Total Time
Prep 20 mins
Cook 30 mins

For this recipe the chicken is split down the breast and flattened, then marinated and simmered in coconut milk and finally barbecued or cooked under the griller. If you do not have a pan large enough to accommodate a spreadeagled chicken, cut the bird in half. From the Complete Asian Cookbook by Charmaine Solomon.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Split chicken and spread out flat.
  2. Put onion, garlic, chilies, ginger and lemon rind into container of electric blender with 2 or 3 tablespoons of the coconut milk and blend to a smooth paste. Add turmeric, pepper, coriander and salt and a spoonful more milk if necessary and blend again for a few seconds.
  3. Spread some of this spice paste over the chicken inside and out and let it marinate for 1/2 hour or longer. Put the remaining spice mixture in a wok or large pan with the leaves and the coconut milk (wash out blender container with some of the coconut milk) and bring slowly to simmering point, stirring constantly.
  4. Lower the chicken into this gravy and continue simmering, stirring and ladling the gravy over the chicken occasionally. Turn chicken after 10 minutes and continue cooking until chicken is done.
  5. Lift chicken from pan and grill over coals or under a preheated griller, a good distance away from the heat source, until chicken is touched with brown.
  6. In the meantime continue simmering gravy, stirring occasionally, until it is thick.
  7. When chicken has been grilled on both sides, transfer to a serving plate and spoon a little of the gravy over. Serve the rest of the gravy separately.
Most Helpful

Excellent!! We really enjoyed this and the spicy coconut sauce is truly delicious.. After reading other reviews regarding cooking times and the chicken being difficult to flip. I decided to make this with spatchcocks (baby chickens) just cutting them in half, this turned out to be great, as they did not take long to cook and were very easy to handle. I placed them under the grill at the end to brown instead of on a grill and they were perfectly cooked and full of flavour. I too used sambal oelek, lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves and as others have said I could not get curry leaves so I just added some curry paste. I served ours with some Thai vegetable rice and it was a lovely meal. I also served the sauce on the side for everyone to pour over themselves and we did not have any left as it was poured over the chicken and the rice and got rave reviews by all.

The Flying Chef February 10, 2009

I suggest cutting the chicken into 6 pieces. Because it is difficult to flip with all the sauce. It can be done but it can be quite messy. I did make this in a large pan. Kept 1 cup of the milk out till the chicken was removed to be grilled. Then added and let it cook down. 1 cup of milk can be omitted. Cooking time is not clear in the recipe. I cooked 10 minutes each side which is not enough. But I planned on the grilling in which I did. On a oiled grill and the chicken still stuck to it! I flipped browned and transfer to a foil pan to finish cooking on indirect heat for 15 more minutes. Brought to a cutting board and cut the chicken into 6 pieces place into the sauce. I didn`t have the curry leaves so I used curry paste, used sambal, lemongrass and Kaffir Lime Leaves. Thanks!

Rita~ September 25, 2007

Wow this was really flavoursome - the spice mix and coconut milk worked really well together. I didn't have access to any of the leaves listed so used kaffir lime leaves and that worked well. The chicken needed a little more time to cook through after simmering so for the final grilling stage I left both the top and bottom oven elements on and the result was a wonderfully tender chicken that tasted great.

Peter J May 04, 2007