Spiced Coconut Rice and Chicken

, from Issue #97. July, 2021
Photography by Josh Griggs.
Spiced Coconut Rice and Chicken

The oven does all the work with this aromatic, spicy coconut rice tray bake. The chicken cooks to a wonderful tenderness and the rice is fluffy and totally delicious.

Serves: 4-6


6 chicken drumsticks
5 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
sea salt and ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 brown onions, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1½ teaspoons cumin seeds
1 teaspoon each ground turmeric, paprika, garam masala and ground chilli
1 cinnamon stick
3 bay leaves
1⅓ cups basmati rice, rinsed and drained
200ml coconut cream
600ml chicken stock
2 teaspoons sea salt

Coconut and Fresh Mint Relish (see recipe below)

EQUIPMENT: Large ovenproof baking tray


Preheat the oven to 180°C fan bake.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the oil and butter in a large sauté pan and brown the chicken, skin side down, until it is a dark golden colour. Turn and cook for 2 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a large plate. Don’t wash the pan.

Add the onions, garlic, ginger, all the spices and the bay leaves to the pan with a good pinch of salt and cook for 5 minutes, adding a splash of water if the pan is too dry. Stir in the rice, coconut cream, stock and salt.

Tip the mixture into the baking dish, spread evenly and nestle in the chicken. Cover with baking paper then foil and cook for 25 minutes. Uncover and bake for a further 10-15 minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked. Scatter over coconut relish to serve.

Coconut and Fresh Mint Relish

½ cup picked mint leaves
½ cup desiccated coconut
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ teaspoon each ground cumin and sea salt

Blitz all ingredients in a food processor until finely chopped. Makes 3/4 cup