One of the additions that I made to my spice rack in preparation for my first attempt at doing coconut curry chicken was turmeric. It’s not really a spice that I use in much else of my cooking, so when I came across this recipe for turmeric chicken paired with asparagus, it gave me the idea to tweak it to fit in broccoli and cauliflower as the main vegetables instead.

Earthy, sweet, savory, and slightly spicy, this rendition of chicken and vegetables goes best over a bed of rice, which can soak up the sauce and all that extra flavor.


Turmeric Chicken with Black Pepper Honey Sauce
Makes 4 servings

4-1/2 tbsp honey
1-1/4 tsp black pepper
2-1/4 tsp salt
3/8 cup water
4 tbsp all-purpose flour
2-1/4 tsp turmeric
1-1/2 lbs. boneless chicken thighs, cut to 1-inch pieces
2 cups broccoli, cut into bite-sized chunks
1-1/2 cups cauliflower, cut into bite-sized chunks
1-1/2 tbsp coconut oil (or other high-heat oil)
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
~ 3 tbsp chopped scallions, for garnish

Special Kitchen Items:
4 qt. skillet, with lid

Prep Work:

  • In a small bowl, stir together your honey, black pepper, salt, and water until well combined, with the honey and salt dissolving into the liquid. Set mixture aside.
  • In a large container that would be able to accommodate all of your chicken thigh pieces, combine your flour and your turmeric. Set that aside next to the chicken, as we’ll toss that right before we’re ready to cook it on the stove top. (I learned the hard way that tossing the chicken too early would result in the pieces all sticking to each other.)


  • Heat up your 4 qt. skillet on medium heat with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the pan. Once it’s at temperature, add in your broccoli and cauliflower.
  • Give the vegetables a stir before adding in the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil along with a light seasoning of salt and pepper. Mix that all up to make sure the oil and seasonings are well distributed.
  • Cook the vegetables for approximately 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds or so. After that time period has passed, put the lid onto the pan to let the vegetables “steam” for 1 minute, giving the pan a shake around the 30 second mark. Remove the lid and continue cooking for an additional 1 minute before transferring the vegetables into a bowl.

  • Set your skillet over to an unheated burner for a moment while we toss the chicken thighs in the flour mixture.
  • Once you feel like you’ve been able to get all the chicken pieces nicely coated with the turmeric and flour, return your skillet to the burner on medium heat. Throw in your coconut oil and wait for that to get up to temperature.
  • Add in your coated chicken pieces and distribute them around the skillet. Some of the chicken still might be stuck together, so do your best to separate them all out.
  • Continue cooking your chicken on medium heat until the chicken is golden brown on both sides. It took me approximately 5 – 6 minutes to get to that point, while doing my best to stir the chicken around every minute to turn the pieces over to cook the other side.
  • Add your broccoli and cauliflower back into the skillet, with a few stirs to combine the ingredients. While still on medium heat, pour in your honey mixture.
  • While periodically stirring, cook everything until the sauce itself has reduced and thickened, which takes approximately 2 – 3 minutes.
  • Once the sauce has reduced, the cooking is finished. Take the skillet off the heat and stir in your soy sauce to punch in some umami flavor. Also add in your chopped scallions to the mix as well. If you’re interested in adding in a bit of heat, here’s where you can incorporate your red pepper flakes as well.


  • I’ve found this chicken works best served over rice, which helps to soak up all of that honey sauce that also has that turmeric flavor imparted into it.

I set out initially to try this recipe since I was trying to find more ways to use up my spice bottle of turmeric, but the final result ended up being a really pleasant surprise. The earthy flavors from the turmeric are balanced out with the sweet and savory flavors from the sauce, and the black pepper and red pepper flakes combine to give each bite a lingering spice. You can portion it out for four, but honestly, it was so good that after two full bowls I had to restrain myself just to keep some leftovers.

Categories: Recipes

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