Chicken with apricots and coconut milk

Bring a welcome tang to this coconut-scented Thai style chicken curry with fresh apricots
By Nigel Slater
Chicken with apricots and coconut milk
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 3 plump stalks lemongrass, outer leaves peeled away to reveal softer inner then cut into short lengths
  • 50 g fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into thin pieces
  • 2 small hot red chillies
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 bunch coriander, leaves and stalks roughly chopped
  • 2 limes
  • 1 tbsp groundnut oil, plus a little more for the paste
  • 200 g tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 8 chicken thighs
  • 8 apricots
  • 400 ml can coconut milk

Tips and Suggestions

The leftover spice paste can be kept in the fridge, covered with a little oil and a lid, for about a week.


1. Place the chopped lemongrass, ginger, chillies, garlic cloves, half the coriander leaves and all the chopped coriander stalks in a food processor.

2. Grate the zest of the limes into the food processor, then turn the machine on and let it chop everything to a coarse paste, add a splash of groundnut oil as you do this.

3. Add the tomatoes, fish sauce and dark soy and continue whizzing.

4. Warm the oil in a deep pan over a moderate to high heat and use it to brown the chicken pieces lightly, turning them so they colour nicely on both sides.

5. Meanwhile, halve and stone the apricots and set aside.

6. Lift the chicken out and pour most of the liquid away except about a tablespoon of oil.

7. Add half of the spice paste and let it fry over a low to moderate heat for two minutes, till fragrant, then return the chicken to the pan. Pour in the coconut milk, stir, cover and leave to simmer gently over a low heat for 10 minutes.

8. Slide the apricots into the sauce and cook for 10 minutes, until soft.

9. Test the chicken and fruit for doneness, then add the juice of the limes and the remaining coriander leaves.

10. Correct the seasoning with a little salt if necessary. Serve with rice or bread.

Like this? Take a look at more Nigel Slater recipes.

Rate This Recipe