This Coconut Grilled Chicken is sweet, sticky and slightly spicy — marinated in spices and coconut milk, this chicken has a mild coconut flavor that is out of this world! Includes step by step recipe video.
Recipe and photos updated from June 2014
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 — I know that everywhere you go, and every community has a different take on their cultural dishes, and I think that’s what’s so fun about travelling — you get to experience all of that firsthand.
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 thick sauce that you will eat like one would eat spaghetti sauce. If you want a little less tang, simply swap half of the vinegar for chicken or vegetable broth as stated in the notes section.
It’s tangy, sweet and spicy. The glaze reduces to this beautifully thick, syrupy consistency that doesn’t simply run off of the chicken.
Tips and Tricks to Make this Sweet and Spicy Coconut Grilled Chicken:
- This glaze really packs a punch — if you aren’t sure that’s for you, I recommend using ¾ cup vinegar and ¾ cup chicken broth to mellow out the flavor.
- The sauce on this chicken is very thin, so don’t be surprised if it doesn’t get thick. If you’re looking for a thicker sauce, feel free to combine equal parts corn starch and water and gradually stir into the sauce until you reach your desired thickness (again, just remember — it’s going to pack a punch!)
- Be sure not to overcook your chicken or it will be dry! I recommend using a meat thermometer so you know exactly when it’s ready.
Watch the recipe video and see how easy it is to make!
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Sweet & Spicy Coconut Grilled Chicken
- 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 optional: sub in some broth — see note above
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 6 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/4-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes*
- 2 tbsp apricot jam
- In a large ziploc bag, combine chicken breasts, coconut milk, ginger and ½ 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.
- 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.)
- 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.
- Spoon glaze over cooked chicken and serve with rice or noodles.
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Tried this recipe?
Tag @thereciperebel or hashtag #thereciperebel — I love to see what you’re making!Tag @thereciperebel
I made this tonight for dinner, and it was a big hit! Asian meals for us are hit or miss on the sauce, but this was the perfect balance. I was nervous after seeing how much vinegar was in the glaze, but it turned out well. Great recipe!
Thanks Tanya! Glad you liked it!
That is one tasty looking dish! It looks absolutely incredible. I had to add it to Pinterest. 🙂
Thanks Lynda! And thanks for sharing 🙂
Kathleen @ Fearlessly Creative Mammas says
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.
Thanks Kathleen! We love this chicken in the summer time! I’m jealous that you have gotten to live there — how cool is that?!
Kayla Seah says
Going to try this tonight. Anything with coconut in it has my attention!
Let me know how you like it!
Lori Hart says
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
Thanks Lori! I will try to do they tonight if I get a chance!
Yum! This sounds so good. Pinning to try!
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,
Thanks Sherry! You’ll have to try it and let me know how you like it!
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. 🙂
Haha, thanks Marcie! We like everything on the sweet side 🙂
Matt Robinson says
Love the flavors in this so much, amazing!!
Thanks Matt! The first time I made it, I was really surprised how much I liked it. Now I’m addicted!