In Memory Of Karen Nicole Smith, 1972 - 2016

Incredible Coconut Chicken.

Here’s one of those comforting dishes you and your family will enjoy on those cozy winter nights (yea I’m based in Canada where we get COLD winters). Steam/boil some rice and you’re golden. You may also cook this in advance and freeze, to just thaw/heat and enjoy when you don’t feel like cooking after a long day’s work. Maybe it’s a good idea to double up on the recipe so you can have leftovers to freeze?

You’ll Need…

3 chicken legs (back attached)
3 tablespoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon salt (divided)
3/4 teaspoon black pepper (divided)
1 medium onion (diced)
5 cloves garlic (smashed)
2 wiri wiri peppers (optional – if you like spicy)
1 scallion (chopped)
5 sprigs thyme
1 medium tomato (diced)
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon Caribbean Green Seasoning
1/2 cup white wine (your fave)
1 1/2 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup water
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon parsley (chopped)
1/2 lemon (juice)

IMPORTANT! If doing this dish gluten free, please go through the full list of ingredients to make sure they meet with your specific gluten free dietary needs.

Trim the excess skin and fat off the chicken, but for the most part keep the skin that’s not hanging off. We’ll be finishing this in the oven and the skin will help to protect it. Season with 1/2 of the salt and the black pepper.

Heat the coconut oil on a medium flame in a heavy (oven proof) pot and add the chicken pieces. Turn the heat down to low and cook on each side for 4 minutes. We’re not trying to fully cook the chicken, but to just give it some color.

Remove the chicken and set aside, then remove 3/4 of the fat in the pot. Yes, it may double as the rendered chicken skin will release more fat into the pot. Do NOT toss this fat down your kitchen sink or you will run into plumbing issues. I usually tab it with paper towels and it goes into my green bin (rubbish).

With the heat on low, add the onion, garlic, thyme, remaining black pepper, scallion and wiri wiri pepper (should you use them, DON’T break them or the dish will become VERY spicy). Cook on low for about 3 minutes.

To help with balancing the overall flavor (acidity), add the diced tomato and stir well. (as this happens, preheat the oven to 425). Grate in the ginger, then add the smoked paprika and Caribbean Green Seasoning. Stir well.

After about 4 minutes after adding the tomato, it’s time to add the white wine (I used Riesling) and scrape the bottom of the pot to deglaze all that nice fond at the bottom. You can turn the heat to med/low to help burn off that wine. Add the remaining salt.

It’s time to add the coconut milk and bring back to a simmer. Add the water to thin the sauce down a bit.

As soon as it comes back to a simmer, add back the pieces of chicken to the pot and spoon on the gravy (with herbs etc) over them. Tuck in the bay leaf. Then into the oven on the middle rack (no lid).

35 minutes later and your chicken should be fully cooked, packed with flavor and ready to be enjoyed.

Top with the parsley and lemon juice as you remove it from the oven.

Discard the unbroken wiri wiri peppers or break them to release the fire. Don’t forget to check the salt at the end and adjust top your liking. Drop me your comments below, tag me on Instagram and don’t forget you can now get my cookbook – The Vibrant Caribbean Pot, 100 Traditional And Fusion Recipes @

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  1. Elena
    March 20, 2022 / 9:48 am


  2. Klevys
    January 9, 2022 / 4:56 pm

    I made this today and my goodness my tastebuds were salivating. Thank you, Chris

  3. Felicia
    September 23, 2021 / 3:40 pm

    Will the recipe work If I use drumsticks or things alone ?

  4. Judith Niles
    September 7, 2021 / 7:42 am

    I had heard for a while on my favourite Radio Station WACK Radio that your cook book was going to be launched in T&T. Congratulations when I saw you on the new station.

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