This Coconut Milk Chicken Stew with Sweet Potatoes and Bell Peppers recipe is a wonderful fusion of Thai flavors. It’s the perfect bowl of warming comfort food brimming with color and flavor. Made with chicken thighs, spices, sweet potatoes, bell peppers and creamy coconut milk, it’s cozy, creamy, perfectly spiced and filled with vegetables. Finish each bowl off with steamed rice, herbs, and plenty of lime.
The spice mix on the chicken is key to the flavor. It’s a mix of turmeric, ginger, cumin and black pepper. After tossing the chicken with the spices, if you have the opportunity, let the chicken get happy overnight to take on even more flavor. You don’t have to do this, but even a few hours in the fridge adds more depth to the dish.
When everything is in, just simmer the chicken in the pot and let it slowly cook in the coconut milk. It doesn’t take too long, about 30 minutes or so for thighs (shorter if you’re using breasts.) The coconut milk is obviously creamy and flavorful, but it also prevents the poultry from drying out and creates super tender pieces of chicken.
Coconut Milk Chicken Stew with Sweet Potatoes and Bell Peppers
- 2 lbs. boneless, skinless, chicken thighs, trimmed of fat and cut into 2-inch chunks
- 1 Tbsp. ground turmeric
- 1 Tbsp. ground ginger
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- Kosher salt
- 3 Tbsp. sesame oil or extra virgin olive oil
- 2 bell peppers, seeded and sliced
- 2 medium shallots, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/2 tsp. chili flakes, or more
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2″ cubes
- 2 cans 14 oz. full-fat coconut milk, whisked until creamy
- 2 Tbsp. fish sauce (or soy sauce)
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- Steamed rice, for serving
- 1/2 cup Thai basil leaves
- 2 limes, quartered, for serving
- Roasted peanuts
- Toss the chicken with the turmeric, ginger, cumin, pepper, a pinch of salt, and 1 tablespoon oil. Let sit 5 minutes or up to overnight in the fridge.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large Dutch oven set over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 the chicken and sear on both sides until browned, about 2 minutes. Pull the chicken out of the pan, and repeat with remaining half of chicken.
- To the pot, add 1 tablespoon olive oil, the peppers, shallots, garlic, and chili flakes, cook 3 minutes, then toss in the sweet potatoes. Reduce the heat to med-low. Pour in the coconut milk and fish sauce. Slide the chicken and any juices on the plate into the milk.
- Simmer, uncovered for 30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through ad potatoes are tender. If the sauce becomes too thick, cover the pot and reduce heat to low. Stir in the cilantro and season with salt.
- Meanwhile, make the steamed rice according to package directions.
- Divide rice between bowls, then spoon the chicken and sauce over the rice. Top with basil, peanuts, and serve with lime wedges.
Recipe loosely adapted from Half-Baked Harvest