Zesty African-Inspired Coconut Chicken with Beans

Coconut Chicken 1 © The Baking Tour Guide

I have a lot planned for 2017, and I’m really excited to have a fresh start. I’m in a new apartment with my wonderful husband and my adorable cat, and I’m surrounded by great friends and new coworkers. I’m also giving my blog a facelift this year. I’m going to update the content, and give it more of a flashy appearance. Many changes ahead for me!

Speaking of changes, my husband’s taste buds developed a love of chicken thighs this past year. He kept telling me how absolutely delicious they were when boiled. Don’t get me wrong, I love dark meat. But there’s something about saying “boiled” and “chicken” in the same sentence that doesn’t sit well with me.

Of course, I decided to bake those suckers instead of boil them. I had some leftover coconut milk cans from my Thai Green Curry recipe, and BAM, this coconut chicken recipe was born.

I love using coconut milk as an ingredient. It has a deep, white color and a rich taste. Most of its fat is saturated fat, like that of coconut oil, but it has less fat per serving. Coconut milk is a popular ingredient in Asian, Caribbean, South American, and African cuisines. It’s also an awesome substitute in vegan cooking, and for those who are lactose intolerant. Choose low-fat coconut milk when substituting milk or low-fat cream in recipes. Use full-fat coconut milk to replace heavy cream. These substitutions can be done at a 1-to-1 ratio.

I don’t recommend drinking coconut milk alone! Sometimes, it can act as a laxative when you consume too much of it.

In summation, of course I had to use coconut milk for this recipe. On top of that, it’s been really cold outside, so I wanted to dress this chicken with some warm flavors. I thought a good kick of cinnamon and pepper would do the trick. With these combination of flavors, it seemed that I was inadvertently inspired by Africa. This recipe will surely get your taste buds singing, and flavor-up your plain Jane chicken. You will not be disappointed!

Zesty African-Inspired Coconut Chicken with Beans

  • Servings: About 12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp red crushed pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 can (15 oz) unsweetened coconut milk (shake before opening)
  • 4.5 lbs bone-in chicken thighs, skin and fat retained or removed (I retained them)
  • 2 cans (15.5 oz each) garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15.5 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • parsley and black pepper to taste/garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. In a large sauce pan, mix the olive oil, garlic salt, ginger, cumin, turmeric, red crushed pepper, cayenne pepper, tomato sauce, and cinnamon. Heat together for 5 minutes. Add the coconut milk, and cook for another 5 minutes. Stir the ingredients throughout this time to prevent sauce separation.
  3. Add aluminum foil to the bottom of a roasting pan. Clean the chicken thighs of their skin and fat if desired (I didn’t choose this option).
  4. Place the chicken thighs directly on the aluminum foil. Pour the sauce onto the chicken.
  5. Put the chicken in the oven for 1 hour to develop crispy skin. Or you can lower the heat to 350°F halfway through cooking for skin that’s a little softer. It’s all about personal preference. If you trimmed the fat/skin, check the chicken at the 1/2 hour mark to see if it’s cooked through.
  6. While the chicken is cooking, clean the beans and place them in a serving pan.
  7. When the chicken is finished, place it on top of the beans, and pour the leftover pan sauce all over the dish.
  8. Serve and enjoy.

*Nutrition Facts
Serving size: About 12 portions
Calories 670  Total fat  47 g (60%) Saturated Fat 16 g (80%)  Cholesterol 166 mg (55%)  Sodium 705 mg (31%)  Total Carbohydrates 25 g (9%)  Dietary Fiber  7 g (29%)  Sugars  3 g  Protein 36 g  Potassium 676 mg (17%)  Vitamin D 0 mcg (0%)  Calcium 69 mg (5%)  Iron 4 mg (23%)
*Calculated using the USDA Nutrient Database

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