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Coconut Chicken

From the kitchen of South Beach Diet Cookbook.

If Bali is the ultimate island, then this dinner is the ultimate Bali taste. Chicken braised in coconut milk (Opor Ayam) is a true classic of Indonesian fare. We did change the chicken to white meat instead of the traditional drumstick or wing. New traditions can sometimes be better than old ones.

Makes 4 servings.


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound chicken (or turkey) breast tenders
  • 1 tablespoon chicken broth
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¾ teaspoon dried cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Pinch of ground turmeric
  • 1 cup light coconut milk (no sugar added)
  • 2 tablespoons macadamia nuts, finely ground
  • 1 teaspoon sugar substitute
  • ¼ teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind paste
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • Chopped scallion, for garnish


Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-heat. Add the chicken and cook for 5 minutes per side, or until browned and no longer pink in the center. Remove the chicken to a plate and set aside.

Heat the broth in the same skillet. add the onion, garlic, cilantro, ginger, lemon peel, cumin, and turmeric and cook for 5 minutes, or until the onion is tender but not browned. Stir in the coconut milk, nuts, sugar substitute, and red pepper (you may need to add a little more oil and/or water here). Return the chicken to the skillet, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.

Remove the chicken to a plate and keep warm. Do not discard the sauce in the pan.

In a small bowl, combine the tamarind paste and water. Stir in the sauce in the skillet and gently boil until thickened and the mixture measures about 1 cup.

Evenly divide the chicken among 4 serving plates. Top with sauce and garnish with scallion.

Published by kath on