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Roast chilli chicken with tomato and tamarind salad

Recipe for roast chilli chicken with tomato and tamarind salad.

By Alice Storey & Emma Knowles
  • 30 mins preparation
  • 50 mins cooking plus marinating
  • Serves 10
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Roast chilli chicken with tomato and tamarind salad
You'll need to begin this recipe a day ahead.


  • 2 chickens (about 1.8kg each), butterflied
  • 4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 3 small red chillies, coarsely chopped
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, white part only, finely chopped
  • 40 gm light palm sugar, crushed
  • 8 kaffir lime leaves, torn
  • 80 ml each soy sauce and fish sauce (1/3 cup)
  • 60 ml vegetable oil (¼ cup)
  • Juice of 2 limes, plus wedges to serve
Tomato and tamarind salad
  • 2 red shallots, thinly sliced
  • ½ garlic clove, finely chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime, or to taste
  • 1 tbsp tamarind purée (see note)
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce, or to taste
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp finely grated palm sugar, or to taste
  • 6 vine-ripened or ox-heart tomatoes, thickly sliced
  • 350 gm mixed cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cup each mint and coriander
  • To serve: fried shallots (see note)


  • 1
    Place chickens skin-side up in a large non-reactive container and set aside. Pound garlic, chilli, lemongrass, palm sugar and 1 tsp sea salt flakes in a mortar and pestle to a coarse paste, add lime leaves and pound until bruised. Add soy sauce, fish sauce, oil and lime juice, mix well to combine, adjust seasoning to taste, pour over chicken, rub well into skin and flesh, cover and refrigerate to marinate (overnight).
  • 2
    Preheat oven to 180C. Place each chicken skin-side up on an oven tray, drizzle with a little oil and roast, basting occasionally, until cooked through (45-50 minutes).
  • 3
    For tomato and tamarind salad, combine shallot, garlic and lime juice in a bowl and stand until shallot softens (2-3 minutes). Add tamarind, fish sauce, oil and palm sugar, stir to combine and adjust seasoning to taste. Before serving, add tomato and herbs, toss to combine and scatter with fried shallot. Serve with roast chilli chicken and lime wedges.


Note Tamarind purée and fried shallots are available from Asian grocers.
Drink Suggestion: Big, rich grenache rosé. Drink suggestion by Max Allen