satay-spackled roast chicken

Tonight’s meal is decidedly anti-Irish. Nothing against St. Patrick’s day, but I really felt like something savoury and spicy. Behold: the satay-spackled roast chicken! (Inspired by a recipe in Solomon’s The Complete Asian Cookbook, 1976.)

  • one 1½ kg chicken, washed and dried, dressed
  • one medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • one garlic clove, coarsely chopped
  • 2 chili peppers (your choice of heat levels)
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp sunflower or canola oil
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp whole fenugreek
  • ½ tsp finely grated lemon rind (fresh or dried)
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Combine onion, garlic, chili peppers and 2 tbsp coconut milk in blender; puree. Grind all whole spices in a spice mill or mortar and pestle. Heat oil in heavy skillet. When hot, add onions and spices, mixing rapidly and frequently. Remove from heat when puree pulls away from the pan.

Use spatula and puree to spackle the chicken. Place breast up in a baking pan, filled with the rest of the coconut milk. Place pan in a 350°F oven for 20 minutes. Turn chicken over, basting with the milk. Return to oven for an additional 60 minutes, basting every 15-20 minutes wiht the coconut milk. For the last 20 minutes, increase temperature to 400°F, turn chicken over again, and brown the breast meat. Remove when done (a meat thermometer helps).

(It was so good, I couldn’t help but start eating before taking a photograph…)

Serve with basmati rice and an arugula-and-tomato salad.