Coconut-Poached Chicken with Bok Choy and Mushrooms

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Coconut-Poached Chicken with Bok Choy and Mushrooms served with a cucumber sesame salad is SO simple, fast and flavorful.

Coconut-Poached Chicken with Bok Choy, cucumbers and rice.
Coconut-Poached Chicken with Bok Choy and Mushrooms

This one-pan cooking method builds a deeply savory, vegetable-packed broth while also keeping the chicken breasts super tender and juicy. Mushrooms, ginger, and coconut milk go a long way in building flavor without taking much time at all. Although the rice or quinoa is optional, I loved adding it to soak up the wonderful broth. The cucumber sesame salad is the perfect fresh side that compliments the whole dish. For more coconut milk recipes, try my Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk and Salmon Coconut Curry with Spinach and Chickpeas.

Poached Chicken Breasts with coconut milk and lime

I’m usually not a fan of chicken breasts because they can be dry and boring, but they really shine in this coconut chicken recipe. The chicken cooks on low heat in a mixture of coconut milk and chicken broth, ensuring they’ll be juicy and delicious. Just make sure not to overcook them. You can check to see if the chicken is done by cutting one in half after it cooks for about ten minutes.

What is the difference between bok choy and baby bok choy?

Bok choy and baby bok choy are basically the same thing, but baby bok choy is smaller and more tender. If you’re using regular bok choy in this recipe, you need to separate the white stalks from the leafy greens because the stalks take longer to cook. You’ll add the white parts at the beginning with the mushrooms and then the greens at the very end. If you use baby bok choy, you can cook the stalks and greens together right before the chicken is done.

How to Make Coconut Chicken

This coconut-simmered chicken may look fancy, but it’s not complicated to make.

  • Season the chicken breasts with salt, sear on both sides, and then remove from the pan.
  • Cook the mushrooms and bok choy stalks for a couple of minutes, and then cook the ginger, garlic, and pepper for 30 seconds.
  • Pour in the coconut milk, chicken broth, and salt, bring to a simmer, and then nestle in the chicken. Reduce the heat to low and cook for ten minutes.
  • If the chicken is cooked through, stir in the bok choy greens until they wilt.

cucumber salad with sesame seedsCoconut-Poached Chicken with Bok Choy, cucumbers and rice.Coconut-Simmered Chicken with Bok Choy and Mushrooms

More Chicken Breast Recipes You’ll Love:

Coconut-Poached Chicken with Bok Choy, cucumbers and rice.
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4.47 from 30 votes
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Coconut-Poached Chicken with Bok Choy and Mushrooms

3
6
3
SP
321 Cals 42 Protein 12 Carbs 12 Fats
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Yield: 4 servings
COURSE: Dinner, Lunch
CUISINE: Asian
Coconut-Poached Chicken with Bok Choy and Mushrooms served with a cucumber sesame salad is SO simple, fast and flavorful.

Ingredients

  • 4 small organic boneless, skinless breasts (6 oz each)
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 2 heads baby bok choy or ½ head bok choy, 3 cups total
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4- oz package shiitake mushrooms, stemmed
  • 1- in piece fresh ginger, minced or grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small fresh hot pepper, such as bird’s eye or ½ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2/3 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 2/3 cup chicken broth
  • Cooked rice or quinoa for serving, optional
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges

Cucumber Sesame Salad:

  • 1 large cucumber, preferably English (about 10 oz)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons lime juice or rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

Instructions

  • Pat the chicken dry all over and season with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt.
  • If you’re using bok choy, roughly chop it, keeping the leafy greens separate from the white stalks. If you’re using baby bok choy, which is more tender, simply chop it and set it aside.
  • Set a deep lidded skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add the olive oil.
  • When it’s hot, sear the chicken breasts (in batches if needed to keep from crowding the pan) for 1 to 2 minutes per side, just until they start to brown. Reserve on a plate.
  • Add the mushrooms to the pan along with the white bok choy stalks (if using; baby bok choy can be added later). Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes, until the vegetables are starting to brown along the edges.
    mushrooms and bok choy
  • Add the ginger, garlic, and pepper (if using) and cook just until fragrant, 30 seconds or so.
  • Add the coconut milk and chicken broth and salt, to taste about 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon.
  • Bring to a simmer, then nestle the chicken breasts inside the pan, decrease the heat to low, and cover. After 10 minutes, check for doneness by cutting into one chicken breast; if it’s still pink in the center, cover and keep cooking for another few minutes.
  • A minute or two before it’s done cooking, stir in the bok choy greens and cook just until they wilt.
  • To serve, slice each chicken breast thinly against the grain. Ladle the veggies and broth into bowls (with rice or quinoa, if using) and arrange the chicken on top.
  • Finish with a squeeze of lime.

For the cucumbers:

  • Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise, then slice 1/4 inch thick.
  • Transfer the cucumber to a bowl or colander and toss with the salt. Set aside for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Drain any excess liquid from the cucumbers, then toss with the remaining ingredients and serve.

Notes

Rice optional for serving, add extra for points/n.i. if using.

Nutrition

Serving: 1breast with 1/4 of the vegetables, Calories: 321kcal, Carbohydrates: 12g, Protein: 42g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 124.5mg, Sodium: 630mg, Fiber: 2.5g, Sugar: 4g
Blue Smart Points: 3
Green Smart Points: 6
Purple Smart Points: 3
Keywords: chicken breast recipes, coconut poached chicken breast, poached chicken breast

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42 comments

  1. Can I substitute bok choy for spinach? I cannot find bok choy? 

  2. This was so yummy. I had some asparagus to get rid of, so I tossed them in too. Oh, and I used baby bellas instead of the shiitakes because they didn’t have them at the store. I will absolutely be making this again. Kids and adults all enjoyed it!

  3. I did find the recipe a bit bland as written, even with full fat coconut milk. I added a tablespoon of Thai Kitchen’s red curry paste (comes in a small jar) and some Red Boat fish sauce. It really added to the flavor. I don’t think the chicken broth is necessary if you use the fish sauce and the red curry paste. This recipe is super flexible. I think it would taste delicious with seasonal vegetables (e.g. asparagus in the spring, kabocha squash in the fall, etc).

  4. Made this tonight and it was delicious. I followed the recipe to a T, using baby bok choy.  After reading a few reviews that said it was bland, I make sure I seasoned everything extremely well. Also, pure coconut milk from a can is where it’s at—not boxed coconut milk that has no flavor. 😉 Will definitely be adding this to my regular rotation. 

  5. Made this tonight with my husband, doubling the recipe and using chicken tenders and baby bok choy. DELICIOUS!!!! Our daughter who is 10 and her best friend LOVED IT, ate two bowls and licked them clean!!!! We had baby bella mushrooms and used a LOT, which overshadowed the coconut flavor so we scooped most of that liquid out to save for another dish as it was soooooo very good, like a fantastic mushroom soup. Then we added another can of coconut milk and the bok choy. YUM YUM YUM! We also made the cucumber salad, only had the hot pepper flakes, some tahini (instead of sesame oil & seeds) and the rice vinegar but it tasted great with the dish. We added red onion slices to our cucumber salad. Cannot wait to make this again! Thank YOU!!!

    • Oh, by the way, meant to say that we also did not add salt to anything except the cucumber salad as we do not use salt in our food much.

  6. I have made this twice now and both times my 11 year old and my husband, who is a grilled chicken and broccoli guy, absolutely LOVED it!  The only thing I did was add spinach because I had to use it or lose it!   Awesome, tasty, and a keeper!

  7. Made this dish and it was delicious! I think the key to a flavorful dish is to use fresh ginger and garlic (not from a jar) and to make sure you add a squeeze of lime at the end. The chicken is poached so most of the flavor is in the broth.

  8. Amazing, one of the best recipes we’ve made in a while. Didn’t have time to do the cucumber salad and still delicious. . 

  9. Afraid we really didn’t like this one. Think it would be better with a more traditional Thai curry sauce, but it was really bland and watery, 

  10. I must admit I added red curry paste to the dish because my picky 3 year old will eat anything curry but nothing else. But this would be excellent as written too and my husband remarked how flavorful and moist the chicken was. Lots of empty bowls tonight …

  11. A tasty and easy one pot meal! Will definitely make again. I did make a couple of changes – used only four 4oz chicken thighs and more vegetables (an entire bok Choy, 4 oz shiitake + 8 oz baby bellas.) I added a tablespoon of white miso and used a small can of coconut cream instead of the coconut milk. I didn’t add any broth as the veggies released enough liquid to make a nice broth. 

  12. OMG!!! So good! Full of flavor and so easy.  This will be a regular. I will double the liquid in the future or only cook two breasts.  This is amazing!

  13. I think the points are off. For folks on WW purple, the only points (as far as I can tell) come from the olive oil, coconut milk and sesame oil, but that comes up as 5 points/serving. Not 3. I just made this, but have not tasted it yet. 

  14. Made this the other night and we really liked it but I made some major adjustments.  I used boneless chicken thighs because that is what I had.  Cut the salt back to a dash in the broth based on other reviews and felt that was a good call.  But I think why we liked it so much is we rubbed the chicken pieces with a salt free curry blend that we really like.  I just seemed that ginger, garlic, and hot pepper wasn’t going to add enough flavor and really glad we added the curry.  We served it on quinoa and topped with diced green onion.  Will definitely make again with the changes we made. 

  15. Delicious!!! Such an easy meal that the whole family loved – my 3yo & 5yo cleaned their plates and my 5yo LOVED the cucumber salad. For the kiddos we left the spice out and added after. Had to sub the bok choy for broccoli because we couldn’t find bok choy anywhere! Followed directions exactly as written. So yummy! 

  16. Made this last night! Delish! Served over sushi rice. Looking forward to the leftovers for lunch! The squeeze of lime on top is a must! This is a keeper! 

  17. So easy and yummy! 

  18. After making this I am really surprised to read all the positive reviews.  I really did not enjoy this at all.  The chicken was rubbery and bland.  The sauce was too salty.  I couldn’t get through a whole serving of it.  There was a slight coconut flavor but it was really missing something.  

  19. I made this tonight – it was incredible! One of my favorite meals this year. Thanks!

  20. Yummy! Good weeknight meal. We served with brown rice to keep down the points. Next time would probably add some lemongrass and sriracha. Love how much food you get for the points in this recipe! Thank you Gina!

  21. This is so delicious, I made it tonight.  It’s an easy recipe, so savory and delicious.  I served it with brown basmati and it was perfect.  Loved the cool cucumber on the side.  Can’t wait to make again! 

  22. This was good. It was not my favorite recipe but it filled us up and we aren’t hungry any longer. I served mine over riced cauliflower. Maybe it needed more salt or something. I can’t put my finger on it. It was an easy recipe though!

  23. We made this and really enjoyed it, super easy and quick for a weeknight meal! I used a combination of baby bella and brown beech mushrooms because that’s what I had on hand, and I only had 2/3 the amount of chicken (used tenderloins and just cooked for less time) but kept the full amount of broth and milk to keep the chicken moist and it was really great. Leftovers reheated really well the next day!

  24. Totally delicious! 

  25. Made this tonight and followed the recipe exactly. This dish is way too brothy to stand on its own; it definitely needs some type of carb, It also lacks flavour outside of sale – legitimately no coconut flavour to be detected at all. Would honestly not make again.

    • We devoured this dish tonight!  Was wary of the mushrooms but they absorbed the coconut broth and spices beautifully!  Loved the cucumber salad in combination with the dish!  

  26. I made this tonight and it was delicious! I do think I overcooked the chicken a smidge and dried it out, so I’ll be more careful about that next time. Also, I’d add a little more spice than the recipe calls for- but only because I like a little heat. Overall, will definitely make again. 

  27. This is great! The chicken is really tender. I substituted 1/4 tsp. fish sauce for the salt, and I removed the chicken after simmering and tossed zucchini noodles into the vegetables and sauce. I sliced the finished chicken into bite sized pieces and served it all in bowls. I stirred 1 tsp cornstarch into a tsp of the broth and used the mixture to thicken the sauce a bit. I wondered if the sesame seeds were worth a trip to the store. Then I almost forgot to use them. The nutty flavor really came through. Worth the trip. The tart and nutty cucumber salad was a great complement. This is definitely going into our rotation! Thanks

  28. This is currently near the top of my list of Gina’s best ever. Oh my, the list is long. It just yummy, 
    My notes:  the chicken breasts I bought were large and not all the same size. I used an instant read thermometer so I could  pull them as soon as they were 162 degrees anticipating they would make it to 165. They were cooked perfectly. I’d also add more mushrooms and baby bok choy.  But I wouldn’t alter this recipe. It’s perfection. 
    The cucumber salad is perfect with it and also good enough to have any time. It’s quick and crisp and just so good. I used lime. 

  29. I am also not a fan of mushrooms, perhaps red pepper would work ?  I think I’ll try that as the recipe  sounds great otherwise.

  30. All of my favorite things are in this recipe! I can’t wait to try it!

  31. My husband is not a fan of mushrooms. What would you suggest as a substitute, if any? Thank you!

  32. Can’t wait to make this!

  33. Can light coconut milk be used?