January 24, 2022

Spicy Coconut Chicken Rice Stew

Spicy Coconut Chicken Rice Stew

My daughter Ellie makes an awesome coconut Thai chicken soup. She poaches the chicken just right so it’s tender and shreds it into long strips. She cuts the peppers and the onions the long way too so you get this very elegant-looking soup that you garnish with lime and cilantro. I asked her for the recipe and she typed it into a text on her phone.

Right away I knew I was going to end up making stew when I finished cooking my chicken. The breasts were browned from the spices and there was so much delicious flavor on the bottom of the pan I knew I needed to deglaze it to get up all those tasty brown bits stuck on the bottom of the pan. I also knew my chicken was a bit overcooked. It wasn’t tender and poached, and pillowy and lovely like Ellie’s version so a bit of time spent stewing in the broth would be just the ticket.

Spicy Coconut Chicken Rice Stew

From here I got lazy and added rice so I wouldn’t have to dirty another dish or pull out my Instant Pot. You see, I am terrible at making rice, and one of the only ways I can do it is in my Instant Pot on the rice setting. I always add 1 cup of rice to one cup of water with a Tablespoon more for good measure and when you press the rice setting it gives you a 10-minute rice cook. It works perfectly every time. I figured my pot of bubbling chicken broth and coconut milk would also cook the rice and give me a delicious stew. I was right. I can’t wait to make this dish again.

Let me know what you think.

Spicy Coconut Chicken Rice Stew

Spicy Coconut Chicken Rice Stew

Yield: 4

This coconut chicken rice stew recipe was inspired by my daughter, Ellie, who makes delicious Thai Coconut Chicken Soup.


  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/3 cup sliced white onion
  • 2-inch piece fresh ginger minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 box sliced mushrooms
  • 2 (3-inch) stalks lemongrass, halved lengthwise
  • 2 teaspoons sambal oelek (ground fresh chile paste)
  • 4 cups Chicken Stock
  • 1 ¼ cups light coconut milk
  • 4 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice plus wedges reserved for garnish
  • ½ cup green onion strips plus more for garnish
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro plus more for garnish


  1. Pound chicken breasts to approximately 1/2 inch thick
  2. Add curry powder, salt, and chicken to a plastic bag and shake
  3. Add coconut oil to a dutch oven or deep skillet
  4. Cook chicken breasts in the oil over medium heat until cooked through
  5. Cut chicken into strips and set aside
  6. Reheat the pan over medium heat. Add 1/4 cup of broth and scrape up any brown bits in the pan to release them.
  7. Add bell pepper, onion, ginger, garlic, mushrooms, and lemongrass and cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally while the mushrooms take on some color.
  8. Add chile paste; cook for 1 minute more
  9. Add Chicken Stock, coconut milk, fish sauce, and sugar and bring to a simmer.
  10. Reduce heat to low; simmer for 3 minutes.
  11. Add chicken breast and any accumulated juices as well as 1 cup rice and lime juice to the to pot and stir
  12. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover the pot
  13. Cover and simmer until the rice is cooked, about 20 minutes.
  14. Discard lemongrass. Stir in green onions and cilantro
  15. Top with additional green onions and cilantro to garnish. Serve with lime wedges.
Find more soup and stew recipes here.


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