Spiced Roast Chicken with Fragrant Jasmine Rice

From issue #9.
Photography by Nick Tresidder.
Spiced Roast Chicken with Fragrant Jasmine Rice

Serves: 4 - 6


1 chicken

3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons chopped ginger
1 long red chilli, seeded and chopped
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1⁄2 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil

2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon grated ginger
5 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
1 tablespoon black mustard seeds
2 cups Jasmine rice, well washed and drained
900 ml chicken stock
1 teaspoon salt

To finish
1 teaspoon cornflour 2 teaspoons water 2 limes fresh herbs to garnish


Preheat the oven to 200oC.

Use kitchen scissors to cut down both sides of the backbone and remove. Open the chicken out like a book and snip through the wishbone to enable the chicken to lie flat. Slash the skin several times and place the chicken in a large dish.

Pound the garlic, ginger, chilli and sugar to a paste in a mortar and pestle or blend in a small food processor. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour the marinade over the chicken and rub into the meat. Cover and marinate for 2-3 hours if possible.

Heat a little peanut oil in an oven-proof sauté pan over a medium heat. Take the chicken out of the marinade, letting the excess drip back into the dish. Place the chicken in the pan, skin side down and allow to brown.

Turn the chicken over and pour over the marinade.

Roast in the oven for 50-60 minutes, basting a couple of times during cooking. Transfer the chicken to a plate and rest, lightly covered, for 5 minutes. Tip the pan juices into a small pot. Mix the cornflour with the water and stir into the juices. Simmer for 2 minutes then add a good squeeze of lime juice and pour into a small serving jug.

Rice: Heat the oil in an oven-proof sauté pan or pot with a lid. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, cardamom pods and black mustard seeds and gently fry until tender. Add the rice, stock and salt and bring to the boil. Cover and bake in the oven for 25 minutes. Stir the rice once during cooking. Remove from the oven and sit, covered, for 5 minutes before serving.

To serve: Spoon the rice onto a platter. Cut the chicken into serving pieces and place on top. Scatter fresh herbs over the chicken and garnish with lime wedges. Bowls of thick plain yoghurt, roasted chopped peanuts and crispy shallots are nice accompaniments. Serves 4-6