Spicy Coconut Mango Chicken with Coconut Cilantro Rice

I’m someone who enjoys taking advantage of seasonal foods to expand my cooking knowledge and my palate. So when my local grocery store had piles of fresh mangoes on sale, I grabbed a few and started searching for a delicious new way to use them. I’m not familiar with many island flavors or spicy foods, so I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this as much as I did.

This spicy/sweet sauce is addicting, especially combined with the salty flavors of the rice. Even my usually-tame self continued to add more and more sauce to my plate, even after I doubled the cayenne from the original recipe.

I’m looking forward to making this again. Next time, I’ll top it with fresh mango salsa to add another depth of fresh flavor.


Coconut Mango Chicken
(Original recipe: Cooking On the Weekends)

2 split chicken breasts
14 ounces coconut milk
1 mango, roughly chopped (1/2 cup)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 TBSP honey, divided
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Blend the mango chunks until smooth. Add the coconut milk and cayenne pepper; whisk to combine. Pour half of this mixture into a resealable bag with the chicken breasts. Marinate for at least 6 hours, ideally overnight. Pour the other half of the sauce into a separate container and refrigerate; this will become the sauce.

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade and place them on a baking sheet, skin side up, without rubbing the marinade off the chicken pieces. Season generously with salt and pepper. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the honey evenly over the chicken. Roast for 45 minutes, watching to make sure the honey doesn’t burn.

While the chicken is baking, add the reserved sauce to a small saucepan. Mix in the last 2 tablespoons of honey and bring to a boil. Let it boil for about 30 seconds, then turn the heat to low and simmer gently for about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve it with the chicken.


Coconut Cilantro Rice
(Original recipe: Cooking On the Weekends)

1/2 TBSP coconut oil
1/4 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup Basmati rice
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup coconut water
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped

Coat the bottom of a medium pot with the coconut oil and place it over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until they’re are translucent and soft.

Add the rice and cumin. Stir to be sure all the grains are coated with the coconut oil, and then sauté for about 2 minutes, stirring almost constantly.

Add the coconut water and salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting, cover, and cook until all of the liquid has been absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes.

Stir in the fresh cilantro and serve.

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