Curry Coconut Milk Chicken Thighs

If you enjoy curries, you must make these curry coconut milk chicken thighs now. It is so good, and so simple to make. We know we have a winner when Diane’s mom devours a dish. She is always a gracious eater, but usually samples like a hummingbird. Little sips and nibbles. However, these curry coconut milk chicken thighs  garnered a hearty eating and a couple days of compliments.Curry Coconut Milk Chicken Thighs Recipe that's juicy and amazing | @whiteonrice

It began as a combination of two of our favorites, a nice homemade curry and our baked milk chicken thighs. Curries are always great and lends so well to these curry coconut milk chicken thighs. It seems like every Asian culture has their own take on curry. Spices, thicknesses, and textures all varying. There isn’t a right or wrong way to make curry, just as long as you like the flavors and textures.

Curry Coconut Milk Chicken Thighs Recipe that's juicy and amazing | @whiteonrice

We’ll usually start with a light browning of aromatics, garlic and sometimes onions or shallots in oil or butter. Then add in our spices. If we are feeling ambitious we’ll mix up combinations of favorite spices, toast them, and then continue from there. But usually we’ll enjoy the simplicity of a favorite curry blend for the spice mix, adding in an extra spice or two for a customized flavor or additional heat.


Watch the video making the Curry Coconut Milk Baked Chicken Thighs:

Cooking note: We tend to think of spices as lasting forever in the cupboard, but really the fresher the spices the better. After time they’ll start to lose their brightness and fullness of flavor. An older spice will work fine, but a fresher version is usually noticeably better.

After adding the spices to the garlic, we’ll give it a quick stir or two, and then add our liquid. For this curry we were craving a coconut milk style curry, so in goes the coconut milk along with some broth. Then add any other flavoring elements desired; ginger, lemongrass, bay leaves, etc…

If you want to make it even more over-the-top, add in your favorite veggies before you bake. The sky’s the limit here as to what you can add. Carrots, sliced onions, zucchini, potatoes, celery, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, sugar snap peas, green beans, bell peppers. There’s nothing fussy about a good curry and a ton of was to adapt it to your own preferences.

drench the chicken in curry sauce and devour

Curry Coconut Milk Chicken Thighs Recipe that's juicy and amazing | @whiteonrice

Curry Coconut Milk Chicken Thighs Recipe that's juicy and amazing | @whiteonrice

The second factor in this recipe is the baked milk chicken thighs. When we first started cooking the milk chicken thighs we were enamored. Juicy, easy to throw together, and put in the oven and forget about it until the timer goes off. Well the love hasn’t faded.

This curry dish combines the two together perfectly. Season and sear the chicken, remove and make the curry in the same pan. And then add back in the chicken, place it in the oven and an easy 30 minutes later you have a perfect meal.


Todd & Diane

It all started with our favorite Milk Chicken Thighs recipe:

Baked Chicken Thighs Recipe in Milk - @whiteonrice

3.84 from 6 votes
Curry Coconut Milk Roast Chicken Thighs
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hr
Adapted from our milk chicken thighs, but this time with an Asian flair. Coconut milk, curry, cumin and bright lime zest really adds a wonderful curry take on our popular chicken recipe. Add what ever veggies you want before you bake it in the oven. Potatoes, carrots, eggplant, the veggie possibilities are endless!
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Asian
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 432 kcal
for the chicken thighs:
  • 2 pounds chicken thighs (about 6 thighs), bone-in and skin-on
  • kosher salt or sea salt, to taste
  • fresh ground black pepper , to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon butter or olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 Tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper , or to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon fish sauce (or soy sauce), or to taste
  • zest of 2 limes
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup minced cilantro
for serving:
  • Cooked Rice or Crusty Bread
  1. Preheat oven to 400° F (205°C).
  2. Wash and pat dry chicken thighs. Season both sides of chicken thighs with salt and pepper.
  3. In a large oven-proof skillet, melt butter or add oil on medium high heat. Place chicken skin-side down first and sear each side of the chicken until crispy brown, about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
  4. In the same skillet over medium heat add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add bay leaf, curry powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, fish sauce, and lime zest. Then add coconut milk and chicken broth. Stir until combined. Bring liquid to a low simmer.
  5. Place chicken back into the skillet and transfer to oven. Roast the chicken for about 25-30 minutes or until fully cooked. Internal temperature of chicken should be about 175° F (80°C).
  6. After chicken is cooked, top with minced cilantro and serve over rice or with slices of crusty bread.
{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }
  1. Gawish

    Wow!! I grabbed a can of coconut milk (more like cream really) from Hmart that I didn’t know what to do with and this recipe worked perfectly! I have a basil plant that needed some trimming, so used that instead of cilantro. Fits perfectly!

    1. Todd & Diane

      Thanks for letting us know and so glad it turned out great! Love spontaneous meals and LOVE basil too.

  2. Hazel McNeil

    Thank you so much! Ideal meal for a cold winter night and absolutely delicious!

  3. Anne

    This was delicious thank you. No cumin so substituted with garam masala and parsley. Sauce was quite thin (down to coconut milk I used I think), so added butter beans and a couple of teaspoons of corn flour to thicken and served with scallop potatoes and garlic bread was lovely, will be making again.

  4. Janet

    That was really good! I added large diced potatoes, letting them simmer in the sauce before adding back the chicken. I used a cast iron dutch oven & baked it with the lid on. I used boneless chicken thighs & they were so moist, they fell apart in the yummy gravy. My son said it was one of the best dishes I’ve ever made! Served it over basmati with a big green salad. Thank you, Todd & Diane

  5. Tanna

    This was so good! Added a white onion. My broth didn’t get as thick but still delicious. Thank you!

  6. Ann

    This is my go to curry recipe from now on. My family loves it! The only thing I’ll do differently next time is either to cover it with foil while baking or simmer it on the stove with the lid partially covered. This way, the meat is a bit more tender. Thank you for sharing this yummy recipe!

  7. Mirella

    Can chicken thigh cutlets be used as a substitute

    1. Todd & Diane

      Yes, but you should adjust cooking times as cutlets will cook quicker than bone-in. Enjoy!

  8. Lora

    I’m about to make this tonight- I’m going to double the recipe and use 8-9 thighs. Should I use my dutch oven or put all in a large pan to bake? Any tips on thickening the sauce a bit before serving? I may not need to, but just in case!

  9. Nymue

    I found this recipe whilst browsing Pinterest for a dinner idea for defrosting marylands. Thank you so was an absolute winner with everyone in my household 7years to 45yrs.

  10. Kim Lloyd

    I don’t usually write reviews but holy moly this dish is amazing! Having guests for dinner and don’t know what to make? This is it! I used boneless skinless chicken breasts instead, added in some carrots while baking. Absolutely delicious. So much flavor and just the right amount of heat. Even my picky kids devoured it!

  11. Amy Rundstrom

    I made this last night, almost exactly as written (I added some sliced onions just before I sauteed the garlic. It was really good! My sauce wasn’t as thick as the image seems to show, but that was probably my conconut milk. It’s a keeper, and I’ll definitely make it again! It was great with basmati rice and a side of roasted cauliflower!

    1. Todd & Diane

      Hi Amy, glad you enjoyed the recipe! The roasted cauliflower sounds wonderful. And you’re right, different brands of coconut milks vary so much.

  12. Erin Fiore

    If I wanted to add veggies to this, do you have any suggestions as to how to make it a one pot meal? Or would you just sautee separately and then add after you pull it out of the oven?

    1. Todd & Diane

      Hi Erin, for longer to cook root vegetables such as carrots or potatoes, we would add them in as soon as the curry sauce is finished and let the veggies cook in the curry sauce for a 2-3 minutes to soften up. Then add the chicken and finish cooking in the oven. For quicker cooking vegetables, just add them when you add the chicken, then bake in the oven to complete the meal.

  13. Averie @ Averie Cooks

    This sounds wonderful! The weather here has cooled off just a teeny tiny bit and I always think of curry dishes as more fall/winter and I can’t wait to make this…or just make it in the summer anyway 🙂

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