Coconut Lime Chicken Recipe - Pinch of Yum
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Coconut Lime Chicken

3 reviews / 4.3 average

Will you think weird things about me if I spend most of the next 3 paragraphs writing about chicken skin?

It’s a love-hate, although right now I’m more on the love side. I guess the only thing I really hate is the name: chicken skin. But if you feed me something that is golden like the sun, mysteriously both juicy and crispy at the same time, and full of coconut lime chicken flavor and tell me it’s chicken skin? Then I do love chicken skin after all.

Coconut lime chicken on white plates.

There’s no glamorous way to put it: I ate a lot of fried chicken this year.

Like, honestly, more fried chicken in our one year in the Philippines than probably all the rest of my life put together. Filipinos have a way with frying, and chicken is no exception. On a scale of 1-10, I started the year out liking Filipino spicy fried chicken at a 2, and ended the year liking it at a 9.9. When you fry chicken with all that breading on the outside, and especially when it’s spicy chicken so the breading is not only crunchy-heaven but also a wave of your tastebuds mildly on fire, crispy hot chicken skin quickly becomes way more important than the chicken meat itself. It just does.

I know, I’m off topic. This coconut lime chicken isn’t even fried. It isn’t spicy. It’s just simple and delicious and full of garlic, ginger, and coconut lime flavor. And whenever I say coconut lime I envision a coconut lime verbena scented wallflower, which I could drink right now.

So to make the chicken, you have to act really fancy. NOT.

You marinate it and you roast it in the oven. Tadaaa!

Chicken on a baking pan.

Here’s a tip: your life will be better if you have a wire rack because then your chicken doesn’t sit in the grease of the pan and splatter all over the oven. I know this because sometimes food bloggers don’t have things like wire racks so they plow through recipes without the proper equipment, just for a gorgeous bite of crispy-golden coconut lime chicken skin.  Even when it means breaking the chicken roasting rules and sitting in the smoky haze of a messy chicken roasted kitchen all afternoon. It worked, but it would have worked better with a wire rack.

At this time I’d like to call out my readers who only ever buy chicken breasts. Yes, you. I’m squinting through the screen at you right now. And I’d like to let you know that I am one of you. I rarely buy any chicken (I’m talking present tense here) other than chicken breasts because, let’s face it. It seems hard and gross and why would anyone ever need to eat anything besides crunchy, saucy little bites of General Tso’s white meat?

Chicken pieces, with bones, with skin, are not as scary as they seem. Buy them in a package, you don’t have to cut anything up (you chicken cutter-uppers are a whole different breed), and the meat is truly delicious. It’s oh-so-juicy because it actually has, like, some fat on it.

And the skin. This coconut lime chicken was always about that crispy chicken skin.

Coconut lime chicken on a white plate.
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Coconut Lime Chicken

Coconut Lime Chicken


This coconut lime chicken is a perfect way to change up your weekly chicken dinner routine. Served with rice noodles and Thai-style garnishes.


  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons lime zest
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 can light coconut milk
  • salt to taste
  • 3 lbs. chicken pieces with bones and skin (for example, 1 1/2 lbs. drumsticks and 1 1/2 lbs. thighs)
  • rice noodles, cilantro, carrots, lime wedges, peanuts, onions or shallots for serving


  1. Prep the chicken: Whisk the lime juice, lime zest, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, and coconut in a large bowl. Add the chicken pieces and sprinkle with salt. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. I had to divide the ingredients into 2 bowls so it could all fit. Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade; let them rest on a plate for a minute to get rid of excess moisture.
  2. Roast the chicken: Preheat the oven to 475. Grease a rimmed baking sheet. The rim will keep most of the drippings from landing in your oven. Arrange the chicken pieces on the baking sheet; bake for 30 minutes. (If you have a wire rack, place it on the baking sheet and arrange the chicken on the wire rack. This allows the fat to drip off the chicken as it roasts and keeps it from getting too greasy.) Check on the chicken every so often, turning the pan or adjusting the heat if the skin is getting too brown. Remove from the oven when the chicken is browned on the outside and cooked through to the middle.
  3. Sprinkle the hot chicken with a little extra salt and serve with rice noodles, fresh cilantro, carrots, peanuts, and drizzle lime juice over the whole thing.
  • Prep Time: 4 hours
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: Thai-Inspired

Keywords: coconut lime chicken, chicken recipe, thai chicken

Hey wait. I never told you about serving your chicken with a heaping pile of hot rice noodles and all those fresh, crunchy veggies. And the lime juice. And salted, roasted peanuts. And feeling like it’s a party on a plate. Wehhhh! I always have way too much to say about food.

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  1. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I have been following POY for a while now, and I just have to say, I love your blog! Whenever I search foodgawker for a recipe, Pinch of Yum always comes up with exactly what I’m looking for!

    Also, I used to live in the Philippines too (Quezon City) so I can totally relate, though honestly I just never really became a fan of Filipino food (besides pancit canton and puto).

    Thanks and keep up the good work!

  2. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I wish I could jump through this screen and face-dive into this. I too, have converted to bone-in, skin-on chicken over the past year. It’s not as bad as we’d think, and if you don’t eat too much, it’s still healthy. And that side dish??? You just spoke to my heart. Lately, I’ve been addicted to a cabbage salad with many of the same flavors. Totes dee-lish, my friend!

  3. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Embarrassing confession…I’ve never really cooked a meat entree before!! For some reason it’s so much more intimidating to me than baking a cake. But your ode to chicken skin has inspired me. Hahaha POY should commission a coconut lime CHICKEN wallflower 😀

  4. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I was just saying the same thing the other day – since I’ve been travelling, I’ve eaten more fried chicken than at any other time in my life. I don’t know what it is about foreign countries loving fried chicken so much. Unfortunately, I can also say the same about eating more pizza and burgers too….oops.

  5. Pinch of Yum Logo

    What IS it about these Southeast asian countries and their genius chicken frying methods? I can’t believe how much fried chicken I eat around here. Your recipe looks much more reasonable and does still have that crispy skin – that’s really the best part after all. GREAT recipe, Lindsay – and I love those bright, clean white photos!

  6. Pinch of Yum Logo

    See, I’m a chicken skin lover all the way. I remind myself of Joey in that episode of Friends where he’s only eating the fried chicken skin and offers the rest of the chicken to everyone else. A little gross, but so tasty!

  7. Pinch of Yum Logo

    This looks fantastic. I am a HUGE fan of chicken skin. I know, it does sound gross. But I love to buy chicken thighs from time to time as a nice change from chicken breasts. The fat does give the chicken an irresistible flavor. I need to try this recipe.. it sounds toooo good.

  8. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Makes we want to try this recipe with calamansi. 🙂 And yes, I do love crispy chicken skin and I don’t like saying that as well. 😀

  9. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I saw this everyday food recipe too and made it for some clients a few months back, they loved it!!! Thanks for reminding me I need to make it again for myself, my mouth was watering as I was serving it to them!

  10. Pinch of Yum Logo

    This looks amazing! Speaking of fried chicken, I don’t eat it that much but I sure do love it. Our grocery store makes some fantastic fried chicken. Sometimes you can smell it outside of the store. It always makes me want to buy it!

    Pinning this recipe. I live the flavored of coconut and lime!

  11. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I already had a plan for dinner tomorrow but I think it’ll have to change to this!

    Also, best fried chicken of my life was in the Philippines. It was at some roadside stall in Bohol, my husband wanted to try it but I was skeptical. The chicken thigh was impeccably cooked. Probably one of the few times I’ll ever be content with being wrong, ha!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Wow! Brave! We hardly ever ate roadside in the Philippines but Bohol has that gorgeous magical power that just kind of makes you forget about common sense. 🙂 Thanks for the comment!

  12. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I’m finding I’m one of those “rare breeds” who enjoy cutting whole chickens, fish, beef tenderloins and even whole pigs! I didn’t realize until recently that people have a phobia of handling raw meats.

    Give brining a shot if you haven’t already. My wife won’t eat chicken breast unless I brine it first now. It really is the bee’s knees!

  13. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I miss fried chicken (and everything else fried) from the Philippines. I’m coming home for the holidays this year and I’m already looking forward to all the things I can eat 🙂 This coconut lime chicken looks great, too! It’s a little too hot nowadays to turn on the oven and roast chicken but when the weather gets cooler, I will be attempting this!