Coconut Milk–Braised Chicken

Photo by Marcus Nilsson, Prop Styling by Amy Wilson, Food Styling by Frances Boswell

No searing, no chopping, one baking dish. Just throw some chicken legs and aromatics in a roasting pan for fragrant fall-off-the-bone meat. After about an hour in the oven, the chicken becomes supple and shreddable, perfect for dragging through the rich coconut sauce and eating with fluffy rice or warm flatbread.

4 servings


    • 1 (13.5-oz.) can unsweetened coconut milk
    • 2 Tbsp. Thai curry paste
    • 2 lemongrass stalks, tough outer layers removed, lightly crushed
    • 1 (2") piece ginger, peeled, smashed
    • 6 garlic cloves, smashed
    • 4 chicken legs (thigh and drumstick; about 3 lb. total)
    • Kosher salt
    • Toasted unsweetened coconut flakes, cilantro leaves with tender stems, cooked rice, and lime wedges (for serving)


    1. Place a rack in top third of oven; preheat to 400°F. Stir coconut milk and curry paste in a 3-qt. baking dish to combine (or, use a medium skillet if that’s what you’ve got). Add lemongrass, ginger, and garlic.
    2. Transfer chicken and sauce to a platter. Top with coconut flakes and cilantro. Serve with rice and lime wedges alongside.
    3. Season chicken with salt (hold back a bit since curry pastes often have a lot of salt). Place in baking dish and spoon some liquid over. Bake, occasionally spooning liquid over, until chicken is browned, tender, and cooked throughout (the joint should be reasonably easy to flex), 60–75 minutes.

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