When brown, remove the chicken from the pan and pour out the oil. (See notes)
  5. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pot then pour the mixture from the remaining small bowl into the pot. Let it cook for 1 minute then pour in the coconut milk. Put the chicken in the pot, breast side up. Cover the pot and put it in the oven for 2 hours.
  6. Remove the chicken from the pot and let it rest for 10 minutes before carving. Bring the liquid that is in the pot to a boil over high heat until it reduces to 1 cup.
  7. Serve the chicken with the reduced sauce on the side and the cilantro leaves sprinkled over the top.


Ginger paste and lemongrass paste can be bought in the produce section of most grocery stores. You can also make your own by grating ginger with a microplane and very finely mincing lemongrass.

After searing the chicken, we remove the oil from the pan as we find that the flavor is best with fresh oil.

If you’d rather braise this dish on the stovetop simply prepare the chicken as per the recipe but cook it over very low heat on your stove. You want the liquid to be at only the slightest simmer.

Pair with steamed basmati rice or cauliflower rice

Perfect basmati rice in a pot.cauliflower rice in a pan with a wooden spoon.

A close up of garlic butter chicken and brussels sprouts in a pan.

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