Chicken with Coconut Milk (Pollo con Leche de Coco)

by Erica Dinho on June 17, 2009

This post is also available in Spanish

Pollo con Leche de Coco Colombiano

This Pollo en Salsa de Coco (Chicken with Coconut Sauce) is a popular Colombian dish and is a quick and tasty way to cook chicken.  I made it with chicken drums, but you can use any part of the chicken you prefer. The sauce can be used for other poultry and fish dishes as well. Serve hot over white rice.

Chicken with Coconut Sauce or Pollo en Salsa de Coco

Chicken with Coconut Sauce or Pollo en Salsa de Coco



(2 Servings)

  • 4 Chicken drums, bone in and skin on.
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ¼ chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 chicken bouillon tablet
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 (13.5 oz) can coconut milk
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cilantro for garnish
  • White rice for serving

Pollo con salsa de coco colombiano


  1. Heat the oil in a medium sauce pan, over medium heat. Place the chicken and cook for 3 minutes or until golden brown, turn over and cook for an additional 3 minutes or until the second side is browned.
  2. Remove from the saucepan and set aside. Add the onions, garlic and red pepper to the sauce pan. Cook, stirring occasionally for 6 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cumin and cook stirring constantly for 2 minutes.
  3. Return the chicken to the saucepan and stir in the coconut milk and chicken bouillon. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium low, cover and let it simmer for about 20 minutes or until the chicken is tender. Taste and add salt and pepper. Stir in the chopped cilantro and serve warm over white rice.
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{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sophie June 17, 2009 at 7:00 AM

MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM…..fab! What else can I say?


2 Sylvia June 17, 2009 at 7:31 AM

I love this combination, chicken and coconut milk. Looks so tasty , I’ll must to try your recipe …soon


3 Natasha - 5 Star Foodie June 17, 2009 at 8:08 AM

Delicious chicken with coconut milk!


4 Tangled Noodle June 17, 2009 at 8:35 AM

I love how this combines tomato paste and coconut milk! Your lovely photo shows exactly how I would eat this – with rice, to soak up all that wonderful tasty sauce.


5 Soma June 17, 2009 at 12:29 PM

I am coming over ;-) this is not helping me at all at lunch time with nothing to eat but the mickey mouse chicken nuggets.


6 nora@ffr June 17, 2009 at 1:00 PM

yummm chicken!! perfect for dinner :) a must try


7 OysterCulture June 17, 2009 at 2:27 PM

another recipe to add to my growing list to try from your site, I may have to switch to 5+ meals a day to fit them all in =)


8 Gera @ SweetsFoods June 17, 2009 at 8:03 PM

Chicken with coconut milk sounds divinely rich!
I must do this recipe soon :)




9 rebecca subbiah June 17, 2009 at 10:24 PM

wow i love columbian food wish you had a restaurant!


10 Diana June 18, 2009 at 8:55 AM

Love, Love, LOVE your site! This is exactly what I love about cooking. Learning traditional meals first hand from other cultures. Being Latina, I am so excited to start on your Columbian recipes!

Thank You!!

A Little Bit of Spain in Iowa


11 virna June 18, 2009 at 1:49 PM

i am making this tomorrow…=)
i am from barranquilla, colombia….and love the food from my country even thou i was raised in the us….my mom always cooked colombian food at home…but i never remember eating this chicken with coconut milk…mmmmm sounds delicioso!!!!!!


12 Erica June 18, 2009 at 7:10 PM

Thank you all for the comments!


13 Erica June 21, 2009 at 6:43 PM

Thank you so much for that comment.
I really like your blog too.


14 Jen June 24, 2009 at 9:34 AM

Oh wow– does this sound delicious!!!


15 MRS. V June 30, 2009 at 11:46 AM

i will make this dish tonight! thanks!


16 Kerri T August 2, 2009 at 8:04 PM

I made this dish yesterday for a wedding shower today. The groom is from the US and the bride is straight from Colombia. They both loved the chicken! The only thing I did differently was use boneless chicken breasts. I made enough for about 30 servings and there was only 3 small pieces left! I am sure they will be eaten later tonight. I will definitely make this again!


17 Erica August 2, 2009 at 8:29 PM

Hi Kerri,
Thank you very much for your feedback.


18 Brian Stabinger August 6, 2009 at 4:13 PM

Wow! Just wow. I made this for my wife (de B’quilla) and she almost cried.

I bought a great cookbook in Cartagena but you just can’t get the ingredients (or the form they are in) here in MN. Your recipes make everything so much friendlier!

Thanks again!


19 Erica August 6, 2009 at 4:53 PM

Thank you so much Brian. Glad you like the recipe!


20 Cristina February 24, 2010 at 2:35 PM

I have made two coconut dishes from this site and they both worked out great. I will definitely try others. Can’t wait for my husband to come home to this yummy surprise!


21 Erica February 24, 2010 at 3:46 PM

Cristina- Thank you so much for your feedback!


22 Ludwig March 13, 2010 at 6:46 PM

I made this last weekend. ¡Sabroso! A toda la familia le gustó. I have been enjoying the left-over sauce over rice and anything else I can put it on.

Muchisimas gracias por compartiéndola con nosotros! Un abrazo.


23 Angela June 30, 2010 at 4:01 PM

I made this dish for a dinner party and It was a hit. Everyone loved it. I used boneless chicken.


24 Anonymous July 6, 2010 at 7:17 PM

This dish is delicious. I made it last week and we loved it. I ate it the next day and it was wonderful. Great recipe. Thanks. I really love Colombia food.


25 naomi November 3, 2010 at 1:17 AM

I make this all the time. It’s so easy and so tasty.
I mix all my left over veggie in it too, which is a good way to clean my fridge.
I really recommend it~


26 Olga A December 21, 2010 at 3:17 PM

This was delicious! we brought it for a Christmas party potluck style this weekend, and everyone loved it :)
We will be making it again for sure!


27 Christina q September 1, 2011 at 8:28 PM

Made this for my Mother in laws bday. So happy it was perfect! She is columbian as is my father in law. I love this site. Thank you very much for sharing.


28 Tatiana December 20, 2011 at 1:21 PM

I made this recipe this morning with boneless chicken breasts. I brought it in to work for lunch today. I can’t wait to taste it. It looked delicious!! Erica, thank you from a fellow Colombian who misses the tastes and aromas of our beautiful country! Look forward to making more of your meals.


29 May 24, 2012 at 8:08 PM

This is sssoooooo yummy, just finished making it! Imma look like a rockstar tonite! Thanks!


30 Dodi August 23, 2012 at 1:13 AM

I made this for my husband and mother a few months ago and they loved it. My husband asked me to make some more next day and he brought it to his coworkers who also loved it…

Im vegetarian so I didnt get to try it…. but, i did try the sauce mixed with the rice and oh boy oh boy!

I just loooooooove your recipes!


31 Karen September 16, 2012 at 4:44 AM

I am going to try this this week! What would happen if you were to throw some potatoes in the sauce?


32 Erica September 16, 2012 at 8:13 AM

I added potatoes before and it is delicious.


33 Belinda @zomppa September 26, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Glad you have a big bowl of rice to sop up that great sauce!


34 Mary2 October 1, 2012 at 2:05 PM

I cooked this dish…wowww…my husband loved it….I made it with chicken breast and I cut into small and thin pieces plus a pinch of red pepper…delicious !!!!!!!!! Thank you Erica!


35 Nelly October 4, 2012 at 7:39 AM

Just got done eating this…. YUM! My entire family LOVED it. Even my
picky 3 yr old thought it was “yummy” I didnt put the cumin because I
personally don’t like the flavor, and we didn’t have bell pepers, so I
added fresh zucchini from our garden and it was soooooo gooood.
Otherwise I followed it to the “T”. Thank you for this. I will
definently be making this again. My favorite part is the sauce, I can
drink it all by itself.


36 Fatima June 3, 2013 at 10:19 PM

I tried this today and I don’t know where it went wrong. I followed the recipe exactly. I’m not sure if it was the brand of coconut milk i used? When i opened the one i used, it had small solid clumps (i do not know if thats normal.) Do you mind telling me what brand you use? It would be greatly appreciated!


37 Erica Dinho June 4, 2013 at 8:18 AM

I use different brands….Goya or Thai kitchen.


38 Tiffany December 18, 2013 at 10:06 AM

I made this on Sunday. It was amazing!! Everyone loved it!! Although my sauce wasn’t as dark as yours. Any ideas?


39 Monica August 10, 2014 at 8:41 AM

Hi, I want to try this tonight. Can I use chicken thighs instead? Would it be the same cooking time? Thank you!!!


40 Erica Dinho August 10, 2014 at 9:14 PM



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