2 x 1-1.2kg whole chickens
2 lemongrass stalks, pale section only, chopped
8 garlic cloves, peeled
8cm piece ginger, roughly chopped
3 long red chillies, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
2 tbsp vegetable oil
270ml thick coconut cream
3 tbsp coconut or brown sugar
3 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp lime juice
Steamed rice & Asian vegetables, to serve
Toasted flaked coconut, chilli, & coriander, to serve
Wash and pat dry chicken with paper towel. Place on a chopping board, breast-side down. Using kitchen scissors, cut along both sides of backbone and discard. Open out chicken. Turn over. Press down with the heel of your hand to flatten. Using a sharp knife, score breast with a few shallow slits.
Place lemongrass, garlic, ginger, chilli and onion in a small food processor and process until finely chopped. Add vegetable oil to process to a fine paste. Spoon into a large-sized bowl. Stir in coconut cream, coconut sugar, fish sauce and lime juice. Toss chicken through marinade, rubbing in to coat well. Leave to marinate for 6 hours or overnight to allow the flavours to develop.
Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease 2 roasting pans. Place chicken, breast side up, in pan, spreading over remaining marinade. Cook for 50 minutes or until a golden brown crust forms and chicken is cooked through.
Cut chicken into portions. Serve with steamed rice and vegetables, sprinkled with toasted coconut, chilli and coriander.
Chicken is more flavoursome and will form a nice crust if left overnight to marinate. Remove the seeds from chilli for a milder taste, or leave them in for a spicy marinade.