You’ve all seen Jamie Oliver’s recipe for Chicken in Milk, right? Well I didn’t have any milk on hand, but I did have some coconut milk. What happened next was a succulent, flavorful roasted chicken that could easily make for a perfect Mother’s Day dinner. This Thai Roasted Chicken in Coconut Milk is heaven.
Sorry for the last 2 weeks of delayed and less than regular recipe posting and replies to comments. I’d rather serve you up quality over quantity. I was fortunate enough to be in Louisiana last week to attend the Tabasco Tastemakers event at Avery Island. Yes, that Avery Island. Land of Tabasco! But more on that later…
After this last week of both of us being in and out of town I wanted a homey, comfort dinner Sunday evening and Jamie Oliver’s Chicken in Milk came to mind. What’s better than roasted chicken and mashed potatoes? But I’m trying to be healthier these days and skipped the mashed spuds. I had to switch gears namely because I was too lazy to head to the market for milk. Ever notice that sometimes milk doesn’t sour and other times it goes bad quickly? Mine didn’t make the cut and down the drain it went.
So, since I didn’t have any fresh milk I decided to use coconut milk and go a more Thai influenced route. I had a few lemongrass stalks, which would lend themselves well to the lemon infused sauce. Things were looking up. Besides all that, for anyone who is lactose intolerant, this is perfect for you – a literal winner, winner, chicken dinner!
First things first, heat the oil in a heavy based pot over medium high heat and brown the chicken all over. Be careful not to scorch the skin on the bottom, you want to brown it. I constantly moved it around in the pot using tongs. This helps with caramelization in the sauce.
I kept true to his recipe and believe me, this is a killer dish. I like the cinnamon and garlic in the sauce and the lemongrass worked perfectly. A handful of fresh sage topped it all off and in the oven it all went. I know, sage in a Thai recipe? I didn’t want to stray too far from the original recipe.
Comfort dinner here we come!
The aroma this gives off is intoxicating. Really. One must make this to know the deliciousness. And don’t forget to occasionally baste the chicken with the coconut milk sauce.
The sweet and fatty coconut milk, cinnamon and lemon zest were fantastic. I like to use my vegetable peeler to get thick strips of the lemon zest and it does such a great job of not getting any of the bitter white pith from the lemon. What I learned from the original recipe using milk is that the acid from the citrus helps the milk dissolve into small bits of curd creating this magical lemony, cinnamon, sage infused sauce. This time using coconut milk proved to be just as delicious.
This is a meal to be slowly enjoyed, but I dare you to, you can’t. We devoured this in now time with a big bountiful salad. Forkfuls of roasted chicken dipped in the magic sauce. Feel free to skim off the fat from the chicken on top of the sauce if you prefer. I’ve also shredded the chicken and served it with steamed vegetables and the sauce poured over all. However you want, this is one delicious roasted chicken.
Want to try something different? How about my riff on Jamie Oliver’s chicken in milk and go for this Thai Roasted Chicken in Coconut Milk. It could be a perfect Mother’s Day dinner, too. Give it a try and break out that crusty bread to sop up all the goodness of this sauce. Enjoy!
- 5 1/2 lb whole chicken
- 2 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 stick cinnamon broken
- 1/4 cup fresh sage leaves loosely packed
- 1 stalk lemon grass trimmed and split lengthwise
- 1 lemon zest only
- 12 cloves of garlic whole
- 2-13 oz cans coconut milk
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Completely rinse chicken under cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
- Sprinkle the chicken all over with with kosher salt and black pepper.
- Heat oil in a heavy based oven-proof pot (See Note 1) over medium high heat and brown the chicken all over. Be careful not to scorch the skin on bottom, you want to brown it. I constantly moved it around in the pot using tongs.
- Carefully remove chicken and set aside on a plate. Pour the out the excess fat and set aside to roast vegetables or discard. With spoon, scrape up bits of cooked chicken on bottom of pan and leave in pan. Return chicken to the pot, add remaining ingredients and bake covered for 90 minutes.
- Remove lid and baste chicken with juices. Leave uncovered and bake uncovered for 35 minutes.
- Let stand for 10 minutes before removing the chicken. Remove and discard lemon grass and cinnamon stick from sauce. Serve chicken with the sauce on the side.
1. I use a Le Creuset Dutch oven that is OK for stove top and the oven. If you don't have an oven-proof skillet or pan to brown the chicken in, be sure to transfer to a casserole dish or Dutch oven after browning the chicken large enough to hold the chicken and other ingredients for the oven to bake.
Note: As a general rule, the cooking time is 20 minutes per pound of meat plus an additional 15 minutes at 375ºF. Chicken weights vary, and I used a 5 1/2 lb chicken.