SATAY ROAST CHICKEN
As a ceaselessly fussy child, there were two things I did particularly enjoy, Chicken and Peanut Butter. The latter especially.
Unsurprisingly, Satay Chicken was a particular favourite of mine in my formative years. Whilst my horizons have broadened and my tastebuds with them, I still hold a particular soft spot for this delicious South East Asian street food.
In a twist to this lovely dish, we have taken a very traditional recipe – a wonderful aromatic marinade for the chicken coupled with my beloved peanut sauce, and applied in a slightly different format – a Roast Chicken.
The Chicken, which we’ve spatchcocked and halved, is golden, aromatic and intensely flavourful whilst the satay sauce makes for a rich and unctuous alternative to gravy. Served with a quick-pickled salad, this makes for a stunning, summery twist to your Sunday Roast.
1 Medium Sized Chicken, about 1.5kg
200ml Coconut Milk,
1 Garlic Clove,
1 Stick of Lemon Grass,
1tsp. Galangal, minced, or substituted with ginger
1 tbsp. Fish Sauce,
Juice of 1 Large Lime,
2 tsp. Brown Sugar,
1 tsp. Ground Cumin,
1 tsp. Ground Coriander,
1 tsp. Ground Turmeric,
½ tsp. Ground Cinnamon,
½ tsp. Ground Cloves,
Generous Pinch of Salt & Pepper
3 tbsp. Crunchy Peanut Butter,
2–4 Thai Chillies, depending on size and spice preference
2 Garlic Cloves,
½ tsp Palm Sugar, or brown sugar
1 tbsp. Fish Sauce,
1 tbsp. Tamarind Paste,
Juice of ½ a Lime,
Pinch of Salt
Coriander, a few leaves
- To make the Marinade, add all the ingredients into a blender or food processor and blitz until a smooth marinade is achieved. Refrigerate until needed.
TIP – if using a food processor, I find it’s far easier to do this in two stages – add all the dry ingredients first, blitzing to achieve a paste, and then adding in the liquid gradually as the blade runs to create a smooth marinade.
PREPARING THE CHICKEN
- First things first, you need to Spatchcock your Chicken. You can ask your Butcher to do this for you or if you’re feeling brave you can do this yourself – Don’t worry, it’s very simple. Take your chicken and sit it breast side down so the underside is face-up toward you. Take a sharp, strong pair of scissors and cut down either side of the spine. Return the chicken so that the breasts now face up toward you. You should now be able to easily flatten the chicken out so that the legs sit flat in line with the breasts and the ‘knees’ of the chicken nearly touch.
TIP – For an easy to follow and visual guide to Spatchcocking see this VIDEO for reference.
- Once the chicken is spatchcocked, I usually divide it in half – It’s easier to marinade and generally makes for easier presentation and portioning. It is absolutely not necessary however, and you can leave it whole if desired. If dividing in two, simply take a large knife and slice down firmly between the two chicken breasts.
- Place the chicken into a bowl or zip-lock bag and add the marinade, ensuring the chicken is entirely covered in the marinade.
TIP – Re-sealable zip-lock bags work extremely well for this and will allow the chicken to be more easily manipulated and coated in the marinade.
- Leave to marinade for at least 1 hour, but ideally leave over-night.
THE SATAY SAUCE
TIP – This sauce can be easily made in the last 15 minutes of the chicken cooking.
- Place the shallot, thai chillies, garlic and tamarind paste into a blender or food processor and blitz until a smooth paste is achieved.
- Place a sauce pan over a high heat and add the coconut milk into the pan and bring to a rolling simmer. Once the coconut milk has reduced by about a third, add the paste and palm sugar into the pan and allow to bloom and permeate into the coconut milk for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Once reduced by half, add the peanut butter and fish sauce and reduce the heat to a medium. Stir together until homogenous and cook for a further 2-3 minutes until the consistency of custard.
- Add the lime juice and season to taste, serve warm.
ROASTING THE CHICKEN
- Remove the chicken from the fridge about 30 minutes before you wish to start roasting it.
- Preheat the oven to 220Cº or it’s highest setting.
- Arrange the chicken onto a roasting rack or roasting dish if you do not have a wire rack. Place the chicken into the oven and then immediately reduce the heat of the oven to 160Cº.
- Roast the chicken for 1 ½ hours or until the skin has become golden and crisp and the internal temperature has reached 75Cº in the thickest part of the breast. Allow the chicken to rest for at least 15 minutes before serving.
TIP – Do not forgo the resting period! Resting your chicken allows the meat to relax and will ensure the chicken retains much of its moisture once you start carving.
- Serve the roast chicken with the warm satay sauce and a quick-pickled salad.