Friday, January 1, 2016

Roasted Curry Whole Chicken (Coconut oil version)

Ahh, yes...roast chicken. Almost too classic a dish that any cook ever missed cooking it. Truth enough, I have been roasting chicken all these while, almost once a month if I am not wrong. But been blogging for close to 8 years now, I have yet posted up a single roast chicken What have I been doing. :P I guess it is never too late yes? After all, classic dishes can never get old. :) And instead of the usual roast chicken we are all familiar with, fresh herbs, lemons etc...I decided to go with a twist this time. A fusion twist perhaps. May I present you my "Roasted Curry Whole Chicken".
Using the right tool and ingredients makes a whole lot of difference in cooking. Especially in dishes like roasting. To name a few of the important ones; 
(1) Use fresh chicken, never frozen chicken. This ensures the roast meat to be tender and even juicy.
(2) Using the right roasting dish. This time I used my trusty Le Creuset buffet casserole. The special enamel cast iron pot ensures even temperature distribution, kept the meat moist and even having the vegetables perfectly roasted as well.
(3) Use the right spices and marinating formula. Some spices just cannot make it, spend a little more and use the quality ingredients to create a dish totally worth your calories and bucks.

When you think of curry, you think of coconut milk. Yes that fragrant lemak taste. But I decided to make this a more healthy version. Instead of the usual creamy coconut milk, I opted for organic coconut oil and 3 tbsp of evaporated milk. If you have to know, yes you can use the usual coconut milk, but I cannot guarantee similar result.

Perhaps now we can go through the whole recipe and you shall have a much clearer picture of how I put all this together in creating this lovely fuss free dish.

Ingredients for Roasted Curry Whole Chicken (Serves 3-4 pax)
1 whole chicken (~1.5kg)
1 whole garlic bulb
1 big red onion
3 medium potatoes, washed, peeled and cut into bite size
1/2 carrot, peeled and cut into bite size
1 small egg plant, cut into bite size
Pumpkin, peeled and cut into bite size (Surface area of pumpkin smaller then my palm)

4-5 tbsp curry powder (I used Shermay's Nonya Curry Powder )
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground white pepper
4 tbsp organic coconut oil (2 tbsp for vegetables, 2 tbsp for chicken)
1 heaping tbsp finely grated ginger that has been peeled
  • Slice the garlic horizontally across, revealing all the hearts of the garlic cloves. The "top" of the garlic cloves, removed skin and chop them up. While leaving the "bottom" of the whole garlic bulb intact.
  • Chop off the head and neck of the chicken. You can remove the backside if you don't fancy it. Then cut open the back, so the chicken can be open up from the back and lay flat.
  • Rinse the chicken with clean water and drain. Dap dry and put 2-3 tbsp curry powder, grated ginger, pepper and salt all over the body. Let the chicken marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 200C. An aluminium sheet to cover the chicken later.
  • Next prep your Le Creuset baking dish or pot. I am using my beautiful 26 cm Caribbean Blue Buffet Casserole pot to do the job.  Place all your cut vegetables in it. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper, then drizzle 2 tbsp of organic coconut oil over them. Give it a good toss to combine. Spread them out evenly but slightly shallower in the middle where you will be placing the chicken.
  • Place the half sliced garlic bulb right in the middle over the vegetables. Then you lay the marinated chicken over the garlic, making sure the whole surface is spread upwards. Innards facing down on the garlic and vegetables. 
  • Drizzle 2 tbsp of coconut oil over the chicken and gently rub all over. When done, sprinkle another 1-2 tbsp of curry powder all over the surface of the chicken, spread evenly.
  • Lastly, drizzle the 3 tbsp of evaporated milk all over the chicken and vegetables. This will create a creamy flavour to the chicken...but don't worry, the skin will still be nice and crisp. But of course you can opt not to add the evaporated milk, but the gravy will be clear not creamy like a curry gravy.

  • The end of the preparation should look something like this:
  • Place the whole casserole into the preheated oven. Bake for 20 minutes. Then rotate the casserole 180 degrees and then bake another 25 minutes. Cover the  casserole loosely with the aluminium sheet if you find the roast chicken is getting too charred. (Note that I did not cover with the Le Creuset pot's cover is because I still want the chicken to have a crisp skin. Covering it with the casserole cover, the liquid will not be able to escape that easily.)
  • When baked, remove the whole casserole pot out of the oven. Let it cool slightly before you cut the chicken, so as to preserve the juices.

Skeptical? I don't blame you. But let me assure you, the end product is nothing short of the flavours of what a curry chicken should be. Mildly spicy and yet bursting with spices and flavours. The juices from the roast chicken combined with coconut oil and evaporated milk is probably one of the most amazing gravies I have tasted and still don't feel any guilt sipping it.

I have to say that the flavours from the Nonya curry powder was just perfect, even when paired with coconut oil and evaporated milk. You might think without the presence of coconut milk this dish will probably not as awesome...but it was quite the opposite. The taste is almost exactly like a Nonya curry chicken but with crispy skin, best of both worlds!
When you slice into the crispy roasted skin and revealing the tender, juicy meat, just hearing the crisp-crackling sound can be so rewarding! This is truly happiness not just in the tummy but knowing a classic dish like roast chicken can after all be zest up all new and renewed. Tom-yam flavour next time yes?
Just look at that moist meat and golden crisp skin! The juices from the chicken, the coconut oil, the sweetness from the root vegetables, the evaporated milk and of course the curry powder ...creating an amazing curry vegetables at the bottom.
So the next time you want to roast a chicken, maybe you might want to kick it up a notch? Try something out of the norm? Try using curry seasoning and wow your family and friends with this creativity.

Now tell me that's not tempting looking... slurp! Enough tempting, get cooking!

I will be sharing the video on how I cook this dish on my FB HoneyBeeSweets Kitchen soon, so stay tune.

Happy New Year Everyone!