30-Minute Spinach and Chicken Coconut Curry Recipe

This post is sponsored by Revol, a French manufacturer of top-quality ceramic cookware. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Chocolate & Zucchini.

It’s Confession Tuesday and I have one to make: I don’t really like spinach.

On my early twenties’ quest to rediscover and fall in love with the vegetables I’d grown up not liking (I’m looking at you, Brussels sprouts!) spinach was a total fail.

I blame years and years of school cafeterias and well-meaning summer camp counselors. Unless the spinach is of pristine freshness and cooked with fairy dust in really inspired ways, the metallic aftertaste makes me shudder and push my plate away.

So I hardly ever buy spinach at all. But on a recent trip to the Perche, when we got to the organic produce stall where we buy a week’s worth of marvels (and then some) the minute we arrive at the greenmarket, we saw he had gorgeous spinach that was selling out fast. Maxence was tempted, I relented, and we snatched up an armful.

Fresh Spinach

That spinach was so fresh and young it barely needed trimming. It did need a few baths of fresh water to rid it of grit and sand — do not skip that step! — and I decided to cook it down to a coconut creamed spinach of sorts, wilting it ever so briefly with some softened onions, and finishing it with the coconut butter I was traveling with (I am nothing if not prepared).

Spinach tends to release quite a bit of water when it cooks — it’s hard to spin it thoroughly dry — and the beauty of using coconut butter here is that it thickens those very cooking juices to a creamy film that coats the spinach leaves, sweetens their flavor, and efficiently negates any bitter or metallic aftertaste.

It was such an effortless preparation and we lapped it up with such enthusiasm that I have been making it again and again since, to the collective joy of my spinach-loving family (where do they come from?).

I have improved upon the initial recipe by adding strips of chicken (or an alternate source of protein, such as fish or tofu), which makes it a complete one-pot meal that you can put together in a mere half-hour, prep included. It is a great family dinner, but also sophisticated enough that you can serve it to friends for a weeknight dinner party. Throw some rice into the rice cooker, and you’re in business.

30-Minute Spinach and Chicken Curry

Speaking of pots! I am using the most recent addition to my kitchen equipment, a handsomelicious, yellow-lidded ceramic Dutch oven that was sent to me by Revol, a French manufacturer of high-end ceramic cookware.

I’d actually been coveting one for a few years (also, their elegant tagine pot) and this made it very easy to accept their offer to sponsor a post on Chocolate & Zucchini. Revol is a family-owned business that was founded in 1768 (nine generations!), their wares are entirely manufactured in Saint-Uze in the South of France, and they use all-natural materials to craft light but extra durable cookware that absorbs heat gently and conducts it evenly, preserving the moisture of dishes.

This particular model is very versatile: it is flameproof and induction-compatible, and it goes into the oven and the microwave oven, in the fridge and freezer, and into the dishwasher as well. I find it’s an ideal size to cook for four to six, and I have been l.o.v.i.n.g. it. (I’m actually selling a similar-size cast-iron pot I already owned to make room for this one in my tiny kitchen cabinets. If you’re in Paris and interested, let me know! ^^)

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30-Minute Spinach and Chicken Curry Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Serves 4.

30-Minute Spinach and Chicken Curry Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 250 grams (9 ounces) boneless organic chicken meat (breast or thigh), sliced into strips (substitute white fish or tofu, as preferred)
  • 650 grams (1 1/2 pounds) fresh spinach, carefully washed and trimmed
  • 45 grams (3 tablespoons) coconut butter (see substitution note below)
  • Coconut spiced rice or cooked basmati rice, for serving
  • 1 lime, quartered, for serving

Instructions

  1. Heat the coconut oil over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed pot; I use my gorgeous Revol ceramic Dutch oven.
  2. Add the onion, salt, and curry, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onion is soft.
  3. Onions cooking
  4. Add the chicken and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring every once in a while, until the meat is cooked through and has a bit of color.
  5. Chicken and onions cooking
  6. Add the spinach and cook for 5 minutes, stirring regularly, until just wilted; don't overcook.
  7. Cooking the spinach
  8. Stir in the coconut butter.
  9. Spinach and chicken curry
  10. Serve immediately, over coconut spiced rice, with a squeeze of lime juice.

Notes

If you don't have coconut butter on hand, you can use 80 ml (1/3 cup) coconut cream (which is more concentrated than coconut milk). Since this contains more water than coconut butter, the final dish will be a bit more liquid; make sure you dry your spinach really well so it's not soupy.

Alternatively, you can substitute cashew butter in the same amount.

http://chocolateandzucchini.com/recipes/meat-charcuterie/30-minute-spinach-chicken-coconut-curry-recipe/

30-Minute Spinach and Chicken Curry

  • Taste of France

    Looks DELICIOUS!

  • That is gorgeous looking spinach

  • Rebecca Lebeau

    This looks delicious! I have been trying to get my boyfriend to enjoy spinach more and this may be just the right recipe! Thank you!

  • I know this is a silly question (I should probably just wait till I can get all the ingredients), but is there anything to use as a substitute for coconut butter? Coconut milk? Regular butter? Thanks, Clotilde! This looks delicious!

    • Laura
      • Thank you again! ^^

      • Thanks! I still need to unearth my food processor, so maybe in the not too distant future I will attempt to make it myself!

    • Not a silly question at all. I’ve updated the recipe to include a substitution note, but in short you could use coconut cream or cashew butter.

      • Thanks for the suggestions. I’m going to try making this next week. I think my boyfriend will love it!

        • Please report back, Lacey!

          • I made this tonight for my boyfriend and myself. I got everything from Trader Joe’s, including a can of coconut cream. It turned out DELICIOUS! This recipe is definitely a keeper, and we actually really loved that the coconut cream made it a little more soup like. Next time I’m going to actually add more coconut cream. Thank you!

          • So pleased to hear it, Lacey, thanks for reporting back!

  • Annabel Smyth

    Like you, I’m not the world’s greatest fan of spinach, although I do like it raw in a salad. I find the taste too overwhelming, and it makes everything else taste of spinach! But your recipe looks good. Is coconut butter the same thing as coconut cream? The latter is widely available, as is coconut oil and coconut milk, but I don’t recall having seen coconut butter anywhere. I buy powdered coconut milk, so that I can just stir in a tablespoonful and don’t have to open a tin, which can be too much for two of us!

  • Raph

    Clotilde, cette recette a l’air délicieuse.
    puisque tu mentionnes les cocottes en céramique, je voulais te demander ton avis (si possible). je souhaiterais renouveler ma batterie de cuisine et je pensais justement à la céramique. Ceci dit, je me demandais si on pouvait griller une viande facilement (comme avec une poêle anti-adhésive), ou si ça avait tendance à accrocher comme avec le revêtement en inox?

    • Ce n’est pas l’ustensile que je choisirais pour griller une viande : pour ça, je préfère une poêle en fonte, et j’ai celle-ci que j’adore !

      • Raph

        ok, merci pour tes conseils!

  • ameeta

    Hi Clotilde,
    I LOVE your blog and cookbooks! I am vegetarian transitioning to vegan and love to cook and bake and try new recipes! Thank you for doing what you do :) I have never been to Paris but I surely hope to one day and to get the chance to meet you one day!

    Anyway, I have a question about this recipe, in addition to the queries below about substitutes for coconut butter, I wanted to know, if I make this with tofu, what kind of tofu do you suggest (firm, extra firm, etc)?

    Thanks so much and take care!
    Ameeta (from Toronto, Canada)

    • We only get firm tofu here (not extra firm) and that’s what I’ve used here, but both kinds would work, cut into cubes. Thank you for your kind words!

  • Mia Sorcinelli

    Made this the other night along with your coconut rice recipe. I didn’t have coconut butter so I used the thick stuff from the top of a coconut milk (full fat) can. I also used green curry paste in place of curry powder. It turned out perfectly delicious. Thanks!!

    • Love the green curry paste idea! I have a little jar of red curry paste in my cabinet, I’ll try that next time.

  • Clinton Davidson
  • Julie Czosek

    I made this yesterday. Used coconut milk for both the chicken and the rice. Also used green curry paste. Wow! Delightful!!! A MAJOR hit with the family. Side note, I hated spinach as a child. No one here had access to fresh spinach. Everything was frozen or canned. Now, well, I can’t seem to get enough. I especially prefer the triple washed baby spinach. Salads, lightly sauteed, just perfect! I’m with you on the brussel sprouts. Whereas I love cabbage and all things green, I hate these bitter little schmucks.

    • Thanks Julie, I’m so glad! What green curry paste did you use? Homemade, store-bought?

      • Julie Czosek

        I’m sorry however I don’t know the brand. It is a little wing pack that came with a “Blue Apron” meal delivery. It’s lovely. Also, you’ve turned me into a lover of all things “coconut”.

  • Annabel Smyth

    Have just made this with morue, and my husband has not stopped saying “This is gorgeous!” with every mouthful!

    • Oh I’m so glad Annabel, thanks for reporting back!

      • Annabel Smyth

        It’s now – usually made with fish, but occasionally with chicken – a staple on the weekly menu; we had it last night. Fish is easiest as I don’t have to think about it in advance – I keep fillets of white fish in the freezer and they thaw in about 10 minutes, so I don’t have to either see to it that I have fresh chicken or remember to take frozen chicken pieces out of the freezer!

        • I’m so pleased to hear that, Annabel. I do like it with fish as well.

  • MeCooks

    That looks incredible. I would have it with rice I guess.

  • Nathalie d’Abbadie

    Hi Clotilde, I have made this many times to great results! Thanks for another great recipe! I am thinking of buying a Revol Dutch oven (I’m pretty sure it’s the same one you have but with a blue lid, aka this one: http://www.revol1768.com/fr/cocottes/1028-cocotte-ronde-26cm-en-ceramique-revolution-2-induction-34l.html#/1282-taille_retail_france-h_14_5_x_o_26_cm_340_cl/993-couleur-bleu_touareg) and I would like your opinion on something. I am wondering if the height of 14,5cm includes the lid and handle? I would REALLY appreciate your feedback on this as my oven is quite small and a few extra cm would be a real problem. Also, would you happen to know where to find Revol Dutch ovens in shops in Paris? I keep on coming up short at Fnac or Darty and the Revol website you linked to doesn’t seem to provide online shopping… Mille mercis !

    • Yes! It includes the lid and handle on mine. And you can get the cocottes online!

      • Nathalie d’Abbadie

        I’ve bought a cocotte (finally) and I LOVE it. It’s so pretty and versatile! Thank you for recommending them :)

        • So pleased to hear it Nathalie! What color did you get?

          • Nathalie d’Abbadie

            I got one with a royal blue lid! It fits perfectly in my small oven, is easy to clean and it is a real pleasure to cook with. I’ve been making soup every 3 days since I bought it! I’m really pleased with it. Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions :)

          • My absolute pleasure.

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