Sunday night dinner took a completely different turn last night. I’d like to say that I came up with this one but I have to confess, it was down to our friends Naomi and Mo who quite thoughtfully gave me a book called “The Asian Barbecue Book” for my birthday. In that book, there’s a recipe that stopped Heather in her tracks and so we had to try the Coconut Butt Chicken (though it’s officially called “Coconut Roast Chicken with Honey Glaze.”
A couple of things about this recipe before we dive in. First, as with all food, it’s really important to have the right and fresh ingredients on hand. As we live in Singapore, coconuts are more than plentiful. In fact, if our little daughter wasn’t restrained, she’d probably be able to climb the coconut tree in the front garden and pluck one for us right out of the tree. Anyway, make sure that if you are trying this recipe out, get yourself a fresh coconut, preferably one that’s already been scalped and prepped for cooking. In the supermarket here, they call them “ready to drink” coconuts.
Second, the grilling technique calls for indirect heat, that is, no flame, just convection heat from within the grill. What I would strongly suggest is to wrap your chicken’s wings in aluminium foil along with the shoulders and breast. The glaze on this chicken contains honey and coconut water – that is, its sweet and will burn very easily. Fortunately I managed to stave off some of the char by jumping in quickly but for next time, just wrap the bird and then remove the foil for the last 15 minutes of roasting.
Third, make more marinade than the book tells you, you’ll need it. In this entry, I’ll give you three times the amount so that you can reserve 1/3 and use 2/3 on the bird. Lastly, I would say marinate the chicken in the fridge for a couple of hours. I followed the book and it only called for thirty minutes. With such a wonderful glaze and marinade, go for a few hours if you can!
OK, on to the main event! Here are your ingredients:
- 1 fresh coconut
- 1 small onion thinly sliced into rings
- 2 scallions, or green onions
- 2 green jalapeno peppers, de-seeded and cut into thin slices
- 1 whole chicken (cleaned and prepped)
- 6 tablespoons of light soy sauce
- 9 tablespoons of honey
- 3 teaspoons of granulated sugar
- 9 tablespoons of coconut water (I had an extra coconut)
- 9 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or blended up in the food processor
- 3 tablespoons of fresh old ginger, finely chopped or minced
- 1.5 teaspoons of fresh black pepper
- a healthy pinch of curry powder