Guatemalan Chicken in Coconut Milk - Pollo en Leche de Coco

Pollo en Leche de Coco – Guatemalan Chicken in Coconut Milk

A touch of spice balanced by the creamy coconut milk - this is a huge favorite at our house!

Hey, I’ve got a treat of a recipe for you. Easy & quick, healthy and just full of flavor. A little creamy, a little spicy and probably a little different than your every day fare.

pollo en leche de coco Guatemalan Chicken Coconut Milk

Guatemalan Chicken in Coconut Milk – Pollo en Leche de Coco

Unless you’re from Guatemala. Which brings me to the question of what peppers to use since I don’t have any Guatemalan peppers. I chose a couple of jalapenos for some mild heat and a little habanero for fruitiness. :dance:

Another potentially difficult to find item is Achiote (Annatto) to lend a little earthiness and a gorgeous color. I subbed in a little turmeric & paprika instead. If you’re so inclined, you can add in a little Sazon if you keep it in your pantry. It gives a lot of zippy flavor. I would have mixed up my own blend, except I needed the Annatto. Next time I’m near a Mexican market, you know what I’ll be buying – it’s worth searching out and keeps for years.

Guatemalan Chicken in Coconut Milk - Pollo en Leche de Coco

Guatemalan Chicken in Coconut Milk – Pollo en Leche de Coco

So here it is, an absolutely gorgeous dish, with a lovely presentation. Serve it with a little rice; line a small measuring cup with plastic wrap, pack your rice in. Turn it upside down on the plate and give it a little tap. With a little luck you’ll end up with a nice, neat little pile. Maybe even neater than mine, what can I say! 🙂

As for cost, this is a pretty inexpensive dish. I watch for low prices on coconut milk and stock up. I often see it in the carts or shelves at the store full of gourmet ingredients priced for a quick sale. Chicken breasts generally reach a low price each quarter. Watch for it on sale and buy and freeze. Depending on where you are, you might see peppers on sale by the pound or per pepper. Since they last a good long time in the fridge buy what you need for the current week and a couple for the following.

Chicken in Coconut Milk

Chicken in Coconut Milk

Guatemalan Chicken in Coconut Milk

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided plus a little more if necessary
  • about 2 pounds chicken breast, cut into small bite sized pieces
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon annatto seeds (or 1/2 teaspoon turmeric & 1/4 teaspoon paprika)
  • 1 large onion, diced finely
  • 2 to 4 jalapenos, seeded and cut into a fine dice
  • 1/2 to 1 habanero, finely minced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, cut into strips, then into 1 1/2″ pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed coriander seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 2 – 13.5oz. cans coconut milk; may use less for a thicker stew
  • ¼ c minced cilantro or parsley for garnish

Working in batches, if necessary, in a heavy pot over medium high heat, heat one tablespoon olive oil. Add chicken and cook turning as necessary, until chicken is golden brown. Remove to a plate and tent to keep warm.

Turn heat down to medium low and add the remaining tablespoon oil. Add annatto, stirring for a minute. Remove the annatto. Add the onion and peppers and cook several minutes until the onion is translucent and the peppers are softening. Add garlic and spices (including the turmeric and paprika if you didn’t use the annatto) and cook, stirring for about a minute.

Return chicken to the pot and stir to coat chicken. Add coconut, anywhere from 1 1/2 to 2 cans according to your preference. Simmer about 10 minutes to blend flavors. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Garnish with parsley or cilantro and serve with rice.

I’ll be bringing this to Fiesta Friday, hosted this week by Laura @ Feast Wisely. Make sure to visit Fiesta Friday this week – I’ve already seen several wonderful St. Patrick’s day recipes among the recipes and do visit Laura and her delightful blog.



23 thoughts on “Pollo en Leche de Coco – Guatemalan Chicken in Coconut Milk

  1. Sweetrstmuffins

    Please give instructions on annatto so people don’t break their teeth. A decent recipe, but missing some spices. Just use sazon goya. It has annatto in it

    • FrugalHausfrau

      Hi and thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. Yep, you can use the Sazon. Not everyone can get it, though, unless they special order it. It’s only recently that you can get in in my store in MPLS!! And yes, if you’ll notice, I do say to remove the Annatto! Very important, as you pointed out. This is really a fave here at our house, btw.

Hearing from you makes my day! Comment below.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: