Chicken & Coconut Curry with Caribbean Couscous

A one-pan chicken and coconut curry that’s bursting with Caribbean flavour. The toasted desiccated coconut adds texture and richness to make this a tasty and satisfying meal. You can adjust the heat by using more or less of the scotch bonnet chilli or drop the chilli into the curry sauce whole to impart the fruity flavour without too much heat.


Put the chicken in a bowl and add half the garlic, half the ginger, the allspice, thyme, lime zest and juice from ½ the lime. Season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Cover and chill to marinate for 2 hours. Remove from the fridge half an hour before you want to cook.

In a dry frying pan over a medium heat, toast the desiccated coconut until lightly golden. Remove from the pan quickly to prevent burning. Set aside.

Heat 1 tbsp coconut oil in a sauté pan or deep-sided frying pan over a medium heat. Add the chicken thighs skin side down and cook for 8-10 minutes without moving until the skin is crisp and golden. Turn over and cook the chicken for another 4-6 minutes. Remove from the pan.

Add the remaining oil to the pan (if needed) and add the onion, peppers and a pinch of salt. Cook for 6-8 minutes until softened and just starting to brown. Add the turmeric and curry powder and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant.

Stir in 125ml stock and return the chicken to the pan skin-side up. Drop in the scotch bonnet chilli and simmer for 15 minutes, adding a little more stock if needed.

Place the remaining ginger and garlic, the scotch bonnet, toasted coconut and coriander in a food processor and blitz. Add just enough of the coconut milk to blend to a paste. Add the rest of the coconut milk and pulse just once or twice to combine.

Add the coconut milk mixture to the pan and bring to a simmer. Cook uncovered for 10-15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Remove from the heat and squeeze in some lime juice and add the remaining zest. Check for seasoning. Serve with Ainsley Harriott Caribbean-inspired Couscous scattered with coriander leaves.

TIP: add some fresh spinach leaves towards the end of cooking if you like.



  • 4-6 chicken thighs, skin on, bone-in
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
  • 5cm fresh root ginger, grated
  • ½ tsp allspice
  • 1 lime, zest and for squeezing
  • 1 sprig of thyme, leaves picked
  • 30g unsweetened desiccated coconut
  • ½ scotch bonnet pepper, deseeded (or 1 medium-hot red chilli)
  • large handful of coriander, plus extra leaves to serve
  • 1 x 400g tin coconut milk
  • 1 ½ tbsp coconut oil or light olive oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped into chunks
  • 1 tbsp Caribbean curry powder (more or less depending on taste)
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 125-150ml chicken stock or water
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Ainsley Harriott Caribbean-inspired Couscous, to serve