Easy Thai Roast Chicken
Yield: 4 servings*
You'll love this dish for the easy advance prep and great flavor, and you'll be amazed by the incredible tenderness of the meat! 


  • 1 cup (240ml) canned, unsweetened coconut milk (full fat or light)
  • 3 tablespoons (45g) Thai curry paste** (may use red, green or yellow; I often buy Thai Kitchen’s little glass jar)
  • 2 teaspoons (10ml) fish sauce (Red Boat is a very good option)
  • Zest PLUS 2 tablespoons (30ml) juice, from 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 chicken quarters (or 8 chicken thighs, bone-in, skin-on)***
  • Optional garnishes: additional lime zest; chopped fresh cilantro; a drizzle of sriracha or chili garlic sauce


  1. In a large measuring cup or small bowl, combine the coconut milk, curry paste, fish sauce, lime zest and juice and salt. Taste and adjust with more salt or curry paste if desired. The marinade should be salty, rich and very flavorful. (Marinade will be drained off later.)

    Place the chicken in a zip-top bag, and pour in the marinade. Toss to coat the chicken thoroughly, and marinate it in the fridge overnight or at least 8 hours if possible.

    When you’re ready to cook the chicken, remove the chicken from the fridge and preheat the oven to 425°F. Drain the marinade from the chicken and discard. (You don’t want the chicken to be too drippy when it goes in the oven.)

    Option 1 (for slightly crisper skin): Place a wire rack that has been sprayed or greased on a foil-lined, rimmed baking sheet and arrange the chicken on the rack skin-side down. Bake the chicken for 40-45 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F, flipping the thighs skin side up at the halfway point.

    Option 2: Skip the rack and place the chicken right on the foil (do spray or grease the foil.) Proceed as in Option 1, but if you want crisper skin, carefully drain off the liquid that cooks out of the chicken at the halfway point. Then, after 40 minutes, place the chicken on the top rack and broil (I do it on low) for about 2 minutes, watching carefully and turning for even browning, or until the skin is golden and lightly crisped.

    For juiciest meat, allow the chicken to rest 5-10 minutes before cutting. For added flavor, grate a little extra lime zest on top.


*If you’re a family of more than four (or simply want leftovers), feel free to squeeze an extra chicken quarter or two in the bag. As long as the pieces are coated in marinade, all will turn out well. (With this amount of marinade, I’ve gone as high as 6 quarters and 4¼ pounds of chicken pieces. In this case I used a 2-gallon zip-top bag.)

**The curry paste I use is not especially spicy. If using a variety that is “hot,” you may wish to start with 2 tablespoons and then taste the marinade, adding the final tablespoon if desired.

***You could certainly use this marinade with boneless, skinless chicken breasts – and report back if you do! Just make sure to reduce the cook time. Depending on the size of the breasts, this will likely take 15-25 minutes. For juiciest, most tender meat, the internal temperature when taken with a quick-read thermometer should register 165℉.

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