What’s better than a regular chicken dinner? Mango Coconut Baked Chicken is!! 🙂
If it were an election and the two candidates were an Indian Chicken Curry and a Baked Chicken meal, I would vote for the Baked Chicken. Any day. Hands down!
Not because I don’t love a good chicken curry (I mean, this traditional flavourful curry is one of my favourite things to eat, EVER!) But baked chicken is simple. It is easy to make. It is kind on the pocket. It requires much less effort and always promises fabulous results. It’s the perfect candidate for everyday cooking!
To the boyfriend and I, a nicely executed baked chicken dish is an indulgence. After a long day at work, I would come home, pop the chicken that has been marinating in the fridge, into the oven. I’d set the timer for 30 minutes, toss together a quick salad, shower, get dressed. Just in time, the oven would ‘ding!’, as the promise of an incredible meal – and the aroma – wafted through our home.
I only wish I knew how to make this surprisingly GOOD Mango Coconut Baked Chicken then. Man, were we missing out all along!
I love what a huge challenge this May Mango Mania series has been. Stepping out of my comfort zone and working to create and fine-tune an array of mango recipes has been SO fun! And as all of life’s challenges go, I’m coming out on the other side, having gained so much more through my experience. What have I gained? Recipes for more amazing food, and a few pounds on my hips to boot! 😛
Mango. Coconut. Baked. Chicken. I’ll have to thank Valentina from Cooking on The Weekends for the inspiration (check her out, she’s AWESOME!). But in true me fashion, I’ve done the unthinkable; messed with the classic, adding spices, herbs and heat along the way, to arrive at a sauce/curry in the league of legends like Burmese Khow Suey and Thai Green Curry!
This recipe serves 4. Here’s what you need:
- Chicken Legs & Thighs – 1 kg, skin-on
- Mangoes – 2, cubed
- Coconut Milk – 400 ml (1 can)
- Ginger Paste – 1/2 tsp
- Garlic Paste – 1/2 tsp
- Cayenne Pepper – 3 tsp (divided)
- Red Chilli Flakes – 2 tsp (divided)
- Honey – 4 tbsp (divided)
- Olive Oil – 2 tbsp
- Salt – to taste
- Pepper – to taste
- Juice of half a small lime
- Fresh Coriander – 1/2 cup, roughly chopped
Here’s how you make this Mango Coconut Baked Chicken:
- Marinate: In a blender, blitz the mangoes, coconut milk, ginger paste, garlic paste, 2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper and a teaspoon of salt, until it forms a creamy marinade. Slit the chicken meat and place in a large bowl. Pour the marinade over the chicken, ensuring the meat is completely coated; cover and refrigerate for minimum 2 hours (overnight recommended).
- Prep: Preheat the oven to 230 °C/ 450 °F. Grease a roasting tin with olive oil. Remove the chicken from the marinade and place in the roasting tin. Reserve the marinade. Season the chicken with salt, pepper and drizzle 1 tsp red chilli flakes and 3 tbsp honey.
- Bake the chicken: Place the chicken in the oven and bake for 5 minutes at 230 °C/ 450 °F. Then decrease the temperature to 190 °C/ 375 °F and bake for 20-25 minutes. To check for doneness, pierce the chicken leg at the joint; if clear juices run, the meat is pink and moist. If needed, place the chicken under the broiler for 2 to 5 minutes, until golden. Take the chicken out of the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.
- Make the sauce: Pour the reserved marinade, pan juices and the remaining cayenne pepper, honey and chilli flakes into a pot and place on medium heat. Bring the sauce to a slow boil. Season with salt and allow it to simmer for 5 minutes. Take it off the heat, add in the lime juice, stir. Garnish with fresh coriander.
- Serve: Place chicken in a plate, with a side of cooked rice or noodles. Serve immediately with a generous helping of sauce.
Mango Coconut Baked Chicken is like a tropical holiday on a plate! The warm hue and spice take me to balmy days in the sun. There are bursts of sweetness and tang from the mangoes, akin to splashes in the pool and the ocean. That cool, calming coconut, reminiscent of scooter rides; narrow streets lined with coconut palms stretching ahead of you… Ah, bliss!
You need all of 40 minutes of active time (minus the marinating) to put this lip-smacking meal together. You need 5 minutes to blend the marinade, slit the chicken and marinate. (I suggest you do this the previous night, to give the chicken time to soak in all the mango-coconut goodness!). About 25 minutes to bake the chicken, during which you can cook the rice, noodles or make a salad. And 5 minutes to bring the sauce to a boil and incorporate the pan juices. Voila! Your meal is ready!
If you’re thinking baked chicken is pretty basic, I hear ya. But make this meal for the sauce. The sauce is the main event, you guys! It is what knocks this meal out of the park! It is thick, and creamy, and coconut-y. Sweet, tangy and cool, packing heat in bursts and fragrant with the addition of fresh coriander. It heightens the entire culinary experience, taking you on a journey through flavours and textures, while rounding off a healthy, moreish, homely meal! Just writing about it, is getting me hungry!
Tip: Want to fancy up this Mango Coconut Baked Chicken? I’d recommend adding a flourish of crushed, toasted peanuts. Such a great way to up the oomph!
If you wish to go on holiday in the tropics within the comfort of your home, I’d recommend watching the Chef’s Table season 4 episode featuring Will Goldfarb, following his difficult yet beautiful journey to Bali, Indonesia; and treat yourself to some sublime Mango Coconut Baked Chicken while you’re at it. You’ll love it, I’m certain! 🙂
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