Roasted Thai Coconut Chicken with Coconut-Peanut Sauce, by Beverly Hicks Burch

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Roasted Thai Coconut Chicken with Coconut-Peanut Sauce

By Beverly Hicks Burch

At our house, Thai food is usually a top choice if it’s being offered or cooked for that matter. We prepared stir fried, curry, soups, desserts and now, as a first a “beer can” or roasted chicken.

Beer can chicken can be a misnomer. I was talking to my dad about it the other day when I was telling him was we were cooking that night. (We had given him a chicken roaster similar to T & H’s Weber’s chicken roaster.) I’m not sure who invented “beer can chicken”. But, as I told my Dad, in my mind he had to be some good ol’ boy that was in the center field at Talladega and was three sheets in the wind and decided it would be a GREAT idea to stick the south end of a whole chicken on a beer can and cook it on the grill. It must have worked, because it became a revered way to cook a whole bird.

Safety minded folk must have decided there was a better way to execute this concept and invented the chicken roaster for the grill. The bird grills upright, so the fat runs down, and there is a well in the center of the roaster to fill with whatever liquid you desire to permeate you bird with flavor and moisture.

One year as a gift I gave T & H a nifty little cookbook called, you guessed it, Beer Can Chicken: and 74 Other Offbeat Recipes for the Grill. Today’s recipe is a recipe adapted from that book. I would make one suggestion concerning the sauce. We used regular chunky peanut butter and found it a little oily…I blotted and skimmed most off, but next time, I’ll use a low fat peanut butter. Other than that, the sauce tastes great!

Roasted Thai Coconut Chicken

For the Rub:

1 tablespoon ground coriander

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon ground black pepper

2 teaspoons packed brown sugar

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon fresh minced lemongrass (if you’re unable to obtain this Thai ingredient, 2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest will do)

1 tablespoon finely minced fresh ginger

3 tablespoons vegetable oil (since this is a Thai recipe, I used peanut oil)

Reserve 1 tablespoon of the rub for the basting glaze.

For the roaster well:

¾ cup lite coconut milk (or as much as you well will hold)

1 stalk fresh lemon grass or several strip fresh lemon zest

2 chunks (about the size of quarters) 0f fresh ginger


1 – 31/2 to 4 pound whole chicken

1. Prepare rub by placing ingredients in a blender and making a paste. Reserve 1 tablespoon for the basting glaze.

2. Remove the giblets from the chicken. Wash, clean and blot dry the chicken. Rub the paste onto the chicken, covering completely. Place in a large zip lock bag and place in the fridge for about 4hours.

3. Just before cooking, place the ingredients for the well of the roaster into the well.

4. Next place the chicken onto the roaster. Tuck the wing tips behind the chicken’s back.

5. Grill over indirect medium heat for 1 ¼ to 1 ½ hours or until meat thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh reaches 180° After the chicken as cooked 45 minutes, begin basting with the basting glaze and baste every 15 minutes until the chicken is done.

6. When done, let chicken rest 5 minutes before serving.

Coconut-Peanut Sauce

2 tablespoons peanut oil

3 shallots, finely minced

2 gloves garlic, finely minced

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely minced

1 to 2 Thai Chiles or Jalapenos (we used Jalapenos and deveined and seeded them)

1 teaspoon ground coriander

¾ cup lite coconut

¾ cup low fat chunky peanut butter

2 tablespoon lite soy sauce (you can use fish sauce)

1 – 2 tablespoon fresh lime juice

2 teaspoons sugar

½ teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro

1. Heat oil on high heat.

2. Next add shallots, garlic, ginger, chiles, and coriander. Stir and cook about 3 minutes until golden and tender.

3. Stir in coconut milk and bring to a boil.

4. Stir in peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice, sugar, and black pepper.

5. Reduce heat and cook about 5 minutes or until thickened.

6. Adjust seasoning by adding soy sauce and lime juice as needed.

7. Stir in cilantro.

Makes about 2 cups.


Thai Coconut Chicken

Thai Coconut Roaster on the roaster for the grill

Coconut Peanut Sauce

Coconut-Peanut Sauce

© 2012 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

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Comments: 2

  1. trialsinfood January 16, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    looks delicious! love thai food!

    • bamasteelmagnolia January 16, 2012 at 9:02 pm

      It was very good:) We enjoyed it the next day, too.

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