Put the spring onions, garlic, lemongrass, nuts, chillies, spices, shrimp paste if using, and 3ml salt into a food processor or pestle and mortar and process to form a thick paste. Add a little coconut or sunflower oil if necessary.
Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan and fry the paste over a medium heat for one minute. Add the coconut milk little by little, stirring well after each addition. Remove from the heat.
Transfer the sauce to a roasting tin or casserole dish. Tie the chicken’s legs together with string and put it into the sauce, breast side down. Cover with a lid or foil and roast in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and turn the chicken over carefully. Return to the oven, uncovered, and continue to roast for a further 40 minutes or until cooked through. Uncover for the last 10 minutes to brown.
Remove the chicken from the roasting pan and set aside to rest for 15 minutes before carving. Drain the sauce into a jug and wait for the fat to settle on the top, then scoop it off and discard. Serve the sauce with the chicken, accompanied with stir-fried cauliflower and rice.
Stir-fried cauliflower with chillies:
Break 500g cauliflower into bite-sized florets. Boil in a little water for five minutes, then add 200g sliced green beans. Simmer for a further five minutes, then drain. Heat 20ml coconut or sunflower oil in a large saucepan or wok. Stir-fry one fresh seeded and sliced red chilli, two to three sliced spring onions, two cloves crushed garlic and 10ml grated fresh ginger for two minutes. Add 10ml soy sauce and 15ml sweet, thick soy sauce (kekap manis) along with 30ml water. Add the drained cauliflower and green beans and stir. Reduce the heat and simmer for three minutes. Serve with the chicken.
Text and image: Ideas magazine
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