This is one of those comforting dishes that warms you up from the inside out. Coconut curry chicken of any sort is the perfect meal to cozy up to any time in my opinion. In this recipe, I used chicken drumsticks, which are really tender and flavorful. It’s almost hard to overcook them in a braise like this.
The foundation of the sauce includes onions, garlic, ginger and lemongrass, which always play nice together. I spiced it up with a mild yellow curry powder and Kashmiri chili powder, which is a spicy, slightly smokey Indian chili. You can easily substitute this with a more standard chili powder and a pinch or two of cayenne pepper. The braising liquid is a mix of coconut milk and chicken stock, which reduce down to a beautiful thick, luscious sauce. I’ve basically combined all of my favorite flavors in this Asian-fusion dish.
To top of the coconut curry chicken legs, I suggest cilantro, scallions and lime wedges. If you’re one of those people who can’t stand cilantro, try mint instead!
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 8 chicken legs (about 4lbs)
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 inches ginger, finely grated
- 1 lemongrass stalk, trimmed & bashed
- 2 tbsp mild yellow curry powder
- ½ tsp Kashmiri chili powder, or a mild chili powder & a pinch of cayenne
- 14 oz can coconut milk
- 1 ½ cups chicken broth, or as needed
- Kosher salt & fresh cracked pepper
- Scallions, sliced or curled
- Lime wedges
- Heat pan and season chicken: Heat a dutch oven or heavy bottomed nonstick pan with high sides over medium heat. Pat chicken dry, and season liberally with salt and pepper.
- Brown chicken: Add oil to pan, followed by chicken. Brown on all sides, flipping occasionally, for a total of approximately 12-16 minutes. Cook in batches, if needed, to avoid overcrowding the pan. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Cook onions: Add butter to pot. Stir in onions and season with salt. Cook approximately 10 minutes or until well-softened, reducing heat as needed.
- Cook aromatics: Add garlic, ginger and lemongrass. Stir in spices. Toast approximately 30 seconds, making sure to avoid burning.
- Add liquids and braise: Add chicken back to pan. Pour in coconut milk. Add enough broth to cover the chicken approximately ¾ or so of the way up the chicken. Partially cover and bring to a simmer. Simmer about 45-60 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and tender.
- Thicken sauce: Remove chicken from braising liquid. Cover and keep warm on a plate. Bring sauce to a gentle boil and reduce until thick and flavorful, about 10 minutes. Add chicken back to coat in sauce.
- Serve: Top chicken with cilantro and scallions, and squeeze over lime juice. Serve with rice or desired accompaniment. Enjoy.