Chicken with Coconut Milk and Achiote


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


Appears in

Slow Cook Modern

Slow Cook Modern

By Liana Krissoff

Published 2017

  • About

Stewed chicken with achiote, a spice that is used more for color than anything else (it’s what gives cheddar cheese its orange tint), is a staple of Central and South American home cooking. Most versions I’ve seen do feature coconut milk, but you could try it with a cup (240 ml) or so of chicken stock instead.


  • 1 (13.5-ounce/400-ml) can coconut milk
  • 1 cup (125 g) chopped sweet peppers
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground achiote (annatto)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
  • 2 teaspoons adobo seasoning, such as Goya (see Note)
  • 2 pounds (910 g) well-trimmed boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 cups (370 g) long-grain white rice
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro



In the slow cooker, combine the coconut milk, sweet peppers, shallot, achiote, cumin, chile powder, and adobo, then add the chicken and turn to coat it with the coconut milk mixture. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.


Put the rice in a sieve and rinse very well under running water. Dump into a 2-quart (2-L) saucepan and add 2¼ cups (540 ml) water and a good pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, stir once to unstick any grains from the bottom of the pan, then cover and cook over the lowest heat for 14 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed and the rice is tender. Let stand, covered, for 3 minutes, then fluff with a fork or spatula.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a bowl. With an immersion blender, puree the sauce in the cooker. Season with more salt, if needed, and stir in the cilantro. Return the chicken to the sauce and serve with the rice.