Curried Coconut Chicken with Squash and Dried Cherries

Are you ready for a nontraditional knock-your-socks-off dinner? Ok, good. I present to you – Curried Coconut Chicken with Squash and Dried Cherries. The name is a mouthful and so are the flavors. The sweet and creamy coconut pairs perfectly with all those spices. The sweet squash cooks up nice and soft and then you bite into little tart yet sweet pops of dried cherries that have started to come back to life from simmering in the dish. Mmmmm. I have half of this recipe hiding in my freezer for an easy meal later and I may just have to get it out tonight. If you are a curry lover this is sure to become a favorite fast.

Honestly, I never even tried curry until after I was married and our friends introduced us to it. Now I love all types from Thai to Indian. I think part of why I love food so much is because there is always something new to discover. If you are new to or shy of curry, have no fear and give it a try. A huge portion of the earth’s population eats it daily, and there’s no way all those people are wrong! Try it… you’ll love it.

Keep Calm and Curry On.

curry recipe, squash curry, coconut and chicken curry

Curried Coconut Chicken with Squash and Dried Cherries
Adapted from Allrecipe.com
Serves 8

3 T. oil (peanut, olive, coconut)
2 T. curry powder
1 T. plus 1 tsp. garam masala, divided
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 pounds chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 14-ounce can coconut milk
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, with the juice
1 cup chicken broth
3 T. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
4 cups cubed winter squash (banana, butternut, pumpkin)
1/2 cup dried cherries
salt and pepper to taste
Hot cooked rice for serving

In a large stock pot or dutch oven heat the oil, curry powder, and 1 tablespoon of garam masala over medium heat. Cook for 5 minutes. If it starts to stick add more oil, you don’t want it to burn. Add the onion and garlic and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Again, add more oil if it starts to stick too much. Add the chicken and cook until the chicken is no longer pink in the center, about 10 minutes. Add the coconut milk, undrained tomatoes, chicken broth, sugar, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Add the squash and dried cherries. Cook the curry at a low simmer until the squash is very soft and the mixture thickens, 45 minutes to an hour. 5 minutes before serving stir in the last 1 tsp. of garam masala. Serve over hot cooked rice.

Notes:
Curry is one of those dishes that only improve with time. If you have more time, let it cook! The leftovers are better the second day too.
No cherries? Traditional or golden raisins are a great sub (but the cherries were SO good…).
The garam masala is added twice because some of its flavor is heightened while cooking and some of it is lost. Adding it in the beginning and again at the end helps to not miss out on any of its goodness.

Curried coconut chicken with squash and dried cherries


28 comments on “Curried Coconut Chicken with Squash and Dried Cherries

  1. Loved this dish! I love curry, coconut milk and butternut squash so I had to make it….and am so glad I did! Definitely will be making this curry again. Thanks for the recipe Melissa!

  2. I’ve been making my way through your 2 week plan, and this is my favorite dish yet. My only edit- I used red curry powder instead of garam masala- loved it! Thank you for the recipe and easy-to-follow plan!

    1. Thanks so much for the comment! It’s SO rewarding to know that people are using something I spent time on and LOVING IT. This recipe is a keeper… I was thinking of making it just the other day. It’s been a long time and it’s sounding good. Great job on eating clean and keep up the good work. I’d love to hear how it you liked it as a whole in the end.

  3. Just found this recipe thanks to Texanerin Baking. It looks absolutely wonderful, and I hope I can get a chance to try it soon. (I have to make sure my husband is willing to try it.) :-)

  4. WOW, super easy and super delicious! I didn’t have garam masala but looked it up on line and used what I had to make my own: cumin, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, black pepper, and it worked great. I substituted the rice for some steamed broccoli, and sprinkled some roasted almonds on top for some crunch. I recommend to anyone who is going to try to make this to not skip the dried cherries (or raisins) the sweetness from the fruit really hits this dish home. This dish will become one of my weekly staples. Thank you for the wonderful recipe.

  5. I just made this for dinner and it was delicious! I bought a butternut squash at the farmers market and wasn’t sure what to do with it until I saw your recipe. I think I might add some fresh ginger and a jalapeño next time for a little extra kick.

  6. I made this last night and it turned out much better than I was expecting (I’m still new to this whole cooking thing). THANKS for this recipe! I have so much left over!

  7. Made this tonight for dinner. It was delicious. In the future,I will half the chicken stock and use additional coconut milk in its place. Also, I will add the cherries way later in the simmering process. I wanted them to be a big tart pop in the mouth, but the tartness was cooked out of them. Regardless, it was delicious as is! FYI.. found the garam masala at my local Publix. McCormick makes it.

  8. made this tonight and it was delicious. Didn’t change a thing. I also tried your Chicken Tettrazini the other night and that was a big hit as well.

      1. I’m assuming the squash is peeled although it does not say anything about it in the recipe or ingredients or directions. It helps to be specifi

  9. This is delicious! I have it cooking on my stove RIGHT now. Edits for me: I can’t find Garam Masala in Beijing (I live in China at the moment) so I omitted this and I used Sweet Potatoes instead of squash because I just like them better. Had a taste during the simmer stage and I am fighting the urge to hover over the stove till its done – thats how badly I want to eat it right now! Thanks for this recipe!

  10. Any way to get nutritional values added to your recipes? They all look so yummy but need to watch calories, sugar and carbs. Thanks

  11. I have to say THANK YOU – I have been working my way through your 14 day plan and still have a few items left to try. I was awesome to jump start us into clean eating. Tomorrow is the curry and I am looking forward to it. I have to admit the BEST part was the shopping list.

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