Basil Coconut Curry Braised Chicken Thighs

You guessed it…another gluten-free dinner recipe that will have you so satisfied, that you’ll forget all about your fave gluten-filled foods! Well, not really, gluten can never be forgotten, but you know what I mean. What I mean to say is that these basil coconut curry braised chicken thighs are out of this world. They’re also Whole30 approved, gluten-free and keto for my alternative eaters out there. I am excited to make all of these gluten-free recipes because I want you to know how delicious wholesome, GF or Whole30 recipes can be!

basil coconut curry braised chicken thighs with cilantro

Not a fan of chicken thighs…can I use another kind of chicken meat?

You absolutely can! You can use chicken breasts, drumsticks, or the whole chicken leg quarter. You can also use skinless chicken thighs (however, I would buy them with the skin on because it’s cheaper. You can remove it and render the fat, then discard.) If you’re absolutely averse to chicken fat, use coconut oil as the cooking fat for your skinless chicken and it will compliment the coconut milk mixture.

I don’t have an oven, can I still make this?

No oven, no problem. You can also make these chicken thighs solely on the stove top, in a dutch oven. Just let it simmer for 30-40 minutes on the stove instaed of in the oven, and it will yield similar results. I prefer the oven because the dry heat helps maintain that crispy skin on top of the chicken thighs, but I did make these in a dutch oven on the stove top before. I used the lid to cover the meat for half of the cooking process, but I found that too much steam built up, which left the chicken skin feeling soggy. Of course, if you’re making skinless meat, cook them with the lid on because it will hydrate the meat!

To brine or not to brine?

To brine!!!! I brined my chicken thighs for 2 hours in a basic solution. I eyeballed everything, but it was similar to this one on All Recipes, sans oil. I just used sugar, salt and soy sauce. Of course, if you’re on Whole30, find a different brine that doesn’t include soy sauce or sugar. find that brining chicken too long can leave it to feel kind of rubbery, so I would stick to 1-2 hours of brining. If you choose not to brine the chicken because it seems like a hassle, I understand that. BUT, you won’t get the same layers of flavor throughout the entire piece of meat. The outside of your chicken will have that delicious, aromatic coconut basil flavor, and the inside meat will seem bland in comparison. The brine makes all the difference.

What should I serve as a side? 

This chicken has so much flavor that you really don’t need to go crazy on the side. I served it with sugar snap peas and a brown rice. The coconut milk mixture is perfect for rice, quinoa, or any grain of your choice. You can even just serve this with toast, then dip the toast into the coconut milk. *swoon*

For my visual learners out there, watch the recipe video on my YouTube and throw me a like/subscribe!

5 from 15 Reviews


Adjust Servings
Seasoning Blend for Chicken
1 1/2tsp kosher salt
1tsp ground coriander
1tsp paprika
1/2tsp chili powder
1/4tsp ground cumin
1/4tsp cayenne
1/2tsp garlic powder
1/2tsp dried oregano
Coconut Curry
Coconut oil, for pan
1/2 large white onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
Kosher salt, to taste
1 1/2tbsp ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2cup chopped cilantro (reserve 2 tbsp for topping)
1cup coconut milk if using a very large pan, you may need more to submerge half of the chicken thighs)
1tsp lime juice
2 1/2tbsp basil paste can sub for 3 1/2 tbsp fresh basil. If using fresh basil, save some for topping
Fresh sugar snap peas optional, to add at the end!
Oven-safe skillet or dutch oven



Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. (If making this solely on stove top, skip this step!)

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Heat an oven safe skillet or dutch oven on high heat. Season with 1 tbsp of coconut oil and let it melt. Once the oil is shimmering and lightly smoky, put the chicken thighs into the pan skin side down. Let them sear for 5-6 minutes, until golden brown and crisp. Remove the chicken thighs from the pan and set aside.

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There's going to be a lot of chicken fat in the pan. Remove half of the chicken fat, so about 2 tbsp of fat is left.

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Reduce the heat to medium and let the pan cool off for a minute. Add the chopped onion and bell pepper to the pan and sauté with a spatula. Season generously with salt (to taste, but I did 3 pinches.) Let them sauté for 6 minutes or so, until tender and fragrant. 

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Reduce the heat to medium low, then add the garlic, ginger and cilantro to the pan. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, until fragrant. 

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Pour the coconut milk into the pan, then add the lime juice and basil paste. Stir with a spatula until combined.

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Add the chicken thighs, non-skin side down, to the coconut milk mixture. Make sure they are at least halfway submerged in the liquid so they can cook adequately while in the oven!

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Transfer the chicken to the oven and cook for 30 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chicken is at least 165 degrees.

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Remove the chicken from the oven. If you are adding sugar snap peas, pour them into the skillet and submerge in the coconut milk mixture. They will end up cooking just by being in the hot liquid! Top with cilantro leaves and stems, plus fresh basil if you have it. Serve immediately and enjoy
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  • Thalia N

    5 stars
    Made this with my fiancé for a cozy night in and it did NOT disappoint. Also love this video too! So helpful!

    • Skyler Bouchard

      I’m so happy enjoyed it 🙂 Thank you for leaving a review, Thalia!

  • Abbey K

    5 stars
    My husband and I usually go with the basic chicken with salad recipe for dinner, but I made this the other day and surprised the both of us! As you would say, I “slayed” it! Also so easy thank you for the video!

  • Mardi

    5 stars
    Made this last night and it was SO delicious and flavorful. The sauce was less creamy that I was envisioning based on your picture – should it be creamy? Any idea why mine would have been more liquidy? Delicious either way!

    • Skyler Bouchard

      I am so happy you loved the flavor! In terms of texture…this has to do with the milk you used. Was it full fat? Do you mind sharing the brand?

      • Mardi

        i think it was thai kitchen – not sure of the fat so will definitely pay attention to that next time!

        • Skyler Bouchard

          Thai kitchen usually has great stuff. They do lite coconut milk though and that’s super watery. Always go full fat or coconut cream for maximum creaminess

  • Sereena Oberst

    5 stars
    I made this for my meal prep this last week and the curry sauce was phenomenal! I put the snap peas and green beans in the sauce, as recommended, which gave them a great flavor without making them too soft. Also roasted some butternut squash, placed it all on some rice, poured the remaining sauce on and dug in. I was looking forward to lunch all week!

  • Jenny S.

    5 stars
    This was AMAZING!!! Made this for my boyfriend & I (he can occasionally be a picky eater) and it was a huge hit! In his words, this was “better than most dishes we would order at a restaurant”, ha! 10/10 recommend. This will absolutely be going into my regular rotation! Thanks for a great recipe. Will be trying some more of your recipes this week! You truly knocked it out of the park with this one 🙂

    • Skyler Bouchard

      Yay!! Thank you, Jenny! I really appreciate the review so much!!!! Thrilled that you loved it!

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  • Megan

    5 stars
    This is the second of your recipes that I have tried, and it did not disappoint! Made this for a dinner party, it was so yummy!!!! Even my picky 16 year old gave it a huge thumbs up! Served with black rice and snap peas. Thank you Skyler!

    • Skyler Bouchard

      Yay!! I am so happy to hear that – thank you for the review. 🙂 and thanks for making my recipes!!!

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