Vietnamese Pan Seared Chicken Thighs Braised in a Coconut, Lime, And Ginger Sauce Over Cilantro Lime Rice

The fresh flavors of Asian cooking are center stage in this chicken dish. Ladle the sauce generously over everything!

Serves 6

6 bone in & skin on chicken thighs patted dry and room temperature
2 T olive oil
4 T salted butter divided
4 garlic cloves peeled and finely chopped
3 t fresh ginger finely chopped
1 C + 2 T full fat coconut milk
2 C cooked jasmine rice
Zest of 1 lime
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 C chopped cilantro
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 t curry powder
2 t kosher salt divided
1/2 t black pepper
5 – 6 large basil leaves torn
3 t fresh mint leaves cut into thin pieces
1/2 C red pepper diced for garnish


  • Make rice and keep warm. When ready to serve stir in 1 t kosher salt, 2 T butter, and half the cilantro and lime zest.
  • Bring a large saucepan to high heat then add 2 T butter and olive oil. Place chicken thighs skin side down in pan. Cook on high heat until very browned on one side and slightly crisp. Takes about 4 + minutes. Turn thighs over and cook on other side about 3 minutes. Remove and place on plate.
  • Pour out half the fat. Return to burner and turn to medium heat. Add the chopped ginger and chopped garlic. Stir and cook about a minute. Then add the coconut milk, cinnamon stick broken in half, curry powder, 1 t kosher salt and black pepper. Let cook for about 2 minutes with a slight bubble. Reduce heat to keep from boiling too violently.
  • Return chicken thighs to pan and nestle in the coconut milk mixture keeping the skin side up. Reduce heat to medium low and cover mostly with lid leaving it slightly off the pan. Let simmer for about 10 minutes to finish cooking the thighs.
  • Remove lid and add the mint and about 4 leaves of the basil torn into small pieces. Stir slightly. Return lid to pan. When ready taste sauce to see if you need a bit more salt.
  • To plate put a serving of rice on the plate. Top with chicken thigh. Ladle sauce over both. Top with rest of cilantro and a sprinkling of the chopped red pepper and more of the torn basil leaves
  • Serve.

— Can serve with roasted bok choy seasoned with salt and pepper and dusted with coriander powder.

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