As you must know by now, I LOVE Asian flavors. Of course, I love Italian and French flavors too. OK, so I’m partial to food…
The word, kampung, means village in Malay. The Malay chicken, which is typically found in rural villages, would be a great breed for this recipe and is also often referred to as the Kampung Chicken. Any village, large or small, would be happy to eat this!
This dish came out of various trials. You’ll see photos above and below from two separate times that I’ve used this marinade. The first (shown below), I marinaded a whole chicken overnight which I roasted in the oven. The second, I cut up chicken legs, marinaded overnight and grilled (shown above).
Both times the chicken was juicy, tender and so delicious! I posted about it so much on Facebook that people have been begging for the recipe. Leftovers are awesome too (both hot and cold)!!
Kampung Coconut Chicken
1/4 cup nam pla (fish sauce)
1/2-2/3 cup shredded unsweetened coconut (lightly packed thus the varied measurement)
1/4 cup ginger peeled and cut into pieces
7 cloves garlic, chopped
2 limes, zested then juiced
3-5 thai chilis according to your taste
2 stalks of lemon grass, inner bulb chopped finely
1/2 cup of dark seasame oil
4.5-5lb. whole chicken or chicken parts
Wash the chicken and remove the bag of offal from the neck cavity if using a whole chicken. (I like to cook them up as a treat for the cats. Chop them, a little salt & pepper and 2 minutes in the micro. They are in HEAVEN!)
I like to gently lift the skin from the bird, allowing the marinade to slip underneath. We want this tasty goodness to permeate! I prefer to remove all skin if using parts for grilling rather than a whole bird.
Take all ingredients, pop into a food processor and zip! Really, it’s that easy!
Place the chicken into the container/bag and pour the marinade in. If in a zip lock, feel free to massage the marinade into the meat a bit. I usually put parts in a ziplock and the whole bird in a container. I have a Sistema Klip-It storage container that is the perfect size for a whole chicken. (I love the Sistema Klip-It containers from New Zealand, available at the Container store at link above.) Feel free to use a ziplock, glass or plastic container with a tight sealing lid. During the next 24 hours, stir, shake, turn the meat in the container to make sure all areas are equally marinaded. Do allow it to marinade overnight.
Preheat the oven to 450ºF meanwhile, adjust the oven racks while oven is cool to fit your baking/roasting pan. Take the marinaded chicken out of the fridge and place it in a roasting pan/baking dish. You will throw away any marinade that you don’t pour over the chicken right now. Any marinade that has touch raw chicken must be thrown away. Insert your meat/poultry thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh, avoiding the bone.
Roast the whole chicken for 12 minutes at 450ºF (230ºC). Lower the heat to 375ºF (190ºC) and roast an additional 1.5-1.75 hours, until the meat thermometer reaches 165F and the juices run clear if you insert a fork.
After you remove the chicken from the oven and transfer it to a platter, cover the platter with foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes. This is very important as is allows the juices to settle into the whole bird. If you don’t let it rest, parts of your bird may remain dry later. Why would you do that to yourself after all this work?
Be sure to clean your grill thoroughly! It’s unhealthy to allow prior food bits to build up on your grill. We don’t want anyone sick from our cooking now, do we?
Heat up your grill and oil your hot grill. Place the chicken parts on the grate, listening for that sizzle! Allow chicken to cook until seared (5 minutes or less depending on how hot your grill is.) Remember, you want even heat. If you’re using charcoal, make sure that it has burned down to coals and that the coals are evenly spread out to help avoid hot spots. If you’re using a gas grill, you will be cooking the chicken slowly on medium heat. Too high a heat will cause the outside to burn long before the inside is cooked.
Once the chicken is seared, you flip it over, close the lid and allow it to cook about 25 minutes, turning occasionally and watching for hot spots to avoid burning it! Chicken is done when all juices run clear. If in doubt, check with a meat thermometer to make sure the meat at the thickest part (avoiding the bone) registers 165ºF.
Serve with slices of fresh lime.