This Coconut Mango Chicken recipe is baked to perfection as it soaks up warm spices and the delicious flavors of the fruit. It’s a super comforting entrée and is perfect over rice or noodles.
Inspiration for Coconut Mango Chicken
My mom and I have always loved the Mango Chicken Curry at our local Indian restaurant.
And by loved, I mean we could drink the sauce. Perhaps with a straw. There was simply no such thing as too much for this deliciousness.
I always find it so tasty to make an interesting sauce with sweet fruits with warming spices. It’s a perfect, and sometimes unexpected, burst of sweet and savory flavors. Thus, I was excited to give this mango sauce a go.
Uses for the Mango Sauce
I remember that my mom would sometimes just order a giant container of the sauce to have on hand. Never mind the chicken!
She’d serve it with other things — drizzled on roasted pork, mixed into roasted vegetables, and even thinned out and tossed into a green salad. And she would also often use it as an ingredient in new sauces she’d create, thereby calling it one of her “secret ingredients.”
In the case of my Coconut Mango Chicken recipe, the chicken is important. The mango sauce is likely far from authentic Indian, and other than the heat from the cayenne, it contains no curry spices. However, it’s very reminiscent of the sauce my mom and loved so much, so mission accomplished!
I brought my mom some of my mango chicken recipe for her dinner, and she loved it. That was really all the reinforcement I needed to know I’d succeeded. My mom is very honest! And I appreciate that — especially when it comes to my cooking.
What to serve with this mango chicken recipe . . .
This is absolutely perfect to serve with this Coconut-Cilantro Rice! It’s always a plus to serve a dish with a divine sauce with something that will soak up any that’s left on the plate. What a meal! I’m telling you! 🙂
I really hope you give this Coconut Mango Chicken recipe a go, and enjoy every last bite!
This chicken is baked to perfection as is soaks up warm spices and the delicious flavors of the fruit. It's a super comforting entrée and is perfect over rice or noodles.
*Please note that the chicken has to marinate for at least 6 hours, and ideally overnight.
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon annato seeds (see notes)
- 1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
- 1/2 cup mango, roughly chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon honey, divided
- 1 (approximately 3 1/4-pound) whole cut up chicken, bone-in, skin-on
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a small saucepan, over low heat, gently simmer the annato seeds with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Once the oil is a golden-reddish color, turn off the heat. This should only take a couple of minutes. Strain the oil into a small bowl, and discard the seeds. Set the oil aside.
Add the coconut milk and mango to a blender and purée until smooth, about 10 seconds. Pour this mixture into an approximately 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking dish and then stir in the cayenne pepper, and the 2 tablespoons of the annato seed oil you just made.
Add the chicken pieces, being sure each one is well coated with the marinade. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, and ideally overnight.
After the chicken has marinated, preheat the oven to 450°F.
Evenly drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil -- (the portion that did not cook with the annato seeds) -- on a baking sheet. Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade and add them to the baking sheet, with a couple of inches between them. Do not rub the marinade off the chicken pieces, but do let any excess drip off into the baking pan. (Do not throw it out -- it will become a sauce later in the recipe.)
Season both sides of the chicken pieces generously with salt and pepper, leaving them skin side up.
Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the honey evenly over the chicken and place the baking sheet in the preheated 450°F oven. Once you see the chicken sizzling, after about 5 minutes, reduce the heat to 375°F. I remove the chicken pieces at various times to avoid overcooking the smaller pieces -- the wings should be done after about 15 minutes, the legs and thighs after about 20 to 25 minutes, and the breasts after about 30 to 35 minutes. As you remove them from the oven, place them on a large plate or platter and cover with foil. (They should have a nice golden color when they're done, and if they don't, you put them under the broiler just to brown them, about 30 seconds.)
While the chicken is baking, add the remaining marinade to a small saucepan. Mix in the last teaspoon 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. (Here's How to Season to Taste.)
Annato seeds are optional in this recipe as they are primarily for color. If you don't use them, you'll only need the 2nd 2 tablespoons of oil and disregard recipe instruction no. 1.
They are derived from the fruit of the achiote tree. Though it has a very mild, sweet and peppery flavor, it's typically used as a natural food coloring. They won’t change the flavor of this recipe— just the color — which I think is lovely and super appetizing.
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