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Balinese Inspired Chicken

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  • Author: Cori Horton
  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 mins
  • Yield: serves 4 - 6 1x


Powerful Asian flavour with the subtle twist of Indonesian flair. Balinese Inspired Chicken will take your chicken dinner to next level amazing! The method proved simple enough: make a curry paste, marinade, and cook. The thick curry paste is an aromatic base of onion, ginger, lemongrass and garlic along with chillies, turmeric and a generous squeeze of lime, for a unique flavour profile.


  • 1 chicken, whole, split
  • 10 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 fresh red Pencil or Thai chilies (de-seeded for less heat)
  • 4 small shallots, peeled, chopped
  • 1 lemongrass, bulb only, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground Turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon light soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (plus some to coat pan)
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves (fresh or dried)
  • 4 fresh limes
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • fresh cilantro, to finish


  1. Combine garlic, chilies, shallots, lemongrass, turmeric, soy sauce, the juice of two limes, kaffir lime leaves only if using fresh (if using dry add to chicken, whole as part of the marinade, as you see above) and1/2 cup of coconut (or vegetable) oil in robot coupe. Pulse until chunks are broken down somewhat and then blend until a smooth paste is formed (about 3 minutes). Add salt, blend to combine.
  2. Reserve two tablespoons of curry paste for sauce and refrigerate separately. Rub chicken with remaining paste, cover and refrigerate. Marinade for a minimum of 4 hours, preferably overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C). Prep pan with a light coat of coconut or vegetable oil, remove chicken from fridge, plaster as much of the marinade on the bird as you can. Roast at 450°F (230°C) for 25 minutes. Reduce heat to 375°F (190°C), cut remaining limes in half and add to pan, flesh down and roast for another 30 minutes.
  4. Coconut Curry Sauce: Combine remaining curry paste with coconut milk. Remove dish from the oven, remove both chicken and limes from pan and reserve, warm. Drain pan of excess oil. Mix coconut-curry mixture with the drippings in the bottom of the pan. Return chicken to the pan and return to the oven to finish. Cook until juices of the thigh run clear (approximately 20 minutes) or or until internal temperature reaches 170°F (77°C)
  5. Return limes to the hot pan, flesh up. Allow chicken to rest about five minutes. Finish with fresh cilantro (if desired) and serve.


This recipe can be as spicy or as mild as you like, it all depends on the type of chilies you choose and how many (if any) seeds you choose to remain in the curry paste. I de-seeded half the four chilies i used. The Pencil Chilies I chose have a medium heat, but I still used a glove to de-seed them. If you’re working with bare hands be sure to wash hands (and under nails), directly following any work with chillies! There are many a colourful stories from the kitchen involving chili oil accidentally rubbed in eyes and on (*ahem*) sensitive body parts. Trust me when I say that this can be at best, extremely unpleasant, and at worst dangerous. Safety first.

  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 mins
  • Category: Main
  • Cuisine: Balinese / Indonisian