Sticky Coconut Chicken

Sticky Coconut Chicken is definitely a Wilkes Family Favorite.

Sticky Coconut Chicken is a family favorite at our house - one of our favorite ways to grill chicken.

Sticky Coconut Chicken  is one of our favorite ways to grill chicken in the summer.  We really don’t call it Sticky Coconut Chicken at our house though.

We call it “Tar” Chicken.  It earned it’s nickname from the sauce that you put on the chicken – you cook it until it is almost as thick as tar but not quite!

Love the thick sauce that you pour over the Sticky Coconut Chicken

I originally shared this recipe back in July of 2008 and when my son recently brought a group of 17 friends home to Oregon for the weekend and requested this for a meal I realized the recipe needed to be updated.  It only had one photo!

Sticky Coconut Chicken from

I don’t know where this recipe came from.  It’s been in my recipe collection for years and it is a good one.  The recipe calls for chicken thighs which is what I use all the time.  Not only does it make it an inexpensive meal to serve and a great one for parties but the dark meat makes them nice and moist.

The chicken is marinated in coconut milk with some ginger and red pepper flakes.  You can control how spicy it is by the amount of flakes you add to the marinade and to the sauce.

Sticky Coconut chicken

Watch the sauce closely as it thickens – it can go from “just right” to “burned” very quickly. (Believe me, I have burned it more than once!)   I usually cook it in a frying pan so the liquid level is shallower and it cooks faster that way.  You want it thick but not so thick that you can’t spread it easily – not quite as thick as “tar”!

After glazing the chicken we like to pour the extra glaze over our rice – yum!

I always serve it with rice pilaf, another family favorite!

Serve Sticky Coconut Chicken with Rice Pilaf from yourhomebasedmom

Sticky Coconut Chicken
Recipe type: Main Dish
Sticky Coconut Chicken or "Tar" Chicken
  • 6-8 boneless chicken thighs
  • ¾ cup canned coconut milk (I usually am cooking about 10-12 thighs so I just use the whole can)
  • 1 Tbsp. minced ginger
  • 1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
Chili Glaze:
  • ¾ cup rice vinegar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
Sticky Coconut Chicken or "Tar" Chicken
  1. Marinade chicken in coconut milk, ginger, pepper and red pepper flakes at least one hour
  2. Grill on barbecue
Chili Glaze:
  1. Bring above ingredients to a boil over high heat and cook until mixture is reduced and thickened
  2. -10 minutes depending on the size of your pan
  3. Glaze both sides of chicken and serve

Sticky Coconut Chicken - have it for dinner tonight!

Leigh Anne
Hi – I’m Leigh Anne! I have been a homebased mom for 30 years since my first baby boy was born! I love working with women and helping to inspire them to achieve their goals and dreams while still maintaining motherhood and family as their number one priority. I blog about everything I enjoy – creating treats and meals in my kitchen, spending time in my garden, entertaining and party planning, reading, self improvement and tips and ideas on style and fashion.
Leigh Anne
Leigh Anne

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  1. LuAnne says

    This recipe was wonderful. Made it for Sunday dinner. I did have trouble with the sauce. I had to make it a second time. The marinaded chicken would even be great without the sauce (if you are not a sauce person or counting calories).

  2. LuAnne says

    This recipe was wonderful. Made it for Sunday dinner. I did have trouble with the sauce. I had to make it a second time. The marinated chicken would even be great without the sauce (if you are not a sauce person or counting calories).

  3. says

    I made this and it was a huge favorite with my family. My kids said, “this is the best chicken ever”. I have chicken marinating in coconut milk as we speak. I can’t wait for dinner. Thanks for sharing.

  4. says

    Laurie »

    Yeah! I am so glad they liked it. I love it when I find a new receipe that everyone loves! Makes life so much easier. We’ve had it twice in the last week!

  5. says

    I’ve had this recipe bookmarked since you posted it and just last night got around to making it. Holy Cow. I should not have waited. This was a huge hit with the whole family. We will definitely make this again! Thanks for sharing!

  6. says


    I don’t see why you couldn’t use the rice vinegar. Sometimes when I am using a recipe that calls for rice vinegar and I am out I just use regular vinegar so they are pretty interchangeable – Enjoy!

  7. Renee Richins says

    Holy cow! This was so good! I tried this before and it just didn’t turn out right, but I made it today and I am so glad I tried again because this is good.

  8. Cathy O says

    Just made this tonight and LOVED it. Used light coconut milk and only had thighs with bones in them (removed the skin) and used some drumsticks. Both thighs and drumsticks were awesome. Thank you for the great recipe.

  9. Argie says

    My Father loves cooking. I will suggest to him this recipe. He would love to have this. I am not a good cook. But I do want to learn. Maybe this one would enable me to have the needed steps.

  10. says

    Leigh Anne, this was wonderful my whole fam (kiddos + Mr) loved the chicken! I marinated it over night then grilled it off. I made it gluten free using what little tamari and Bragg Liquid Aminos I had for the sauce. It’s a keeper, glad I saw it via pinterest. I’ll be blogging & linking back soon! :)

    • says

      So glad you found it and enjoyed it. It is one of our family’s most favorite dinners!! Looking forward to checking out some of your gluten free recipes.

  11. says

    I have a feeling I’m gonna love this recipe. :-) There’s always cuts of chicken in the freezer and cans of coconut milk in the cupboard, so this will be the next new recipe for me to try…just as soon as I get a bottle of rice vinegar from the grocery. 😉

  12. Diana Melnyk says

    No one else asked this so I guess I am the lame on here but do you add the marinade (coconut milk and seasoning) to the chili sauce recipe?

    • says

      Diana, Not sure I understand your question. The coconut milk and seasoning marinade is thrown after you remove the chicken from it to cook it. Hope that helps.


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