Curried Chicken with Coconut Rice

Mom guilt. It’s pretty crazy, right? You with me, moms?

I had to go out to dinner the other night for work and I was feeling mom guilt because I wasn’t able to pick Cooper up from school and see how his day went. I also wasn’t there to eat dinner with him or read him a story before bed.  But! I was able to make sure there was something left for dinner for my boys and this was it.

When I made it home 10 minutes after Cooper was tucked in for bed, I popped into his room to say goodnight and he greeted me with “Mama, I’m so happy to see you! I ate all my yellow rice and chicken!”  Hehe. Yellow rice. Kid knows just the right words to make me happy. Guilt? What guilt?

If you’re in need of a hearty/easy dish, THIS IS IT. The only difficulty I had was taking pictures along the way (my hands got messy!). The rice is so flavorful & fluffy while the chicken is super tender. I had enough leftovers to feed me and three of my coworkers for lunch the yesterday. I love a one pot meal, don’t you?

And we’re off!

Let’s gather our ingredients. GO.

Curry, cayenne & salt get tossed with the chicken.

I used my hands. Two days later and I still have curry stained cuticles. Lesson learned.

Here’s all the good stuff.

Take the chicken and brown it in the big pot you’re gonna bake it in.

Chicken browning. I took the skin off of half of them. They stayed moist! Less fat. YAY.

Brown on both sides.

Take the chicken out. Set it aside.

Toss the onions, garlic & ginger in the pot. Look at those brown bits. That’s FLAVOR.

Sweat the onions. Add the tomato paste. Tomato paste in a tube is genius btw.

Now add in the coconut milk & water. You’re on your way. Boil it on the stove.

Nestle the chicken on top. NOW BAKE with the top on.

After the oven time you have this. All the sauce is absorbed into the rice. The rice is cooked & so is the chicken.

Top with chopped cilantro for garnish. Makes it pretty, huh?

Get your bowls ready. Serve with sliced tomatoes & more cilantro.

We’ve got dinner  & lunch covered for a few days.

Oh! If you’re a fan of chicken, you might like this dish too. Crazy simple. It’s hearty meal season!

Curried Chicken with Coconut Rice

serves 8

recipe from Everyday Food Magazine

  • 1 whole chicken (3 1/2 to 4 pounds), cut into 10 pieces
  • 4 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • coarse salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger (from a 3-inch piece)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced small
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 1 can (13.5 ounces) unsweetened light coconut milk
  • fresh cilantro leaves, for serving

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with rack in lower third. Toss chicken with curry powder, cayenne, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. In a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot, heat 2 teaspoons oil over high. In batches, cook chicken until browned on all sides, about 12 minutes total. Transfer to a large plate

Reduce heat to medium and add 1 teaspoon salt the oil, garlic, ginger, and onion. Cook, stirring and scraping up browned bits with a wooden spoon, until onion is translucent, 6 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and cook 1 minute. Add rice, coconut milk, and 2 cups water; stir to combine and bring to a boil. Arrange chicken in pot, skin side up, cover, and transfer to oven. Bake until chicken is cooked through and liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

  • Theresa

    Looks delicious! What a sweet moment with your son! I love little moments like that.


  • Ana Cooks

    i love curry!!!
    Have you try it with monkfish?
    Is sooooo good! 🙂

  • Jess E

    hi. Do you think there is a way to do this without coconut milk? I’m allergic but this looks SO good!

  • Kiran @

    Oh yum! We love one pot meals as well. This definitely fits into the “biryani” category.

    And yes, curry has turmeric and it definitely stains. Forever 😀

  • Kimiko

    I was just looking for a good curry recipe! Going to cross reference this against my grandma’s 🙂

  • Shannon

    this looks very tasty! since i’m vegan, i wonder if you could sub pressed tofu….

    • Tracy

      I bet you could. I wonder how it would do being cooked with the rice. Hopefully it would soak up all the flavors and not get rubbery! Lemme know!

      • Meridith

        I just made it with Trader Joe’s extra firm tofu – still delish! I added just a tad more salt because chicken naturally has more flavor than tofu. WOOHOO, I can add this to my list of yummy meals!

    • Martine

      I made a vegan version of this using tofu, and it turned out great! I browned the tofu in some toasted sesame oil first, and baking it gave it a denser texture but definitely not chewy, and it soaked up the flavor of the curry sauce. I also subbed quinoa for the white rice, and used red curry paste instead of curry powder.

      I wrote a post about it here:

      It’s a great one pot dish, and I will definitely be making it again. Thanks Tracy for the inspiration!

      Let me know if you give it a go!

  • Allyn

    Curry is its own food group at our house, so I’m thinking that’s a win!

  • Megan

    Ah! Cooper is so sweet.

    And this meal looks so good! I might need to make this so I can have meals for the week.

  • Celia

    I made chicken curry this week too! Did we both get a secret memo? Mine is super simple but tasty (and I might even blog about it). I’ll have to try this version out too!

  • Cho

    Shutz, do you think it’s possible to throw all of these ingredients in a slowcooker and let it do it’s groove thing instead of baking?

  • Cait

    Hi! Love this and pretty much all of your other recipes ha! I’ve been eating that kale/coconut/brown rice dish for days and loooove it. For this one, do you think using Coconut Oil for the oil and Brown Rice for the rice would work? Thanks!

  • biobabbler

    oh, you are SAVING me. I have 3 guests arriving today, and this sounds PERFECT for one of our dinners. And I’m DROWNING in summer tomatoes, so I’ll def. add plenty to their bowls. =) Thanks!!

  • Stefanie @ Sarcastic Cooking

    This is so easy! I love one pot meals! I also love that Coop likes curry. It is definitely an aquired taste.

  • Iris

    Mmmm! Sounds delish. This is making me hungry.

  • Winter

    That looks so dang good! I need to make that…stat!

  • A Little Coffee

    Bah, super sad that I do not own a pot that can transfer from oven to stovetop, because this looks fantabulous. I betcha if I cut the chicken into smaller pieces I could just let it simmer in the sauce on the stovetop though?

  • Michelle

    Curry is probably the next best thing to a mother’s love and attention. True story.

  • Elise Martinez

    YES!!! I love curry! Definitely making this tonight. Thanks, Tracy!

  • Eileen

    This looks amazing. AMAZING. It makes me want to throw a super-casual dinner party (of the “hey, do you want to come have dinner tonight?” variety) for all my meat-eating friends. 🙂

  • Leah

    I LOVE one pot meals that last a few days!! Perfection!!

  • Sandra

    Yes! I have the same concern as above. I dont have a pot that large that can go in the oven. I’ve made arroz con pollo on the stovetop before, thought. Do you think if I just leave it covered while simmering until the liquid is absorbed it should be fine?

  • Sini

    Made it for dinner. What a great weeknight dinner! 🙂 I have yummy in my tummy…

  • Amanda Barkey

    YUM! we have chicken and rice like this like once a week… my husband grew up in Peru and had lots of arroz con pollo & love it! I usually make a really simple with chicken stock, thyme and lemon. THIS looks amazing, I have never used tomato paste and coconut milk- will be making this!

  • sarah

    Curry & coconut are sorta like chocolate & peanut butter for me… absolutely the most perfect combination! I try to make a one-pot meal every Sunday as the “I don’t have time to cook” weeknight dinner and I can’t wait to add this to the loop. Thanks!

  • kickpleat

    I always think of curry as a fall and winter dish and because it still feels like summer around here, I don’t want to step on curry’s toes yet. But I’m bookmarking this for future cool evenings. Looks delicious, Tracy!!

  • Tara

    Tomato paste in a tube is the most genius idea ever! I love not wasting all that tomato paste that I used to.

  • Amy @ Elephant Eats

    Wow, this sounds awesome and so easy! I

  • Jay

    This looks fab. And I was just trying to decide what to make for dinner on the weekend when I’ll have guests over. Perfect! I too love tomato paste in a tube, it’s fab. And when rubbing chicken with things (you probably know this …) I throw everything into a large zip lock bag and squish it around so I don’t stain my hands.

  • whitney

    You already know I’m going to try this. What I want to know is where you found that fabulous bowl in the last photo?!

  • Shanna

    Yummmm! This looks so good. Definitely on my dinner menu for next week. Would it turn out the same with boneless skinless chicken breasts? There is something about cooking with the bone-in chicken that grosses me out. Haha!

  • Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe

    Daaaaammmmmnnnnn, that looks good. Pinning for future making!

  • Narineh @ The Novel World

    I’m so excited to make this tonight. Hopefully I can adapt the recipe for a lone, but fat, chicken breast.

  • Rikki Talkradio

    I’m in the middle of a move and a one pot dish is right up my alley. This looks sooo yummy!

    Just a thought for the people who want to cook it on the stove… you might consider using brown rice instead. It will handle the longer cooking time better, and you can stir it while cooking, unlike white rice. If you make the switch, make sure to add extra liquid to compensate!

  • heather @ chiknpastry

    dang this looks like a bomb dish ;). also, you’re nice to feed your co-workers, not sure I’d want to share!

  • Danielle

    Hmmm, would cauliflower hold up in the pot?

  • Meredith

    this looks so yummy. i’ve never had anything with curry…that will change with this recipe!

  • Amanda

    Where did you get your french oven? I love the mint green!

  • Lisa | With Style and Grace

    Being pregnant, I love any flavor of rice! Can I just join you for dinner?

  • Julia

    Would it be considered excessive if I made this for my friends and I for break the fast after Yom Kippur next Wednesday, and then again five days later on the following Monday when I visit other friends in North Carolina? It looks that good!

  • Jayne

    This is going to be on my table soon. 🙂 I don’t have a pot that can be on the stovetop and also go in the oven so might do the rice on the stove with the chicken in the oven then combine before the rice gets fully cooked. So hungry!

  • Melissa@Julia's Bookbag

    HOLY MOLY MACARONI! that is all.

  • jenny

    I think I make a shutterbean dinner at least once every week. seriously, love your dinner ideas. I’m obsessed with baking and fun breakfast and lunch stuff, but by the time dinner rolls around, the cooking energy seems to have gone out of me. thanks for giving me new enthusiasm with your quick and easy (and yummy) posts!

    • Tracy

      JENNY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you THANK YOU THANK YOU. That’s just the nicest thing ever.

  • Sarah Red

    I just made this for dinner, stupidly on a Friday because now I have no work to go to tomorrow and share with. My neighbours may have to love me in the morning…

  • sandra h

    Thanks for posting a dinner entree. Most helpful.

  • Christine M.

    Well this just looks like the perfect meal for a Sunday night.. I’m so excited to try it!! But I’m wondering, could just chicken breasts be used instead of the whole chicken?

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  • Alissa L

    as usual, bananas amazing! Martha stewart has a baked chicken and rice dish similar to this, but the curry is so unexpected and just out of this world!

  • Amanda Barkey

    wow, I am making this right now and it smells AMAZING!!! cant wait for dinner!

  • Caitlin

    LOVED this recipe, Tracy Shutterbean! Made it last night for the boyfriend..

    Also, I’ve always loved your little cartoon-version of yourself, your picture next to all your comments (I’m sure it has a name that I can’t think of right now.. I’m not very up on technology).. anyway, LOVE all around! Thank you for your recipes, posts and photos!

  • Missy

    Tracy! Long time reader, first time (i think) commenter… Seriously so good! I am a but of a curry freak… I made this on friday for my husband and converted him to a curry freak too, finally! It was so good I made it again on Sunday for my mom. And I may or may not be making it again tonight… The best part is… my two year old even loved it! Now that’s a score! Thanks for the recipe, girl. You rock 😛

  • Julia

    I made this last night- Absolutely delicious. I made it with brown rice instead and boiled the rice (plus a little more water) covered on the stove for about 20 minutes before adding the chicken and putting it in the oven for 30 minutes. It turned out perfectly! Looking forward to the leftovers tonight, thanks Tracy!

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  • Bedlam

    Just made this: quartered the recipe and cooked it on the stovetop over low heat, turned out great (aside from me adding a bit too much oil, whoops). I used skinless boneless chicken breasts and long-grain white rice, but aside from that, followed the recipe as instructed. (I mean, aside from just cooking it on the stovetop, since I’ve only got one relatively small pot that isn’t oven safe.) It is a flexible recipe! Which is awesome.

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  • danielle

    Made this tonight. I used coconut oil and added harissa and curcuma, just because I love them. Right before serving, i sauteed some raw shrimps with paprika and curry, and put them in the pot for 5 minutes, on the stove. (No heat.) that recipe is absolutely fabulous and I thank you for it: three generations of Leblanc (from 2- to 50 year-old) have enjoyed it tonight! It now has its own entry in the family classics cookbook.

  • Tara

    Made this for my family. They ATE IT UP and even asked for the recipe. Honestly, all of your recipes have been winners. This is why I love this blog! Thank you Tracy!

  • Christine

    I made this dish last night for dinner. My family raved about it. It was soooooo good. Thanks for sharing.


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  • Maija

    Oh tracy… tracy tracy tracy… I had this recipe for a while.. it sat there on my desk staring at me. Begging me to just dable in it for a while. So last night i did. I sat in 2 hr traffic with my three yearold… he thankfully fell asleep. I got home and started cooking ( dont worry i took sleeping child out of the car- by now he was running around with trucks) and whilst this was in the oven, I had time to give him a bath- pop some laundry on- tidy the kitchen and talk to my dear sweet man! While i let it rest- I put the small person to bed- I went through the post. As i took a bite.. i thanked you mentally for allowing me the opportunity to feel like the best mum/full time working woman/girlfriend/homemaker EVER!!! Everybody got what they needed.. well i forgot my glass of wine but i still went to bed with stuff accomplished and a tasty dinner in my belly! Thanks Tracy!!!

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  • Ginny

    I made this into a soup and it was AMAZING. I basically followed the recipe as written, but I used chicken breasts and brown rice. While it was in the oven, I started simmering potato, carrot, and celery chunks in chicken broth. When the chicken came out of the oven, I shredded it all up and threw the rest – rice, sauce & all, into the broth I had going already. Add a bunch of ginger & black pepper, let it simmer. One of the best soups I’ve ever had!

    • Tracy

      Wow!!! That sounds fantastic!! I can imagine it would be a keeper. I’m going to have to try that. Thank you

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  • Amy

    I thought I bombed this recipe. I tried cooking with a.) the le creuset pot I inherited from my mom b.) curry powder and c.) chicken thighs for the first time on a night when I’m totally shot from a frustrating work day. Also, I haven’t used raw ginger for a while. I was using frozen Dorot crushed ginger cubes for a long time but finally ran out. By the time I got the ginger done, my short term memory was pretty much used up, causing me to forget to turn the burner down from high when adding the aromatics. Things were looking scarily dark compared to your photos of the browned bits in the pan. But, having nothing else left to make for dinner instead, I persevered. I was pretty concerned about what I’d see/smell when I lifted the lid after I pulled the pot from the oven.

    But it turned out good! Super tasty and possible even when half brain dead on a Monday! I’ll definitely have to add this to my rotation!

    (p.s. thanks for the tip about staining your hands. Forewarned is forearmed and now I don’t have to explain why my hands are yellow to my co-workers tomorrow!)

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  • Karen

    I made this recipe last night and it was sooo delicious! Thank you for sharing the recipe.

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  • Millie

    Oooohh!! Will definitely be making this soon! Sounds delish!

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  • Heather

    I’ve made this recipe a couple times and I love it! Last time I made it I ate it four days in a row and I wasn’t sick of it, so that should give you an idea of how delicious it is. I used jasmine rice instead of basmati and it worked out just fine.

  • foyupdate

    I am making this dish and I noticed a confusing thing in the recipe:

    “Reduce heat to medium and add 1 teaspoon each salt and oil, garlic, ginger, and onion.” It sounds like you mean each of those ingredients should be 1 teaspoon, but I think you just mean salt and oil.

    I also upped the anti and used chicken broth instead of water as well as full-fat coconut milk.

    I hope it is as delicious as it smells.

    • Tracy

      Ahh. I copied & pasted the recipe from their website…I didn’t realize it said that. WHOA. It should be the salt. and no EACH. Thanks for catching that.

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  • Alison

    This was a HUGE hit. I will definitely make it again! I shared the recipe with my sister and right after she made it she texted this to me:

    “The chicken curry rice is so freaking amazing.”

    I tweaked the recipe a little according to what I had in my kitchen (boneless, skinless thighs instead of a whole chicken, jasmine rice instead of basmati, etc) and it took about 30 minutes to cook through in the oven. This is going into my regular meal rotation!

    • Tracy

      YAY! I have to put this one back in the rotation. I totally forgot about it!

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  • Eleanor

    whats the serving size?

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  • salma

    hey! love this recipe, and cant wait to do it !!

    i have a question though, is this curry more of an indian or thai curry? and do you think i can replace it with green curry paste ?

  • Annika

    What kind of curry powder is used for this dish? It looks kinda orange and I’ve not seen this kind before. Is it a particular brand?

    • Tracy

      I’m not sure what the brand was. I made this quite awhile ago, but I always buy a standard curry flavor profile for my recipes. Nothing too specific!

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