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Close up of Polynesian Chicken Lap Lap Skillet

Polynesian Chicken Lap Lap Skillet Recipe

This spicy chicken skillet recipe is easy to make and delivers an exciting main dish to your dinner table!
Course Main Course
Cuisine South Pacific
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 Serves 4 with large portions of rice; makes 1 cup sauce
Calories 825kcal
Author Toni Dash


Ingredients for the Chicken and marinade:

  • Juice of 1 Lime
  • 1 tablespoons plus 2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons Curry Powder
  • ¼ teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (approximately 2 pounds; uniform in size)
  • Kosher Salt and Black Pepper to taste

Ingredients for the Rice:

  • 1 teaspoon Vegetable Oil
  • ½ medium Yellow Onion , peeled and chopped
  • 1 ½ cups Long Grain Basmati Rice
  • 2 cups roughly chopped fresh Baby Spinach
  • 1 cup Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 1 13.66- ounce can Unsweetened Coconut Milk
  • 1 14.5- ounce can Petite Diced Tomatoes , drained
  • 1 cup grated Sweet Potato
  • ¾ teaspoon Kosher Salt

Ingredients for the Sauce:

  • 1 teaspoon Coconut Oil
  • 1 Thai Bird Chile
  • 1 Lime Leaf (optional); usually available in the herb section of the grocery store or at Asian grocery markets (Kaffir Lime leaves)
  • 5 cloves Garlic , peeled and diced
  • 2 tablespoons peeled and diced Ginger root
  • 2 tablespoons Gluten-free or All Purpose Flour
  • 1 13.66- ounce Unsweetened Coconut Milk
  • 3 Scallions , sliced white and green portions


Marinating the chicken:

  • In a large mixing bowl combine lime juice, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, turmeric, curry powder and crushed red pepper flakes for the marinade; stir to fully mix together. Rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Lightly salt and pepper. Place chicken in the marinate and turn over to coat fully. Note: turmeric will stain so use a fork or wash hands immediately. Short cut: place all ingredients in a gallon plastic zipper bag, squeeze as much air as possible out of the bag and seal it. Massage the marinade into the chicken from the outside of the bag (leaves hands clean!)
  • In a large, heavy, deep skillet or Dutch oven, heat the 2 tablespoons vegetable oil over medium-high heat. When the surface of the oil is rippling remove the chicken from the marinade and add to the skillet. Cook for 4 minutes; flip over and cook an additional 4 minutes. Remove the chicken from the skillet and place it on a plate, cover with foil to keep warm.

Cooking the Rice:

  • Add the 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil to the skillet. Add the onion to the hot skillet and sauté for 1-2 minutes until the onion starts to become translucent. Add the rice and stir to coat.
  • Add the spinach to the skillet and stir for 1-2 minute to mix in with the rice and allow it to begin to wilt.
  • Pour in the chicken broth (be careful of splattering) and deglaze the pan, stirring quickly with a heatproof spatula to scrap up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
  • Add the coconut milk, tomatoes, sweet potato and salt; allow to come to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, place lid on skillet and cook for 15 minutes.
  • After 15 minutes, place the chicken back into the skillet on top of the rice. Replace the lid and cook a final 10 minutes.

Making the Sauce:

  • While the chicken and rice are completing the final 10 minutes of cooking, make the sauce in a medium sauce pan. Over medium-heat melt the coconut oil (or heat it if it is already liquefied).
  • Add the bird chile, lime leaf, garlic and ginger to the hot oil and sauté to blend together. Pour in the coconut milk, and whisk in the flour to mix thoroughly. Stir in the scallions.
  • Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the sauce begins to thicken (2-3 minutes). Turn heat to low just to keep the sauce warm until the chicken and rice are done cooking. Remove the bird chile and lime leaf and serve warm.

Serving the recipe:

  • Place a serving of rice on an individual plate with a chicken breast on top, and a serving of sauce on top of the chicken. Garnish with fresh tomato wedges, lime wedges and slices Thai basil sprinkled on top.


Adapted from RealPasifik.com


Calories: 825kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 59g | Saturated Fat: 49g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 809mg | Potassium: 1540mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 6415IU | Vitamin C: 28.1mg | Calcium: 125mg | Iron: 6.6mg