Dear Reader, if you love Thai spices and roast chicken allow me to present you with one of the easiest, most delicious recipes you could ever make. This Thai roast chicken is basted in an aromatic red curry spice paste, kaffir lime leaves and lemongrass before being baked to crisp perfection! The roast pumpkin chunks and the special "dirty" or spiced rice make this a one dish meal that you will want to make over and over again.
Sometimes I try and send Mr NQN photos of me when we are apart just in case the admittedly unlikely scenario occurs that he totally forgets that he is married. These photo sends are usually strategically timed - often when he is out at night, usually having a beer after work with his friends.
Dear Reader, you may know the rules about selfies. For every 100 photos you take, 1 might turn out vaguely okay (or is that just me?). Honestly, I don't know how we took photos of ourselves before smartphones. Oh hang on, we didn't, we did other stuff!
So there I was was, trying to be all sexy. I tried all sorts of angles, all sorts of hair swings and all sorts of poses. I sent what I thought was a nice photo to Mr NQN. It wasn't too overtly sexy (just in case one of his friends accidentally picked up his phone) and it was a bit dorky, a bit like me really.
His response came straight away. Like an enormous anvil crushing Wile E. Coyote.
"You look like you're sitting on a toilet."
I mean don't you just love that honesty? I looked at the photo and he was half right. I sniffed, ego slightly dented.
"It actually looks like I am on a potty, not a toilet! So psffftttt!" I responded. And yes I know that neither is actually desirable beyond the age of two. Anyway, do you know what goes from unsexy to sexy in an instant? Chicken! Raw chicken is goose pimpled flesh but once the skin turns all burnished bronze, then it becomes another thing altogether. It becomes desirable. I don't think a roast chicken would ever take a bad selfie.
One of my favourite cuisines is Thai cuisine. There's something addictive about the perfect balance of sweet, salty, spicy and sour that is its hallmark. And something that we tend to eat a lot of is red curry. After the success of the lime and chilli butter chicken, I decided to try another roast chicken dish. Truthfully, it was because I had extra chicken and not a lot else in the fridge. So I started riffling through my condiment shelves in the fridge. Mr NQN always tells me off for having too many condiments and that that is the reason why my fridge door won't shut! To that I say psffftttt!!
I gave this dish two attempts. The first was with a straight red curry paste and while that was good, it needed something else. So I added some lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves and seasonings and suddenly it all sprang to life beautifully. And then the spiced rice came into play because those gorgeous pan drippings shouldn't go to waste. It's really just a matter of tossing the cooked rice in the sauce left in the pan after roasting. The pumpkin adds a completeness to the one dish meal. And Dear Reader, you'd better believe it when I say that this is a pushy recipe. Mr NQN is a fairly unemotional eater (unlike me who moans and gesticulates when eating) but even he was making sex noises when he was eating it.
Do what you will with this recipe, you have been warned ;)
So tell me Dear Reader, do you have a lot of condiments in your fridge door? Do you have a favourite condiment? And do you take selfies or are you in the camp that detests them? Do you own a selfie stick?
P.S. Here is the pic. I know, potty right?
Thai Red Curry Roast Chicken
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott/Not Quite Nigella
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 10 minutes for whole chicken (50 minutes for individual pieces)
- 1 whole chicken around 1kg/2lbs (or you can use chicken pieces)
- 2 tablespoons red curry paste (you can also use green curry paste if that is what you have)
- 1.5 tablespoons oil plus extra for drizzling
- 3 kaffir lime leaves, finely sliced
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped lemongrass
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 butternut pumpkin, peeled and cut into chunks
- 1 cup uncooked jasmine rice
- 2 tablespoons fresh coriander (optional)
Step 1 - Preheat oven to 200C/400F. Mix the curry paste, oil, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, salt and sugar in a bowl. Brush just over half of the mixture all over the chicken and on the pumpkin pieces. Drizzle the pumpkin with a little extra oil. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes.
Step 2 - Meanwhile, rinse the rice in cold water until the water runs clear, add water and steam on the stovetop or in a rice cooker.
The second basting where the colour intensifies
Step 3 - After 30 minutes, take the chicken out the oven and brush again with the remaining paste and toss the pumpkin pieces and drizzle a little more oil if needed. Return to the oven for another 30 minutes or however long it needs given the size (a total of 30 minutes for every 500g or 1lb.). If you are using pieces return it to the oven for another 20 minutes.
Step 4 - To make the dirty rice and serve, place the chicken and pumpkin on a serving plate and then add the cooked rice to the juices in the pan. Add some coriander if you want and serve alongside the chicken and roast pumpkin.