Fish Sauce Roast Chicken
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If you sometimes get sick of the same old roast chicken, the sticky Thai flavours in this bird will be a welcome change. Even if you don’t like fish sauce, don’t be deterred; all that’s left of that fishy, pungent taste after roasting is a thick, caramelised glaze that’s full of flavour.
1 whole 1.75kg free-range chicken
1 red onion, peeled and chopped into eighths
1/3 cup (80mls) fish sauce
1 whole coriander plant, roughly chopped (including one single root, and all stems and leaves), some leaves reserved for garnish
1 clove garlic, sliced
2 tbsp caster sugar
3 birdseye chillies, finely sliced
juice of ½ lemon
- Heat your oven to 180C (fan-forced). Mix all of the marinade ingredients together, and stir well to dissolve the sugar. Set aside while you prepare the chicken.
Rinse the chicken under running water and pat it dry inside and out with paper towel.[Update: Recent British NHS guidelines released after this post recommend against washing poultry before cooking.] With kitchen scissors or a heavy knife, cut down either side of the backbone of the chicken and remove the backbone completely. Remove the wishbone if you like, as this will make carving the breast easier after the chicken is cooked. Press down on the breast of the chicken to flatten it. (Discard the backbone or, if you prefer, chop it into large pieces and place the pieces into the roasting tray to add more flavor to the pan juices.)
- Work your fingers under the skin of the breast and thighs. Spoon the marinade over the inside and outside of the chicken, as well as between the skin and meat, getting as much of the solid ingredients in the marinade under the skin as you can. Place the onion in a roasting tray and lay the chicken skin-side up on top of the onion.
- Roast for 45 minutes, basting every 15 minutes. Remove the chicken when the skin is dark and caramelised (it will be darker than a normal roast chicken from the caramelised sugars), and the meat is only just cooked through. Rest the chicken in a warm place for at least 10 minutes.
- While the chicken is resting, pour the juices from the pan into a jug, leave the onions in the tray. Skim off any liquid fat. Pour the juices back into the roasting pan with the onions and place the pan over heat. Stir the pan juices together with the onions and scrape up any bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Spoon the sauce and onions over the chicken, scatter with the reserved coriander leaves and serve.
This recipe appears in my second cookbook, Asian After Work.
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” … Rinse the chicken under running water … ”
Errrr no! Not if you are in the UK.
Thanks for pointing this out.
Those recent guidelines came out after the publication of this book (and this post, which were both from 2013). I’ve added a note in the post!
Thank you for an excellent speedy response.
(I did notice that your article was written in 2013, and that it was aimed at the Australian/Asian continents – hence my reference to guidelines specific to the UK)
Your advice on washing poultry runs counter to NHS guidelines regarding food safety. http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/homehygiene/Pages/Washing-chicken-can-cause-campylobacter-food-poisoning.aspx
Thanks for letting me know. We don’t have those guidelines in Australia or elsewhere in Asia.
How much is “one whole plant of coriander” ? I bought a bunch packaged from the shop but can’t tell if it’s a whole plant or not? Thanks meera
One plant is anything attached to one root. It’s a bit disappointing that some shops remove the roots from coriander when they sell it, because the roots have a lot of flavour. I would say one plant is about 10 stems.
Hi, could you recommend a different herb to substitute for coriander. Serious aversion to it. Thanks.
If you’re against coriander you could either just leave it out, or substitute a different Asian herb like lemongrass, mint or Vietnamese minnt, or you could even use a “fresh”-tasting Western-style herb like dill or even parsley.
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Thank you for this great chicken receipt. My entire family loves it and currently my daughter (3) and son(4) are very critical when papa cooks something exotic. But tonight they ate until the last piece of meat was peeled from the bones.
The coriander is not dominant at all and fits perfect to the fish sauce and roasted sugar. We placed the chicken pieces on a plate with romana salad and the sauce was the perfect dressing.
You got new fan, thumbs up
can I use normal sugar instead of castor….impossible to find here in A Coruña….?
Yes, normal sugar is completely fine. I just tend to use castor sugar because it dissolves more easily.
Made this tonight. Sensational.
I didn’t know you weren’t supposed to wash the chicken first. I never used to wash them, then saw a show where they washed and dried the chicken, now we can’t… I wish they’d make up their minds.
Anyway, apart from the sugar, the recipe sounds delicious. I’m off sugar, so I’ll just leave it out. Maybe coconut sugar or evaporated cane juice for the sweet in the five flavours.
Thank you Adam, my partner and I absolutely love this recipe – it never fails to impress at dinner parties!
This is amazing. Traded the birdseye’s for 1 x ghost chilli, just to give an extra kick!
My go to recipe for Chicken and Duck-Cookbook is sensational also
Many recipes that become favourites and always with a flavour punch
This is great thanks. It’s so easy to butterfly the chicken! Basting is important in this recipe. The chicken stayed juicy.
Can you use a sugar substitute to make it keto, like erythritol?