This method is a totally delicious way to serve roast chicken as well as being very simple to prepare. Cooking a whole chicken this way is practiced in various forms throughout Asia, sometimes pot roasted, sometimes over hot coals and with many different curry pastes. Often cooked in the home, rather than restaurants, which is probably the reason why many Westerners are not familiar with the dish. Well, now is the time to change that and I promise you that you won’t regret it! You can be flexible with the vegetables in the dish and even change the curry paste if you wish. Not the most elegant of dishes but way up there on the scale of scrumptiousness:-)
The above ingredients are a guide as this dish works well with many variations. The chicken above is a 2 kg chicken and fed five people comfortably. Put as many new potatoes as you can fit into your roasting tin if you wish. If you are not using new potatoes then you will have to cut larger potatoes into smaller chunks and parboil. One can of coconut milk and one packet of curry paste provides enough sauce. As always, make sure you’re using the “right” type of coconut milk as it will make or break this or any other coconut based curry. Quick guide here, Coconut Milk Summary. Vegetables of your choice, I used some mild chilies with green beans and tender stem broccoli, you can also prepare additional veg separately if you wish. I also stuffed the cavity of the bird with a bruised lemongrass stalk and some chopped ginger, optional but adds to the aromas. Bash up the lemongrass stalk if using and chop some ginger and insert into the cavity.
Brush some of the curry paste, especially the oil, over the chicken. Cover loosely with aluminium foil and place in an oven preheated to 200°C for 40 minutes.
Add potatoes to the pan rolling them around in any oil or juices from the chicken and return to the oven without the foil and cook for a further 40 minutes. In the meantime add the rest of the curry paste to a small pan and add the can of coconut milk and bring to a simmer whilst stirring. Pour the curry paste coconut milk mixture over the chicken and stir the potatoes around and add the vegetables. Return to the oven for a further 15 minutes, I’m fine with my chicken burning a little on top as the skin crisps but adjust your oven shelves to your own preferences.