Coconut Roast Chicken with Soy Honey Glaze
by Alex Skaria, The Asian Barbecue Book: From Teriyaki to Tandoori
Reprinted with the express permission of Tuttle Publishing.
This dish is something really special and exotic. The chicken is placed over a fresh coconut—a Southeast Asian variation on “beer can chicken”! The coconut water steams the chicken from the inside while the exterior becomes nice and crispy. The chicken is served with the coconut water as a side dish. This aromatic and slightly sweet chicken dish is best served with stir-fried steamed rice or Japanese Grilled Eggplant.
Preparation time: 50 minutes
Grill time: 1 to 11⁄2 hours
1 fresh coconut or 1 can unsweetened coconut water (not coconut milk!) (reserve 3 tablespoons for the marinade)
1 small onion, thinly sliced into rings
2 green onions (scallions)
1 red jalapeno pepper or 2 green jalapeno peppers, deseeded and cut into thin slivers
1 chicken, about 3 to 4 lbs (1.5 to 2 kg)
Salt to taste
Soy Honey Marinade
2 tablespoons Chinese light soy sauce
3 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoons coconut water
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon peeled and finely chopped fresh ginger
1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper
Pinch of curry powder (optional)
Prepare the chicken support. If you’re using a fresh coconut, follow the steps shown below.
If you wish to use fresh coconut water with a chicken sitter or empty beer can, collect the coconut water from the freshly opened coconut and pour into a chicken sitter or an empty beer can with the top cut off. Add the onion rings, green onions and jalapeno pepper slivers to the sitter or can. Place the marinated chicken over the top of the sitter or can.
If you’re using canned coconut water, pour it into a chicken sitter or an empty beer can with the top cut off. Add the onion rings, green onions and jalapeno pepper slivers to the sitter or can. Place the marinated chicken over the top of the sitter or can.
To make the marinade, place the soy sauce, honey and sugar in a saucepan and set over medium heat. When the sugar is dissolved add the coconut water, garlic, ginger, black pepper and curry powder, if using, and simmer for a few minutes. Set aside and let cool.
Rub the chicken inside and outside with the marinade and keep in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Prepare the grill for indirect grilling. Place a drip pan in the middle and live coals around the drip pan.
Remove the chicken from the marinade and reserve any leftover marinade. In a saucepan, bring the leftover marinade to a simmer and cook for a few minutes. Set aside for basting.
Set the chicken resting on its support (can, coconut or sitter) on the hot grate above the drip pan or, if you’re using a gas grill, over the low heat zone and grill at medium temperature with the hood closed for about 1 to 11⁄2 hours. During the last
10 to 15 minutes of cooking, regularly baste the chicken with the leftover marinade. Check for doneness by pricking the bird underneath the wings. If the juices run clear, the chicken is done. Check for the meat for seasoning and sprinkle on salt if needed.