Butterflied Balinese-Style Baked Chicken
Oven roasting a butterflied whole chicken is a fabulous and fast way to cook chicken. With these zingy Balinese-inspired flavours it’s a tasty crowd pleaser for lunch or dinner.
1 Tegel whole chicken
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 mild red chilli (or to taste) - de-seeded
1 teaspoon dried turmeric
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce, dark
1 heaped tablespoon palm sugar, grated (or brown sugar)
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons cooking oil
Make the paste: Process all the paste ingredients in a blender, food processor or mortar and pestle and blend until it forms a smooth paste. Set aside.
Quick technique to “butterfly” the chicken: Lay the chicken on a chopping board, breast side down. Using kitchen scissors, cut down one side of the backbone so that you can open it up. Turn it over so that the skin side is facing up and use the heel of your hand to firmly push down on it to flatten it further - you may hear some cracks, just pretend you are a chiropractor! Trim any excess fat.
To cook: Put butterflied chicken in a well-greased roasting dish. Using a sharp knife, make deep slashes in the flesh to assist with the cooking and flavour penetration, then use a spatula or your hands (wear gloves because turmeric stains) to smother the chicken with the paste, working it into the cuts. At this stage you can either cook immediately or leave to marinate overnight - I never have time so it’s usually about 15 minutes max marinating time in my kitchen! Cook at 220 C and check after 30-40 minutes and if the wing tips are darkening too much, cover them in tin foil to prevent burning. Cook for a total of 45-60 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.
To serve: Chop chicken roughly and serve with steamed jasmine rice and coleslaw.