Sweet & Spicy Coconut Grilled Chicken

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Lately, I have a bit of a thing for food that is sweet and sour and spicy all at once. Like this Honey Balsamic Pulled Pork. Or pretty much anything with an “Asian” flair.

And I say “Asian” because I don’t pretend to know much about what real Asian food is.


I don’t pretend to know much about which foods can really define another culture unless I have actually visited the place and tasted it firsthand. It’s a lot like my first trip to Mexico, which was to help build a house for the less fortunate and not a vacation. But on the trip, I tasted firsthand Real Mexican Food. From then on, I haven’t enjoyed Canadian Mexican Food quite as much. It just pales in comparison.

But I happen to quite like Canadian Asian Food. CanadiAsian? I like that.

I know our representation of Asian food might not be totally accurate, but I just love that combination of sweet, sour and spicy.

I blame it on the baby inside me.

He/she is anti-anything-with-buttercream and loving pickles, chips, lemon, rhubarb — basically anything acidic or salty.

It’s not that eating chocolate or a ridiculous over-the-top dessert would make me ill, and I wouldn’t even call it an aversion. I would just say I now prefer a lemon cupcake over chocolate. Whipped cream over buttercream. A big jar of pickles over a big fat slice of cake.

I’m probably just in denial.

I like to think of myself as pretty normal even during pregnancy. So I make up excuses to help myself believe that not much has changed.

Anyway. This chicken.


The coconut milk marinade is so creamy and just slightly sweet. If you didn’t know it was marinated in coconut milk, you probably wouldn’t get a lot of coconut flavour from it. So if you’re worried about not liking the taste of it, don’t worry.

The sauce smells pretty potent when you’re cooking it, I’m not gonna lie. You might get a little bit worried that it’s not going to taste good. When you taste it by itself from the pan, it’s going to be pretty strong. But it pairs so incredibly well with the chicken. Realize, as you’re tasting it, that it’s a glaze, and not a sauce that you will eat like one would eat spaghetti sauce. Though I serve this chicken with rice and spoon a generous spoonful over top of that as well.

It’s tangy, sweet and spicy. The glaze reduces to this beautifully thick, syrupy consistency that doesn’t simply run off of the chicken.

If you’re a CanadiAsian (AmericAsian?) lover like myself, you need to try this chicken!

Sweet & Spicy Coconut Grilled Chicken

Prep Time: 2 hours

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 20 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings

Sweet, sour, sticky and a bit spicy -- this chicken has everything you want. So delicious off the grill with the glaze brushed over top!


  • 3-4 large chicken breasts (mine were massive, and I sliced them into 7 average portions. You can always use more smaller breasts)
  • For the marinade:
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • For the sauce:
  • 1 1/2 cups white vinegar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes*
  • 2 tbsp apricot jam


  1. In a large ziploc bag, combine chicken breasts, coconut milk, ginger and 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes. Seal bag and use your hands to combine ingredients. Marinade in the fridge at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.
  2. Over medium heat, grill chicken for about 10 minutes per side (**Note: cooking time will vary greatly depending on thickness of your chicken. Use your own discretion here.)
  3. While chicken is cooking, combine vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, pepper flakes and jam in a medium pan on the stove. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Cook about 20 minutes or until reduced and slightly thickened. Watch closely and whisk constantly as the glaze starts to get close to being done -- it can burn quickly because of the high sugar content. Glaze will thicken considerably after it starts to cool down.
  4. Spoon glaze over cooked chicken and serve with rice or noodles.


*The amount you use will depend on your tastes. If don't like too much spice, go with the lesser amount.

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Adapted from Mommy I’m Hungry.

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18 Responses to Sweet & Spicy Coconut Grilled Chicken

  1. LyndaS June 23, 2014 at 6:24 pm #

    That is one tasty looking dish! It looks absolutely incredible. I had to add it to Pinterest. :)
    LyndaS recently posted…Easy Strawberry CakeMy Profile

    • Ashley June 23, 2014 at 7:33 pm #

      Thanks Lynda! And thanks for sharing :)

  2. Kathleen @ Fearlessly Creative Mammas June 19, 2014 at 5:24 pm #

    I found you on The Weekend Re-Treat. So happy I did because I have two new recipes to try. This sounds so good too. I have lived in Asia, South Korea twice and China once. I liked a lot of the Korean food. I can’t say the same for the Chinese food from China. I liked a few things, but not too much. Be happy for your CanadiAsian food. I’m happy for my AmericiAsian food. Seriously.
    Kathleen @ Fearlessly Creative Mammas recently posted…Inspire Imagination with a Flint BookMy Profile

    • Ashley June 19, 2014 at 6:10 pm #

      Thanks Kathleen! We love this chicken in the summer time! I’m jealous that you have gotten to live there — how cool is that?!

  3. Kayla Seah June 18, 2014 at 6:19 am #

    Going to try this tonight. Anything with coconut in it has my attention!
    Kayla Seah recently posted…7 Reasons to Love CoconutsMy Profile

    • Ashley June 18, 2014 at 11:42 am #

      Let me know how you like it!

  4. Lori Hart June 17, 2014 at 12:43 pm #

    This looks amazing!! Found your recipe at Two Cup Tuesday.  I am one of the hostesses of Tickle My Tastebuds and would love you to stop by and link up this recipe if you have not yet already. Here is the link

    • Ashley June 17, 2014 at 3:06 pm #

      Thanks Lori! I will try to do they tonight if I get a chance!

  5. Jill June 17, 2014 at 7:18 am #

    Yum! This sounds so good. Pinning to try!
    Jill recently posted…Chocolate Chip S’More Whoopie PiesMy Profile

    • Ashley June 17, 2014 at 10:54 am #


  6. Sherry June 14, 2014 at 12:16 pm #

    Oh this looks so yummy. I love coconut shrimp. Never had chicken this way. I’ll have to try it.
    I enjoyed visiting from Weekend link. I am following you now.
    Have a great weekend,
    Sherry recently posted…Sweet Saturday The Best Weekend–Keller Farmers MarketMy Profile

    • Ashley June 14, 2014 at 12:18 pm #

      Thanks Sherry! You’ll have to try it and let me know how you like it!

  7. marcie@flavorthemoments June 14, 2014 at 10:50 am #

    This entire dish sounds amazing, and I love the use of coconut milk and apricot preserves here! The baby inside you has good taste! I’m really going to have to try this. :)
    marcie@flavorthemoments recently posted…Healthier Fresh Apricot Coconut Muffins {Farmer’s Market Friday}My Profile

    • Ashley June 14, 2014 at 12:11 pm #

      Haha, thanks Marcie! We like everything on the sweet side :)

  8. Matt Robinson June 12, 2014 at 10:47 am #

    Love the flavors in this so much, amazing!!
    Matt Robinson recently posted…Breakfast PizzaMy Profile

    • Ashley June 12, 2014 at 2:25 pm #

      Thanks Matt! The first time I made it, I was really surprised how much I liked it. Now I’m addicted!


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