Simply amazing. One of the tastiest, oven roasted chicken dishes ever. The bird slowly roasts in a coconut milk bath, flavored with lemon grass, garlic and ginger. The result is a moist and incredibly flavorful dish, with a wickedly good, slightly spicy sauce you will want to eat with a spoon. Make sure you will butterfly your chicken to maximize the amount of meat submerged in the sauce. Slow roasting is the key here as a higher temperature may burn the coating. Make this today. It’s finger licking good.
Ingredients for the sauce.
- 2 lemongrass stalks, roughly chopped (soft parts only)
- 1 large, red onion, roughly chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 cup fresh coriander (stalks and leaves), roughly chopped
- A fat 5cm piece ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
- 3 red chilies, deseeded
- 1 lemon, zest and juice
- 3 Tbs desiccated coconut
- 1/3 cup roasted peanuts, preferably unsalted
- 3 dried kaffir lime leaves (optional)
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 x 400 ml can coconut milk
For the Chicken
- 1 whole chicken, butterflied
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Put all ingredients for the sauce except the coconut milk, in a bowl of a blender or food processor. Blend until everything is ground to a paste. Add the coconut milk and blend until mixed.
Butterfly the chicken by cutting all the way through, from the tail to the neck. Press down with your hands to flatten is as much as possible. You might need to cut the breastbone slightly in order to flatten it more. Season both sides liberally with salt and pepper.
Take an oven pan that just fits the chicken. The smaller the pan, the more sauce with cover the chicken. Pour half of the sauce in the pan to cover the base. Place chicken skin side up on top of the sauce. With a sharp knife make slashes on the chicken, 2 or 3 on each leg and 3 on each breast. Slashes should be deeper on the breast. Pour the remaining sauce over the chicken opening the slashes with your hands or a spoon to help the sauce fill the holes. With a spoon baste the chicken until it is all moistened with the sauce. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to marinade for at least 1 hour, better from the night before.
Preheat oven to 160 C. Make sure chicken is at room temperature. Remove and discard plastic wrap from the pan. Place pan in the preheated oven. Roast for one hour. Take pan out of the oven and baste chicken with the pan juices. Roast for another hour and 10 to 20 minutes, depending on the size of your chicken. If the skin is roasting too fast, cover chicken loosely with foil.
Let chicken stand 10 -15 minutes before cutting. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves. Serve with the pan sauce and rice to soak up the juices.
Note: If you can stand the heat, add a little chilli powder (about ½ tsp) to the sauce. It’s divine!