I realize that I'm going out on a limb here messing with tradition, but just in case anyone is looking for an alternative to turkey this holiday season (or any other time of year), this Thai inspired chicken may be worth considering.
It feels a bit odd talking about the holidays when it's sunny and 17 degrees in the nation's capital (that's 63 F for my American friends). Yay November.
This a fragrant and delicious meal that is, conveniently enough, fantastically easy to put together.
Whole chicken is also one of the most economical meals you can make and, if you prepare it on a Sunday, you will have some delicious leftovers for work or school the next day.
Roasted Coconut Curry Chicken with Ginger Lime and Cilantro
· 1 whole chicken
· 1 yellow onion, peeled and chopped
· 2 cups coconut milk
· 3 tsp curry powder
· 2 Tbsp brown sugar
· 1 cup cilantro, chopped
· 1 heaping Tbsp fresh grated ginger
· 2 Tbsp lime juice
· Sea Salt
· Cracked pepper
I recommend roasting your bird on a rack set inside your roasting pan to get it up and away from the juices on the bottom - this will allow the bird to brown along the sides.
Weight of Bird Time
3 ½ - 4 lbs 1 ½ - 1 ¾ hrs
4 ½ - 5 lbs 1 ½ - 2 hrs
5 – 6 lbs 1 ¾ - 2 ½ hrs
Heat oven to 450 F
There's plenty of wholesome fat in coconut milk so I don't rub the exterior of the bird with butter.
Combine: coconut milk, curry powder, 1 Tbsp brown sugar, 1/2 cup chopped cilantro, ginger and lime juice in a bowl, whisking to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Reserve 1 cup of marinade in a separate dish and place in fridge.
Pour 3/4 of the remaining marinade mixture ('active' marinade) over chicken and place in oven for 20 minutes.
Remove chicken from oven, reduce heat to 375 F and, using a brush, glaze chicken with remaining 1/4 cup of the active marinade and return to oven.
Allow chicken to roast in accordance with size/time guidelines set out above. Check on chicken periodically to ensure that it is not drying out. You can spoon juices that accumulate at the bottom of the pan over chicken or use some of the reserved marinade from fridge. If you find that the skin is getting too dark or crisp, loosely tent foil over the chicken.
In the last 20 minutes of roasting, remove chicken from oven and sprinkle skin with 1 Tbsp or so of brown sugar. Return chicken to oven for remaining time.
Allow chicken to settle for 10 to 15 minutes out of oven before carving. Serve with remaining fresh cilantro and warmed reserved marinade as desired.