I like to start with an initial burst of heat, followed by a more moderate temperature. This allows the skin of the chicken to crisp up nicely and lends a delicious roasted flavour.
Oven temperatures and birds will vary but here are some general guidelines to cooking times by weight of bird.
Chicken Roasting Times:
Weight of Bird Time
2 ½ – 3 lbs 1 – 1 ¾ hrs
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
There’s plenty of wholesome fat in coconut milk so I don’t rub the exterior of the bird with butter.
Place chopped onion in the cavity of the chicken and set it onto the cooking rack set inside roasting pan.
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.
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.
Meanwhile, heat reserved marinade from fridge in a small pot on stove. This will be used to spoon over chicken (particularly nice for the white meat which tends to be dryer) or on the side of chicken, as desired, when serving.
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.