I’m not going to bore you with the benefits of coconut milk over cow’s milk. The reason you are here is because you were planning to use coconut in your cooking. So let me take you straight to a wonderful baked chicken recipe that is a sure win.
Follow this simple recipe and you are going to be serving an extremely decadent and moist chicken.
I know, roasting and baking a whole chicken has the risk of running dry. I’ve been there, many times and it sucks when that happens because there isn’t much you can do to rectify it. Except maybe chop up the whole chicken and use it for sandwiches, for the whole effing week or up to the point your kids start screaming “Mom, STOP!”
Coconut milk baked chicken.
250ml can of coconut milk. I used fresh coconut milk. Yea that’s me rubbing it in your face!
Whole chicken, cleaned and patted dry
2 tablespoon fresh pounded turmeric paste (or a teaspoon of powder turmeric)
4 crushed garlic cloves
2 lemongrass stalks (cut large chunks, whack it and use only the whiter part of the stalk)
2 lemon juice and rind/zest/peel (whichever makes sense to you)
A large piece of cinnamon stick and 2 star anise
salt to season
Make sure you had your chicken in room temperature for about 30 minutes. Give it a good massage and rub with salt and turmeric paste. Don’t forget to reach every part of the chicken; the thighs, underneath the wings and even rub some inside the chicken.
Transfer the relaxed chicken into an oven proof deep dish. I used my trustee old cast iron. Mix to combine lemon juice, rind and coconut milk. Pour this over the chicken. Throw in the rest of the ingredients. Bake in a preheated oven, 175’C, for about an hour or 200’C for 40 minutes if you are in a hurry.
Half way through, baste the chicken with the milk and don’t worry if the milk starts to curdle up. Just give it a a stir. If you notice the milk drying up, you will need to top it up with either some chicken stock (the best option) or water. This will ensure you don’t end up with a dried up chicken. To see the progress, check out a video I shared on my Instagram account and Facebook page.
The last 5 minutes when your chicken is almost done, crank up your oven temperature to 225 (or 250 if you dare. No please. Don’t do that) and set it to grill mode and let it burn the chicken a little. Please only do this if you still have liquid gold (coconut milk & turmeric mixed together) left in your pot.
Don’t pour away the leftover milk. It makes a good sauce for spaghetti or steamed french beans or any side dish you plan to serve . If it is lumpy, just give it a quick whisk and if it too runny, just let the juice simmer on low heat for a couple of minutes.
Oh! Cleaning up the pot after the chicken is done is a nightmare! But sorry, there is no other way to achieve the barbecued effect other than by letting it burn a little in the pot. It’s worth the pain, just trust me and do it!
p/s: it’s not that hard to clean the pot, just fill it up with tap water and a few drops of dish drop and let the water come to a boil. Grease will slip away after that.