Citrusy Coconut Roast Chicken with Sambal Oelek


Absolutely wonderful, this exceeded my expectations immensely.

I was fascinated by the sound of this at first glance because of the insane amount of fusion presented in one meal.  The overall feel of the dish is Thai,  (coconut milk, lemongrass, coriander, star anise) but an equal amount of flavour originates from the Breyani spices which is essentially Persian (with the allspice, cloves and cinnamon coming through subtly),  then to kick this all up a gear, along comes the Sambal Oelek which is the gorgeously deep red Indonesian hot stuff.  And then there are the fresh citrus notes from the lemon roasting into the sauce, which we all know just works with chicken.  I happened to have Sambal Oelek in my pantry already, so I did not make that myself.  I also substituted the lemon leaf for a Thai Lime leaf (as I didn’t feel like stealing leaves from my neighbours lemon tree).

All these adventurous flavours just work together perfectly!

Source : Woolworths Taste Magazine – June 2015

Effort : Remarkably low-  you really do just pop it all in the oven and let it work for you, basting a little here and there.

Time : 1.5 hours

Appearance : 9/10 – SO unlike anything I have ever made before

Taste : 10/10 (you have to have an adventurous palate)

1 free range, whole chicken

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 crushed cardomom pods

2T Woolworths Breyani mix (they were out of stock at the time of making this, so I used a general breyani mix.

2 cans of coconut milk (400ml cans)

1 lemongrass stalk, bruised

1 stick cinnamon

3 allspice berries

2 cloves

1 x 3cm piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped

1 lemon leaf

2 whole star anise

1 lemon, quartered

30g coriander, chopped

For the samba oelek:

3 red chillies, roughly chopped

3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

1 lemon, juiced

1T treacle sugar

2T fish sauce

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.  Pat the chicken dry using kitchen paper and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.  Place in the roasting pan with all the other ingredients for the chicken except the coriander.  Roast, uncovered for 60-90 minutes, or until golden and cooked through, basting every 20 minutes.  Garnish with the coriander and serve with the sambal oelek.  To make the oelek, pound the chilli and garlic into a paste using a mortar and pestle, then add the lemon juice, sugar and fish sauce and pound again to incorporate.