Coconut Chicken Recipe

On the road to an ideal state of health, people often have to make rather large changes in their diets. This can be a traumatic experience when many of our favourite foods need to be tossed to the wayside; sometimes this is only temporarily, but often for good. Lactose intolerance, for example, brings with it a whole list of foods that need to be avoided. Happily, many people find that when they give up dairy products their overall health and well-being improves. Many of us have minor hidden intolerances that are affecting our health without our being aware of it.

This recipe was created out of a need to make some substitutions for a client's state of mind: She loved creamy sauces but had to give them up when she found that dairy was no longer agreeing with her and this left her quite depressed. I came up with a way to give her what she wants with a dairy-free substitution.

This recipe uses coconut milk instead of dairy. While it's not a foolproof substitution, it is quite delicious. Plus the saturated fats in the coconut milk are healthy, energy delivering medium-chain triglycerides, which are also incredibly valuable to the immune system.

Dairy-Free Creamy Chicken

  • 3 good-sized chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and diced
  • 2 tsp. coconut oil
  • 1 small apple, peeled and diced
  • Thumb-sized piece of ginger, grated or chopped fine
  • 1 can organic coconut milk
  • 1 tsp. ground sage
  • Unrefined sea salt to taste
  • Fresh ground black pepper to taste

Heat a skillet on medium-high heat. Once hot, add in one teaspoon of coconut oil and let it melt. Season chicken pieces with unrefined salt and pepper. Add to skillet allowing pieces to brown on each side. Once chicken pieces have browned, set aside in a bowl. Return skillet to heat.

Add second teaspoon of coconut oil and allow to melt. Add in diced onion and stir frequently, allowing onion to brown some. Season with some unrefined sea salt. When onion pieces have gone translucent and begun to brown on some of the edges, add garlic, apple and ginger. Stir well.

Turn heat down to medium and continue to cook ingredients for another minute or so. (Optional addition - here, you could deglaze the pan with a half cup or so of organic white wine and allow it to reduce for a couple of minutes before adding the coconut oil. This will make for a richer flavour to the sauce. If you don't have wine, you could also juice half a lemon). Add in coconut milk and stir until the sauce has an even consistency. Once sauce has come to a boil, add back chicken pieces and stir well.

Turn heat down to medium-low and allow to simmer for 5 - 10 minutes; until chicken has cooked through.

Spoon chicken with sauce over rice, rice pasta, quinoa or other grain.

Variation: Instead of adding sage, use curry powder and use this as a base for a delicious coconut curry.

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