Chicken in Coconut Milk

My husband loves a good roast chicken. He’s always impressed and into cooking a whole chicken. And I’ll admit that it certainly does look impressive. Especially if you cut it open and it’s not raw and not tufting muscle, because it’s so dry. That perfect, medium-well doneness in a chicken is an art, and probably one that more people should practice.

As a helping hand in the journey toward perfectly cooked chicken, here’s a little tip: cook chicken in liquid. Works wonders!

Coconut milk, especially, with its fat content, helps out a chicken. I loved this recipe, and the addition of the cinnamon stick was pure GENIUS. Made our house smell like fall in Thailand, and I’m cool with that.

In fact, all of the flavors going on here are delicious: ginger, lemon, garlic, coconut, cinnamon, cilantro…the dish is beautiful and smells so, so good, and tastes wonderful.

Super easy! Make it!

serves 4

One 3-3.5 pound whole chicken
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 pound fingerling potatoes
2 cans (13 – 15oz) regular or light coconut milk
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
10 whole garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
Zest of 2 lemons
2 tablespoons chopped lemon grass stems
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 cinnamon stick

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper at a rate of about 1 tablespoon salt per pound and 1 tablespoon pepper per three pounds. Heat the butter and sesame oil in a pot that will fit the chicken snugly, like a Dutch oven, and set the chicken in the hot oil. Cook, turning the chicken to get an even golden color on all sides, about 5 minutes total.

Remove from the heat, put the chicken on a plate, and dispose of the fat left in the pot. Return the chicken to the pot with the rest of the ingredients, and cook in the preheated oven, basting with the cooking juices every 20 minutes, for 1 – 1.5 hours. It is done when the meat pulls away from the bone without much effort and the potatoes are tender when pricked with the end of a paring knife.

To serve, pull the meat off the bones and divide with potatoes between plates or serve on a platter. Spoon over a hefty helping of the milky sauce. Mind the cinnamon stick.


P.S. – I have no idea where I got this recipe.


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