When you cook chicken as frequently as I do for my kids, you can never have enough of chicken recipes. My two young carnivores only eat chicken and they want it everyday! That’s why I need to keep creating variety so that they don’t get bored and quit eating it altogether one day.

Thai flavours are a big hit at our place, from noodles to soups and curries. I decided to shake things up a bit with this new marinade for my Thai Coconut Chicken Roast over the weekend. The big punch of salty and sour always goes well with chicken. Coconut milk in the sauce keeps the meat very moist and juicy, and the aroma from herbs was simply amazing!

My kids prefer to eat boneless chicken but this turned out so yummy that they instantly fell in love with it and wanted it for school lunch next day too. Now this is the kind of success every mom wants from food, right!

You can also make a whole chicken with this marinade and instead of pot roasting or baking, it can be grilled too. If you can’t find Thai basil, you can substitute it with a few mint leaves for this particular recipe. The rest of the ingredients are easily available everywhere.


1 kg chicken cut ups
1/2 cup lemon juice
6 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoon fish sauce
1/2 teaspoon galangal or 1 teaspoon ginger, grated
2 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon red chilli flakes
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup coconut milk
A few Thai basil or mint leaves
Salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons peanut or sunflower oil

This Is What You Do:

Mix in a big bowl lemon juice, garlic, fish sauce, ginger, soy sauce, brown sugar, red chilli flakes, salt and pepper. Stir to dissolve the sugar. This marinade sauce should taste salty, sour and spicy with a touch of sweet.

Add chicken cut ups to the sauce. Marinate for at least 30 minutes. It’s better to be done with marination a night before so that all you have to do is cook when you need to eat.

Heat oil in a deep frying pan. Remove chicken pieces from the marinade ( reserve the marinade).

Fry the chicken on medium heat till golden brown on outside with all the juices sealed in.

Reduce heat to medium low. Pour the marinade over the chicken in the pan. Add coconut milk and basil leaves. Cover the pan. Stir once or twice.

Cook for 30 -35 minutes or till the chicken is done and liquids are reduced, leaving behind a thick and creamy sauce in the pan to coat the chicken pieces. Taste for the balance of salty, sour and sweet. Season accordingly.

OR after frying the chicken, you can finish cooking it in the oven. Pour the marinade, coconut milk and sprinkle Thai basil leaves over it. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove from oven, spoon the sauce in the baking pan over the chicken. Bake uncovered for an additional 15-20 minutes.

Garnish with fresh coriander and lemon/lime wedges. Serve hot with sweet chilli sauce as finger food or with noodles or jasmine rice and cucumber as main course.

Serves 4

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