Turmeric Roast Chicken With Cardamom-Coconut Jasmine Rice

March 27, 2024
8 Ratings
Photo by Elvin Abril
  • Prep time 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Serves 4 to 6
Author Notes

The flavors of this dish are heavily influenced by the flavors of Southeast Asia, specifically Thailand. On my first trip there last fall, I came across many stalls in Krabi serving grilled chicken thighs and drumsticks on skewers, bone and all. These were generously seasoned and surprisingly not spicy. A side of perfumy, coconut rice was my go-to at all times. This spatchcocked chicken cooked in the oven with high heat captures some of those grilled flavor notes as the skin begins to char and blister. The cardamom-coconut jasmine rice pairs beautifully, lending a subtle sweetness to balance the chicken’s deep savoriness.
César Pérez

What You'll Need
  • For the turmeric roast chicken:
  • Kosher salt, for brining and seasoning
  • 4 to 5 pounds chicken, spatchcocked
  • 1 nub fresh turmeric, grated (or 2 teaspoons ground turmeric)
  • 5 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 2 teaspoons chicken powder or bouillon
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) cold, salted butter, halved, then cut in half vertically into four planks
  • For the coconut rice:
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups jasmine rice
  • 2 teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 cups coconut water
  • 2 cups full-fat coconut milk
  1. For the turmeric roast chicken:
  2. Season the spatchcocked chicken liberally with salt and leave uncovered in the refrigerator for an hour or up to overnight to dry brine. When ready to use, remove from the refrigerator and let rest for an hour. While the chicken is resting, pre-heat the oven to 425°F/218°C.
  3. In a mortar and pestle or food processor, grind turmeric and garlic along with a pinch of salt into a paste. Stir in fish sauce, white pepper, chicken powder, lime juice, and sugar.
  4. Rub the loose spice paste all over the chicken and under the skin of the breasts and thighs. Place a plank of butter under the skin of each breast and thigh. Set the chicken on a sheet pan or in an oven-safe skillet and place in oven.
  5. After 30 minutes, check the chicken to ensure that it isn’t browning too quickly. If the breasts are browning quicker than the rest of the bird, tent the breasts with aluminum foil and continue to cook for another 30 minutes, about an hour total, or until an instant read thermometer stuck in the thickest part of the thigh registers 165°F/74°C. Once the chicken is cooked, remove from the oven and tent with a piece of aluminum foil and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes before cutting into it.
  1. For the coconut rice:
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of extra virgin coconut oil until it begins to shimmer. Add the ground cardamom and bay leaf and allow to bloom for 30 seconds.
  3. Add in rice and turn to coat completely in the oil. Toast until fragrant and grains begin to look slightly chalky, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add in salt, sugar, coconut water, and coconut milk. Stir well once and leave undisturbed until the surface of the rice begins to peer through the liquid. Give it one more thorough stir, cover, and reduce heat to low. Leave undisturbed for 20 minutes (no peeking!).
  5. After 20 minutes, remove from heat and allow to rest for an additional 5 to 10 minutes before uncovering and fluffing with a fork. Serve a portion of the chicken with a spoonful of the drippings over the rice.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • FrugalCat
  • Vicusia
  • Lesley Enston
    Lesley Enston

4 Reviews

Lesley E. April 15, 2024
This was hands down one of the best roast chicken recipes I've ever made. It was so flavorful yet so easy to make. And that rice?? Fragrant and delightful, complimented the chicken perfectly. I should have check the chicken a little sooner, as it maybe got a little more scorched than necessary, but otherwise a hit in the household, from the particular 5 year old to the chicken-suspicious adult and everyone in between. Will definitely make it again. April 15, 2024
I started to make this and then realised I didn't have any bouillon!! Created this article to help other people if they find themselves in the same boat.
FrugalCat April 10, 2024
I didn't have a whole chicken so I used leg quarters. Very tasty recipe.
Vicusia April 5, 2024
Can you try to cook something like this one