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.
Print WW Personal Points
4.52 from 35 votes
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Coconut-Poached Chicken with Bok Choy and Mushrooms

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
Keywords: chicken breast recipes, coconut poached chicken breast, poached chicken breast

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49 comments

  1. Really enjoyed this recipe! Based on other commenters about the dish leaning bland, I seasoned the chicken with about 1-2 tsp of Chinese five spice and used coconut oil (instead of olive oil) to sear the chicken. I think those two, small changes really amped up the flavor in this dish! 

    Bok choy can be hard to find where we live, but anytime we see it now, we’re going to scoop it up so that we can make this! 

  2. This was so good! Perfectly spiced and so much flavor and incredibly easy to make. 

  3. Good recipe and flavor. My chicken did get a bit dry – but maybe I seared it too long – my fault! I would have loved for the broth to be a bit more creamy and rich (but that translates into higher calories, often times)…but regardless, it was flavorful and not too time consuming. I used regular mushrooms and served with brown rice. Cucumber salad was excellent, and I used white sesame seeds since that is all I had. I might follow some of the other reviewers in the future when I make it again…just a little more seasoning to amp up the flavor. Regardless, thanks Gina!

  4. I love this recipe! I make it every other week. The broth is also great with a wide variety of greens and sometimes I like to sub in chickpeas for chicken. 

  5. I semi enjoyed this dish (with ramen noodles). My husband did not like the dish, but I kind of expected that from him. I’m not a fan of ginger anything, so I never add it to recipes when it’s called for, and I didn’t add it to this one either. Maybe that would have given it more “something.” The broth was kind of bland…or was missing more vibrant flavor or something. I’m not sure. I did like that it was easy to make. If I ever made it again, I’d figure out some other ingredients to add to “kick it up a notch.” Thanks for the recipe! 

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

  7. How do I save this recipe (and other recipes) to my favourites so I can find them quicker/easier?
    Thanks! Lara

  8. 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!

  9. 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).

  10. 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. 

  11. 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.

  12. 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!

  13. 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.

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

  15. 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, 

  16. 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 …

  17. 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. 

  18. 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!

  19. 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.