Chicken with Tart Pineapple, Coconut, and Cashews


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


Appears in

Slow Cook Modern

Slow Cook Modern

By Liana Krissoff

Published 2017

  • About

A few months ago, in a Malaysian cookbook I read about a curry-like dish with sour carambola (starfruit) as the base, and ever since then my local (and even nonlocal) grocery stores have declined to restock the starfruit area of the “exotic” produce section—I’ve yet to try it. I was taken by the idea of using a tart fruit in a savory dish, though, so I came up with this one in which chicken is cooked in a puree of fresh pineapple, aromatics, and thickening ingredients like dried coconut and cashews.


  • 1 stalk lemongrass, tops and tough outer leaves removed, chopped
  • 5 coins peeled fresh ginger, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 6 tablespoons (30 g) grated unsweetened coconut
  • ½ cup (65 g) roasted unsalted cashews
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt
  • ¼ pineapple, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • ½ (13.5-ounce/400-ml) can coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar, or more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind concentrate, such as Tamicon brand, or more to taste
  • 3 to 4 pounds (1.4 to 1.8 kg) well-trimmed skinless chicken thighs, with or without the bones



In a good blender or a food processor, combine the lemongrass, ginger, garlic, 3 tablespoons of the coconut, the cashews, paprika, coriander, cumin, and 2 teaspoons salt and blend until finely ground, scraping down the side of the bowl as needed. Add the pineapple, coconut milk, brown sugar, and tamarind and blend until smooth. Pour into the slow cooker, add the chicken, and turn to coat. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

Morning or Evening

In a small saucepan, toast the remaining 3 tablespoons coconut over medium heat, stirring constantly, until golden and fragrant, about 3 minutes, then scrape into a small bowl and set aside.


Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a bowl (pull out and discard the bones, if you’d like). With an immersion blender, puree the sauce in the cooker until very smooth. Season with more brown sugar or tamarind, if needed (it should be more tart than sweet), return the chicken to the cooker, and serve, sprinkled with the toasted coconut.