When I first found out that Diana Henry is going to have a new cookbook "A Bird in the Hand" and it will be all on chicken, I was delighted!!
3 red chillies, chopped
3 ounces galangal or ginger root, peeled and chopped I prefer galangal for the flavour
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup rice vinegar I used about 2-3 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1½ tsp cracked black peppercorns
2 limes, halved
small bunch of thai basil (or mint)
½ cup chicken stock (optional) Of this portion, 3/4 I used chicken stock and 1/4 I used water.
The day before, peel the turmeric and coarsely chop it (best to wear disposable gloves; that yellow color stains everything). Remove the coarse outer layers of the lemongrass and trim the top and base. Chop the rest—the softer part of the lemongrass—as finely as you can. Combine the turmeric and lemongrass with the chiles, the galangal, and salt. Blend in a food processor or blender with the vinegar and oil and add the cracked pepper.
Wash the chicken to remove all the innards, pat dry the chicken. If for some reason you feel the chicken needs not be washed, by all means.
Make slashes in the chicken on its breasts and legs with a small sharp knife. Wearing gloves, rub the paste all over the chicken, pushing it into the slashes and inside the bird, too. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and marinate the chicken overnight in the fridge.
Bring it to room temperature before cooking. Truss the bird, if you like, since it does make it look neat.
The next day, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Stuff the cavity with 3 lime halves and the Thai basil (or mint), squeezing the remaining lime half over the bird. Roast in the oven for 1¼ hours. Three-quarters of the way through the cooking time, add the stock or the same amount of water to the pan, scraping the sediment off the bottom to mix in with the liquid.
Serve the chicken with the juices from the pan.
If you want to know our take on this, Mr G gave it a 9/10 and that he will definitely eat this again anytime. For me, I will definitely eat this again too. The flavours gel very well together as a whole. It makes you want to eat the chicken with your fingers for that rustic feel. We also had this chicken with roasted cauliflower from Yotam Ottolenghi. See below :)