Coconut-Lime Chicken Thigh

If you haven’t had something with coconut and lime this summer, then you haven’t had a real summer. Coconut and lime are a classic summer combination and I love them. The tangy, bright and refreshing taste of lime with the smooth, slightly sweet coconut and just a touch of spice (implied), it makes everything nice! Shrimp, chicken, drinks, veggies—I could do a lot with coconut and lime. Perhaps I should do a series…?

The coconut’s origins are debated by botanists and food historians, but in my personal history meals involving coconut and lime were a rare and special treat with no particular regional history. Whether the recipe was inspired by Hawaiian, Thai or Caribbean flavors, I loved it and savored every bite. And the coconut and lime pairings have ranked among my favorites: coconut-lime shrimp skewers, coconut-lime granita, curry over coconut-lime rice, etc.

In the case of chicken, many restaurants will batter-and-fry but I would rather shake-and-bake. Today’s recipe is fairly simple; and, although you’ll see that I chose to dredge, if you’re making this with kids around, grab a plastic bag and let them help you shake it! Kids will not only love the shaking nonsense; they’ll also be more interested and excited to eat a dinner that they helped to make.

Are you excited for a sweet, savory, bright and beachy summer chicken dish with a slight kick? Here we go!

6 chicken thighs
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp honey
1/2 C freshly squeezed lime juice (about 2-3 limes if you use a citrus juicer)
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 C shredded, unsweetened coconut
1/8 – 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (depending on your tolerance for heat)


marinading chicken thighs

Season your chicken thighs lightly on both sides with salt and pepper; then place them in a dish or bag to marinate in a blend of olive oil, lime juice, and honey.  Marinate for at least 20 minutes.

coating for thighs

Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 400° F and mix the coconut and cayenne pepper in a shallow bowl or on a plate.

chicken thighs ready to bake

Dredge the chicken in the coconut mixture (or simply shake it like crazy).  Place on a rack in a baking pan.  Pour the marinade that remains into the bottom of the pan.

baked chicken thighs

Bake for 20 minutes.

Then, cover lightly with tin foil, reduce the heat to down to 375° F and bake for another 15 minutes, or until the chicken reaches a temperature of 160° F.

Allow the chicken to rest for 10 minutes.

chicken lime coconut thigh

Garnish with a lime wedge and serve.

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  1. Made this last night and we really enjoyed it! I added some ginger and garlic to the lime and honey mixture for some added flavour.

    Did you toast your shredded coconut in advance? It has a nice toasted colour in your photo above. Not all of the coconut on my chicken got crunchy through the cooking process (and I cooked if for longer than you noted above), so I am wondering if toasting the coconut in advance would help with this.


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