Recipe courtesy of Claire Thomas

Coconut Fried Chicken

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 5 hr 30 min (includes marinating time)
  • Active: 1 hr
  • Yield: 4 servings
Inspired by the famous coconut fried chicken at Cha Cha Chicken in Santa Monica, California, this sweet and spicy recipe is perfect served with fresh cilantro and plenty of lime wedges for squeezing.



  1. In a large bowl, mix together the coconut milk, lime juice, onion and chile. Add the chicken and stir to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours but ideally overnight to let the coconut milk mixture tenderize the chicken.
  2. About an hour before frying, remove the chicken from the refrigerator and let it sit out at room temperature to take the chill off.  
  3. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, add enough oil to come about halfway up the sides and heat to 365 degrees F. 
  4. In large bowl, combine the flour, coconut, salt, garlic powder, thyme, five-spice powder, cayenne, allspice and nutmeg and stir until well combined. 
  5. Remove the chicken from the marinade and lightly shake off the excess. Coat the chicken with the seasoned flour, shake off the excess, then set it on a baking sheet.  
  6. Add a few pieces of chicken to the pot, being careful not to overcrowd. Fry, in batches if necessary, until golden brown and cooked through, about 20 minutes. Set aside on a wire-racked lined baking sheet. 
  7. Arrange the chicken pieces on a platter with the cilantro and lime wedges.