Lime & coconut chicken with smoked paprika, a spicy favourite

Lime & coconut chicken with smoked paprika, a spicy favourite
Tony Jackman’s lime & coconut chicken with smoked paprika. (Photo: Tony Jackman)

Even an easy weeknight supper can be given a significant lift with the addition of some inspiring ingredients. While Food Editor Tony Jackman is on leave for a week, he thought you might like to try one of his favourite chicken recipes.

It strikes me that there’s a touch of West Africa or the Caribbean in this recipe, though it is just something I concocted in my kitchen the other evening. Bright colours and brighter flavours, coconut and lime, and a spike of heat too, though the heat comes from the smoked paprika rather than chillies themselves. So that gives it a touch of Spain too.

Smoked paprika is a superb ingredient, unmistakable in any dish it graces, and the Cape Herb & Spice smoked paprika product I used was of a much higher quality than I had expected of a local version of this Spanish speciality spice. It’s not always necessary to buy the import.

A can of coconut cream always goes a long way, and somehow melds all of the spices and other flavourings in its ambit. And lime, well, that’s the sweetest citrus hit of them all.

(Serves 4)


2 Tbsp coconut oil

1 medium white onion, finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

8 chicken thighs and drumsticks

1 x 400 g can chopped tomatoes

1 Tbsp light brown sugar

2 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp ground galangal or ginger

2 tsp sea salt

¼ tsp black pepper

3 bishops hat chillies, deseeded and chopped (or other red chillies)

1 x 400 g can coconut cream

Juice of 2 limes and 1 more to squeeze on when serving

Coriander leaves, chopped, for garnish

Cooked rice, for serving


Melt the coconut oil and gently fry the onion and garlic in it until softened. Add the chicken pieces and fry, turning, till browned a little.

Add the can of chopped tomatoes and sugar, all the spices and the chillies, and bring to a simmer.

Add the coconut cream, season with salt and pepper, and return to a simmer. Let it cook at a moderate bubble for about half an hour for the chicken to cook right through.

When the chicken is cooked through, squeeze the lime juice in, stir, and serve with plain rice, garnished with coriander. DM

Tony Jackman is Galliova Food Writer 2023, jointly with TGIFood columnist Anna Trapido. Order his book, foodSTUFF, here

Follow Tony Jackman on Instagram @tony_jackman_cooks.

This dish is photographed on a plate by Mervyn Gers Ceramics.


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • shannon Maxwell says:

    This recipe looks like an all round winner. Definitely going to try that this week and it looks like a repeat recipe for sure.

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

A South African Hero: You

There’s a 99.7% chance that this isn’t for you. Only 0.3% of our readers have responded to this call for action.

Those 0.3% of our readers are our hidden heroes, who are fuelling our work and impacting the lives of every South African in doing so. They’re the people who contribute to keep Daily Maverick free for all, including you.

The equation is quite simple: the more members we have, the more reporting and investigations we can do, and the greater the impact on the country.

Be part of that 0.3%. Be a Maverick. Be a Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options