Chefs' Recipes

JoyBird's Balinese curried chicken

A whole chicken, slathered in yellow curry paste, and grilled over coals. Prepare for the flavour onslaught.

By Adam Liston
  • 30 mins preparation
  • 50 mins cooking (plus marinating)
  • Serves 4
  • Print
"Shobosho did an event earlier this year in Ubud where we were meant to cook our teriyaki chicken," says chef Adam Liston. "My sous-chef Yumi and I were blown away by a yellow curry we had the night before, so we asked how to make the base and changed our recipe. The result was outstanding." Start this recipe at least 4 hours ahead to marinate the chicken.


  • 300 ml coconut crean
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 whole chicken (about 1.6kg), butterflied
  • Lemon halves, to serve
Curry paste
  • 55 gm onion (about ½ small onion), coarsely chopped
  • 20 gm ginger (about 4cm), coarsely chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 60 gm long red chillies
  • 1 birdseye chilli
  • 2 tbsp ground turmeric
  • 10 gm galangal, thinly sliced
  • 1 lemongrass stalk (white part only), very thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup makrut lime leaves, very thinly sliced
  • 1½ tbsp shrimp paste
  • 125 ml (½ cup) vegetable oil


  • 1
    For curry paste, blend ingredients (except oil) in a small food processor until very finely chopped, then with the motor running, slowly drizzle in oil until a purée. Fry curry paste in a saucepan over medium heat until fragrant and excess water has evaporated (3 minutes).
  • 2
    Add coconut cream, soy sauce, sugar, fish sauce andna pinch of salt to saucepan and bring to the boil. Boil until thickened (5-10 minutes), then strain through a sieve and cool.
  • 3
    Cover chicken with 180ml curry sauce, cover and refrigerate to marinate (at least 2 hours or overnight).
  • 4
    Burn coals down on a charcoal barbecue to medium heat. Place chicken skin-side down on grill and cook, turning and basting with curry sauce occasionally, until cooked through (30-40 minutes; juices will run clear when a thigh is pierced with a skewer), then cut into 8 pieces.
  • 5
    Meanwhile, grill lemons cutside down over coals until lightly caramelised (2 minutes). Warm remaining curry sauce in a small saucepan over low heat (1-2 minutes). Pour over chicken and serve with lemon.


Wine suggestion Scintilla Ouille savagnin from the Fleurieu Peninsula. Wine suggestion by Ollie Margan.