I like to think of this as a transition recipe – the kind that eases us from summer into fall. It’s a stew but not one that you have to wait to make until it’s the dead of winter.

Using coconut as the base for this dish not only imparts a wonderful flavor but also makes the chicken so very moist and tender – it just falls off the bones. I had never cooked with star anise before and I must say that I loved how it looks. Now I have a fair amount of it so I’ll have to find some more recipes that call for it (suggestions are both encouraged and welcome). Serve this chicken a top your favorite grain – I used brown rice and it worked well.

Looking to carry the lemongrass theme through to the cocktail portion of the evening? This recipe pairs well with a Lemongrass-Mint Mojito. Another indicator that it’s more a summer into fall dish.

Lemongrass and Coconut Chicken



Lemongrass and Coconut Chicken
Recipe type: Main Dish
Serves: 4
  • 1 whole roasting chicken (3 to 4 pounds)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 whole pieces star anise
  • ¾ cup roughly chopped cilantro stems
  • 2 medium lemons, cut into eighths
  • 1 or 2 stalks lemongrass, 8 inches of white part only, chopped into ¼-inch pieces
  • 8 to 10 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 24 ounces coconut milk
  • 3 cups torn greens (spinach, kale or chard)
  • 2 green onions, chopped (for garnish)
  • Chopped cilantro (for garnish)
  • Serve with brown rice or grain of choice
  1. Pat the chicken dry and sprinkle it liberally with sea salt and pepper.
  2. Put the chicken, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours or if you're going to cook it right away, set it aside while you prepare remaining ingredients.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375°.
  4. Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat, then add the oil.
  5. Put in the chicken, breast side up and crisp it for about 30 seconds. Carefully flip chicken and crisp the other side for another 30 seconds. Remove the pan from the heat, put the chicken on a plate, and pour off the the fat in the pot.
  6. Transfer the chicken back into the pot, breast side up. Add cinnamon stick, star anise, cilantro stems, lemons, lemongrass, garlic and coconut milk.
  7. Cook, uncovered, in the preheated oven for 60 to 90 minutes (depending on size). Spoon the sauce over the top of the bird to baste every 20 minutes or so. The chicken is done when an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thigh reads 165°.
  8. Remove chicken from the pot and put it on a plate. Pull out and discard cinnamon stick and star anise. Put the pot with the sauce on the stove over medium heat, add the greens and stir until just wilted, about 10 seconds.
  9. Carve the chicken and serve each piece over rice with sauce spooned over the top. Garnish with scallions and cilantro.

Source:  Adapted from The Kitchn


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2015-04-07T20:17:25+00:00 September 11th, 2014|Categories: Main Dishes|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |4 Comments


  1. David September 13, 2014 at 4:22 pm - Reply

    Oh, boy! This sounds like it is right down our alley! I will definitely be making his once it cools off. I posted a pasta ith sun gold tomatoes that was spiced with star anise. It is also used in a lot of Chinese cooking. I will send a link to the pasta recipe.

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