AT A GLANCE
Start this recipe a day ahead to marinate the chicken.
|01||To butterfly the chicken, place it breast side down and cut down either side of the backbone with a pair of poultry shears. Discard the backbone or use it for stock.|
|02||Turn chicken over and press down on the breastbone to flatten the bird, then cut through the cartilage from the neck end and run your fingers along the sides of the breast bone and tease it out. Trim off any fat and discard fat and breastbone.|
|03||Pat both sides of chicken dry with paper towel and make a few slashes on the thickest part of the legs and breasts.|
|04||Combine spice rub ingredients and salt to taste in a zip-lock bag. Add chicken to bag, seal it and shake vigorously to coat chicken with spice mixture, massaging well into chicken, and refrigerate overnight to marinate.|
|05||For spice paste, pound ingredients in batches with a mortar and pestle to a paste, adding a little reserved chilli-soaking liquid if needed.|
|06||Heat oil in a wok or saucepan over medium-high heat, add spice paste, lemongrass, asam gelugor, kaffir lime leaves and whole spices and stir-fry until fragrant (5-6 minutes).|
|07||Add coconut milk, sugar and 250ml water, reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens slightly (12-15 minutes). Season to taste with salt and discard lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves. Allow to cool, then set a third of the sauce aside to serve, and reserve remainder for basting.|
|08||Prepare a charcoal barbecue; it’s ready when coals have a light coating of ash (40-45 minutes). Bring chicken to room temperature 20 minutes before cooking.|
|09||To make the kerabu rice salad, toss ingredients in a large bowl and season with salt.|
|10||Place chicken skin-side down first and grill, basting with sauce and turning occasionally, until nicely charred and juices run clear when pierced with a skewer in the thickest part of chicken (35-40 minutes). Rest chicken for 10 minutes, then cut into portions and serve with kerabu rice salad and reserved sauce.|
Note Asam gelugor or asam keping, a dried, sliced sour fruit, and candlenuts are available from select Asian supermarkets and grocers. If asam gelugor is unavailable, substitute 2 tbsp of tamarind purée.