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Serves 4 (with accompaniments)
1 whole chicken (roughly 1.5kg)
6-8 cloves of garlic
3 lemongrass stalks
handful of coriander roots
4 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp palm sugar
1 tbsp kecap manis (sweet soy sauce)
2 tbsp tamarind concentrate
2 tbsp fresh orange juice
8 tbsp hot water (to help melt the palm sugar)
1 tbsp black pepper corns
Finely chop the garlic, lemongrass and coriander root and mix together with the rest of the marinade, leaving the black peppercorns whole, but to the side to scatter into the chicken later on. Remove the parson’s nose (bum of the chicken) and then chop into the spine of the poultry and butterfly the chicken to flatten and for ease of roasting. In a suitable roasting tray massage all “The Marinade” over the chicken skin and on the underside of the butterflied chicken. Place chicken skin side down in the roasting tray and then scatter the whole black peppercorns onto the inside of the chicken. Ideally at this stage, cover with tin foil and leave overnight in the fridge to marinade. Either way, if you have no time to marinade overnight, it will still taste delicious.
Preheat the oven to 200°C and roast the chicken, still covered with foil for 20-25 minutes depending on the size of your chicken. After the initial cooking process, take the chicken out of the oven, remove the foil and turn the chicken over so that the skin is exposed. Turn the oven temperature up to 220°C. Whilst waiting for the oven to preheat again, pour out any excess marinade or sauce from the roasting tray to keep for later, then roast the chicken for a further 20-25 minutes. Baste well once or twice in between to get a good glaze on the chicken skin.