Coconut Lemongrass Braised Chicken {FFwD}

I hadn’t originally planned to make this week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe, coconut lemongrass braised pork, for the simple reason that I don’t eat pork. The rest of my family eats it, so I thought about making it for them. But the thought of cooking two meals in the summer heat  made me change my mind about that. Nonetheless, I decided to take a quick look at the recipe to see if it seemed like something I might make for the girls another time. That’s when I read in the headnote that Dorie sometimes makes this recipe with chicken instead of pork.

So, I was back in business.

The only ingredients I didn’t already have in the pantry for this recipe were lemongrass and coconut milk, so after a quick trip to the store, I was set to begin.

I began by browning the chicken in a large skillet. I had a whole fryer in the fridge, so I cut it up and used it in this recipe. The next time I make it, I’d like to try it with cubed pieces of boneless breast or thighs, or a combination of the two.

As the pieces browned, I transferred them to an enameled cast iron Dutch oven. Once all the chicken was in the Dutch oven, I added the spices — turmeric, curry powder, cardamom seeds, white peppercorns, coriander seeds, lemon zest, lemongrass, salt, and pepper — and cooked until the spices became very fragrant.

I added the coconut milk, water, and, in a departure from the recipe, potatoes, carrots, and onions.

After bringing the pot to a boil, I covered it, then slid it in the oven. I braised the chicken at 300°F for about 50 minutes, until the chicken was done and the vegetables were tender.

I started cooking late the evening I made this, and we ended up eating something else for dinner while the chicken was in the oven. My younger daughter and I decided to split a small serving of the chicken just to try it out.

Note to self: don't photograph yellow food on a green dish

 We both liked the dish a lot. The lemongrass and coconut flavors lent a mild sweetness to the dish, and the curry and other spices were fragrant but not overpowering.

I froze the rest of the chicken and vegetables and served them the following week over egg noodles. As the chicken reheated, it started falling off the bone, so I picked it all off and shredded the chicken, which is what made me think it would be good to make with boneless chicken the next time.

This is a dish I will make again, using my alterations — boneless chicken pieces instead of pork, adding the vegetables before putting the pot in the oven, and braising for a bit longer than the recipe for the pork. And knowing that it reheats well, I’ll probably make a larger recipe next time so we can get several meals from it.


  1. Stefanie said,

    August 16, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    That looks super good! And I’m with you…. the chicken seems like a better choice for this recipe. The lemongrass coconut curry combo sounds great!

  2. Karen said,

    July 25, 2011 at 1:11 am

    Looks delicious! I really want to try this one with chicken.

  3. Elaine said,

    July 25, 2011 at 1:01 am

    It looks and sounds so good with the chicken. I’ll have to try it with chicken thighs the next time I make it. Glad you enjoyed it!

  4. Liz said,

    July 24, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    Glad you enjoyed! I did, too, but hubby wasn’t so thrilled! He likes his meat grilled and seasoned with salt and pepper!

    • gaaarp said,

      July 24, 2011 at 8:01 pm

      He sounds like my brother-in-law. I never know how to cook when he comes to visit. We’re an adventurous lot around here. (When my older daughter was about 3, she asked the Bob Evans waitress if they had Injera bread.)

  5. Steph I said,

    July 24, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    Yum, looks good! Glad to hear that it works well with chicken too, not that I doubted that it would. I had to laugh at your note to self!

    • gaaarp said,

      July 24, 2011 at 2:25 pm

      I almost didn’t post that picture because it looks so hideous, but I didn’t have any others of the finished product. Oh, well. Blog and learn!

  6. Nancy said,

    July 23, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    It looks delicious.

  7. teaandscones said,

    July 23, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    Now THAT looks fantastic. i did so want to make this (with chicken) but knew I would be only one to eat. Like Kayte, maybe this fall when it’s cooler.

    Glad you liked it. So much better with chicken I’m sure.

    • gaaarp said,

      July 23, 2011 at 12:30 pm

      It freezes really well, so you could make it for yourself and freeze lunch-size portions. Just a thought.

  8. July 23, 2011 at 11:17 am

    When I read this I thought i would just do this with whole thighs and let that be it. You have given me the confidence to so this that way when I can get my act back in gear following a house flood. This week I had to stick to something easy and frozen to beat the heat.

    • gaaarp said,

      July 23, 2011 at 12:16 pm

      Hope you recover from the flood soon. I’ll be interested to hear what you think of this dish made with chicken thighs.

  9. Teresa said,

    July 22, 2011 at 11:48 pm

    Glad to hear the veggies did well braising with the chicken. Next time, I’ll not bother cooking them separately. Your version sounds really good. I can imagine these flavours pairing well with chicken.

    • gaaarp said,

      July 22, 2011 at 11:58 pm

      I’m not sure why the recipe calls for cooking the veggies separately. They came out great cooked with the chicken.

  10. Betsy said,

    July 22, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    I made this with chicken too. I used chunks of boneless thighs, which held up well to the braising. I like how your whole pieces look though. I changed the vegetables complete, to summer veggies. I wanted to like it more than I did, but reading all the posts, I think I’ll try it again after all because this recipe did have a lot of things going for it.

    • gaaarp said,

      July 22, 2011 at 10:53 pm

      I think I’ll use boneless chunks next time, too. Maybe a mixture of thighs and breast.

  11. July 22, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    I really wanted to experiment with this one but held back – restraint is fine every now and then when it comes to curries. It was definitely a French curry – savory but mild!

    • gaaarp said,

      July 22, 2011 at 5:50 pm

      “Savory but mild” — that’s a good description. I really liked this one, and I think you could do a lot of experimenting with proteins, spices, etc.

  12. Kayte said,

    July 22, 2011 at 10:46 am

    Need to make this one, and am thinking I would prefer it with chicken as well. Yours looks really rustic and delicious and I am thinking this looks perfect for fall or winter…guys here won’t eat stuff like this in the summer much. Might wait until cooler weather to make it. Your photos are all just wonderful.

    • gaaarp said,

      July 22, 2011 at 11:58 am

      It’s definitely hearty, but I wouldn’t call it particularly wintry. The flavors are light and summery. I bet your guys will surprise you (and themselves) and love this one no matter when you make it.

  13. Cher said,

    July 22, 2011 at 8:23 am

    Man, I wish I had thought to go the chicken route… & I definitely agree that the veggies would have benefited from braising longer.

    • gaaarp said,

      July 22, 2011 at 11:56 am

      This is one worth making again, and one that will benefit from a bit of experimentation. I’m sure Dorie won’t mind!

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