Thai Roast Chicken

Thai Roast Chicken

In a Fine Cooking (August/September, 1997) Magazine, there was a recipe that looked insanely delicious for Lemongrass Chicken.

I’ve held onto  the recipe for the past 13 years, planning to make it “one of these days”. As so many really wonderful sounding recipes, It seemed rather labor intensive–so I
easily put it off.

It’s not, however, nearly as cumbersome to make as it  looks. And cutting lemongrass is such exquisite pleasure! I love to deeply  inhale its inimitable, citrusy essence. This is the ultimate aroma therapeutic  experience.

I selected an  air-chilled roaster from Whole Foods. Trust me – I won’t spend  additional money on a food item unless it’s guaranteed to be sustainably raised,  harvested and I, frankly, have a better eating experience. To date, air-chilled
chicken always provides me a meatier, more flavorful and moist bird. The skins  crisps and browns beautifully when roasted. My 4# bird cost about  $9.40.

I made some minor changes to both recipes but, for the  most part, left it unchanged. And yes, it tastes just as good as it  looks!

I served this with green tea soba noodles (to soak up the flavorful dipping sauce) and steamed baby bok choy.

Recipe: Thai Roast Chicken


  • 1/2 cup finely chopped lemongrass (2-3 stalks), plus 2 tablespoons
  • 2 tablespoons chopped shallots
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon red chili pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 (4 pound) roasting chicken, air-chilled if available; rinsed and patted dry
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil


  1. In a dish just large enough to hold chicken, combine the lemongrass, shallots, garlic, fish sauce, soy sauce, chili flakes and sugar.
  2. Lift skin from chicken and rub 3/4 paste over the breast and thigh meat. Rub remaining paste on top of chicken. Marinate, refrigerated, 3-12 hours. Bring chicken to room temperature.
  3. Preheat oven to 350˚.
  4. Place bird in a lightly oiled roasting pan and roast, breast side down, on center rack of oven, 40 minutes. Remove from oven and turn the bird over, breast side up. Cook an additional 20 minutes. Remove chicken from oven, cover with cilantro and remaining 2 tablespoons of lemon grass, and return to the oven for 10 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before carving. Serve with the dipping sauce.

Active Time: 30 minutes

Roast Time: 60-75 minutes

Number of servings (yield): 4

Copyright © Peggy Lampman’s dinnerFeed.

Recipe: Asian Dipping Sauce (optional)


  • 1 teaspoon chili paste with garlic
  • 1 hot pepper, such as Thai or habenero; wearing plastic gloves, seed and mince
  • 2 tablespoon chopped ginger
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice, plus pulp
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar


  1. Whisk together all of the ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Number of servings (yield): 2/3 cup of sauce

Copyright © Peggy Lampman’s dinnerFeed.

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