Portion/Yield:Serves 4 as a main course
Cooking chicken on the bone helps to keep the delicate flesh moist and gives it that extra injection of flavour. With this recipe, the coconut, lime and coriander marinade also works its magic on the chicken.
I have roasted the chicken in the oven, but this recipe is also ideal for cooking on the barbecue. If you decide to barbecue, I would definitely recommend that you part-cook the chicken in the oven first for at least 30 minutes, to ensure that the skin does not burn and that you are not left with raw meat on the bones.
This is a perfect holiday recipe for me and it reminds me of relaxing, lazy days in the warm sunshine!
Ingredients & Method
For the half roast chicken
- 1 organic or free-range chicken (1.6–1.8kg)
- a large bunch of fresh mixed garden herbs (such as tarragon, parsley, lemon thyme, coriander, chervil and mint), roughly chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 20g desiccated coconut
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
- finely grated zest and juice of 2 limes
- ½ teaspoon madras curry powder
- 2 tablespoons clear honey
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce (nam pla)
- 1 tablespoon flaked almonds
- sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
For the sauce
- 2 tablespoons coconut cream
- 150g natural yogurt
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mixed garden herbs (such as tarragon, parsley, lemon thyme, coriander, chervil and mint)
- finely grated zest and juice of 1 lime
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
First, prepare the chicken. Wash the chicken and pat dry with kitchen paper. Cut the chicken in half through the breastbone. Flatten the two halves and remove the wing tips, then slash the thigh and legs with a sharp knife about 3 or 4 times. This will allow the meat to cook all the way through and let the marinade penetrate the flesh.
Mix all the remaining ingredients for the chicken together in a bowl (it doesn’t matter if the almonds get crushed), seasoning the marinade mixture lightly with salt and pepper. Spread the marinade all over the chicken, rubbing it in well using your hands. Place the chicken in a dish and leave to marinate in the fridge for 1 hour before cooking.
Preheat the oven to 160°C/Gas Mark 3. Place the 2 marinated chicken halves on a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper. Roast the chicken in the oven for about 1 hour 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked throughout and the skin is crispy and golden brown (slow cooking will ensure moist chicken and a delicious, crispy skin).
While the chicken is roasting, prepare the sauce. Mix all the sauce ingredients together in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Cover and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes before serving.
Once the chicken is ready, remove it from the oven, cover with foil and leave to rest in a warm place for about 10 minutes before serving.
To serve, slice the chicken, then arrange it on serving plates and serve with a salad of your choice and the chilled sauce.
To cook the chicken over a barbecue, preheat the barbecue to medium-hot. Place the marinated chicken halves in a roasting tray, add 100ml cold water, cover with foil and then cook over medium-hot coals for 1 hour, turning the chicken a couple of times. Remove the foil, then continue to barbecue the chicken in the roasting tray for a further 15–20 minutes (to brown and crisp the skin), until the chicken is cooked all the way through. Rest as above before serving.