I really did mean to post a classic pot roast chicken. But this Thai red curry version is SO MUCH MORE EXCITING!! To-die-for red curry sauce with outrageously juicy chicken, you’ll have this in the oven in 10 minutes. Effortless recipes with incredible results, this is my kind of food!
Thai red curry pot roast chicken
Consider this to be the roast chicken version of Lamb Shanks Massaman Curry, and beloved fan-favourite where you just put everything in a pan, pop it in the oven, then out comes fall-apart bronzed lamb shanks smothered in a rich massaman curry sauce.
Admittedly, this roast chicken red curry version does call for one extra step – sautéing the curry paste with aromatics (garlic, ginger, lemongrass) – before adding everything else and transferring it into the oven. Well worth a whole 2 minutes of effort for the extra depth of flavour you get in the Thai red curry sauce. And LOOK at the sauce!!
Speaking of sauce – did I mention we’re using store bought instead of homemade red curry paste today? For ease. Which brings me to an important topic:
My favourite red curry paste – Maesri
The best and cheapest. Full stop, end of story!
There is just no other than compares in mainstream grocery stores and Asian stores here in Australia. For authentic flavour – fresh, real, and not too sweet (why-oh-why are all the “western” red curry pastes so darn sweet??!!). Given the tick of approval by Thai nationals and it happens to be the cheapest curry paste clocking in at $2.10 a can.
While I highly recommend Maesri, this recipe does work with other red curry paste brands too. But the sauce will only be as good as the curry paste you use!
Where to find Maesri red curry paste
Asian grocery stores (it’s very common here in Australia)
Ingredients in Thai red curry pot roast chicken
Here’s what you need to make today’s recipe.
The red curry sauce
Red curry paste – As per section above, Maesri is my preferred! Cheapest and most authentic flavour.
Lemongrass, garlic and ginger – Adding these gives the store bought curry paste a flavour boost that makes it virtually like homemade red curry paste. It really makes a different!
Lemongrass – Substitute with 1 tablespoon of lemongrass paste. But one day, I hope you can make this with fresh lemongrass because it really is better!
Coconut cream – Not all coconut cream is created equal! Good ones are 100% coconut and have better flavour. Economical ones use water + thickener.
Coconut milk will also work but coconut flavour is not as intense (the sauce gets a ton of juices from chicken which dilutes the coconut flavour which is why coconut cream works better than milk).
Kaffir lime leaves – For authentic Thai curry flavour! Fairly accessible these days at large grocery stores and Asian stores. They freeze 100% perfectly which is handy.
Use leftover kaffire lime leaves in Thai red curry, Tom Yum soup, Thai meatballs, beef rendang, Malaysian chicken satay curry, green curry, golden turmeric baked fish and everybody’s favourite Asian coconut rice!
Fish sauce – This is used as the salt in red curry. More flavour than plain salt!
Sugar – For the right touch of sweetness you find in red curry sauce.
Red chilli – For optional garnish.
Vegetables and herbs
Potatoes – Small, skin on whole potatoes are best as the skin holds them together while they cook up beautifully creamy inside. If using cut pieces, add them partway through cooking else they will disintegrate.
Green beans – Just to add some vegetables into the sauce, plus a sprinkle of green. Feel free to add other vegetables!
Thai Basil has a slight aniseed flavour. Italian basil can be used in a pinch! Really adds a special touch to the finished dish so try not to skip it. But if this is the only thing you’re missing, still worth making!
Coriander/cilantro (optional) – This is mainly for garnish, though if you don’t have Thai Basil this makes a good alternative as a fresh herb addition to the dish.
Oh yes, and you will need a whole chicken. Let’s not make today’s recipe like that time I forgot to include pork in a roast pork recipe!! 😂
I use a 1.8kg/3.6lb chicken. It’s fine to use one a little larger or smaller as the pot-roasting method of cooking we’re using today is very forgiving. It will keep chicken juicy even if you take it over (small chickens) and cooks evenly and fast so larger chickens will cook through.
How to make Thai red curry pot roast chicken
This all gets made in one pot, and you’ll have it in the oven in 10 minutes!
Cook off curry paste – Sauté the curry paste with lemongrass, ginger and garlic for a couple of minutes. The curry paste will dry out and caramelise which intensifies and improves the flavour. An essential step when using any store bought curry paste!
Sauce – Add the chicken stock then reduce it by half to concentrate the flavour. Add the remaining sauce ingredients – coconut cream, fish sauce, sugar, kaffir lime leaves – and stir to combine.
Put the chicken into the sauce and spoon sauce over. Then place the potatoes around it.
Bake covered for 40 minutes.
Brown the chicken – After 40 minutes, remove the lid and bake for a further 30 minutes, basting every 10 minutes. Oh, and push the beans into the sauce for the last 10 minutes! Any earlier and they’ll overcook far too much.
Just use a spoon to baste the chicken (which simple means spooning the sauce over) though if you have a turkey baster, it will make your life even easier.
Final baste – Give the chicken a final baste then transfer it to a plate to rest for 10 minutes before cutting it into pieces.
Thai Basil leaves – Stir the basil leaves into the sauce just before plating up, so as to retain the freshness of the flavour.
To serve – Place the chicken pieces on a platter then pour over the sauce, potatoes and beans. Garnish with extra chilli and fresh coriander if desired, then take it to the table!
I know I’ve been going on and on about the sauce – and it really is worthy of the talk, I promise – but I shouldn’t undersell how juicy the chicken is, thanks to the pot roasting method of cooking! So much more forgiving than traditional roast chicken – which we all love, but does require more accuracy to ensure you don’t end up with a dry breast.
Ah, also, the potatoes!! Using whole small baby potatoes means we can cook them until they are really soft and creamy inside without disintegrating. If you only have large potatoes, cut them into 1.5cm / 0.6″ chunks and add them about halfway through the cook time, otherwise they will over-cook and turn into mush.
Serve over jasmine rice, to soak up all that beautiful curry sauce, and a perky side salad for something fresh. Pictured above is my Asian side salad but if I had a choice, I probably would’ve opted for smashed cucumbers or my favourite Chang’s Crispy Noodle Cabbage Salad.
I really hope you try this recipe one of these days! Something a little different but very straight forward to make that’s forgiving, with knock-your-socks-off results. It’s Amazing – with a capital A. Everybody knows when I use capitals, I really mean it! 😂 – Nagi x
Watch how to make it
Thai red curry pot roast chicken
- 1.8 kg/ 3.6 lb whole chicken
- 1 tsp cooking/kosher salt
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 115g/ 4 oz (1/2 cup) Thai red curry paste (Maesri recommended, Note 1)
- 2 large garlic cloves , finely grated (Note 2)
- 2 tsp fresh ginger , finely grated (Note 2)
- 2 tsp fresh lemongrass , finely grated, white / pale green part only (Note 2)
- 1 cup chicken stock/broth , low sodium
- 400 ml/ 14 oz coconut cream (Note 3)
- 6 kaffir lime leaves , crushed in hand (Note 4)
- 1 tbsp white sugar
- 2 tsp fish sauce
- 600g/ 1.2lb small potatoes (12 or so), skin on (Note 5)
- 120g/ 4oz green beans , trimmed and cut in half
- 15 Thai basil leaves , or more! (sub ordinary Italian basil, Note 6)
Serving + optional garnishes:
- Jasmine rice
- Red chilli , finely sliced
- Coriander / cilantro leaves
- De-chill & salt chicken – Take the chicken out of the fridge 1 hour prior. Pat dry then sprinkle with the salt.
- Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F (180°C fan).
- Sauté curry paste – Use a large, oven-proof pot with a lid. Heat oil on medium high heat. Cook curry paste, garlic, ginger and lemongrass for 2 minutes. This step substantially improves the flavour of store bought curry paste.
- Sauce – Add chicken stock, stir, then simmer rapidly for 3 minutes to reduce by half. Stir in coconut cream, hand-crushed kaffir lime leaves, sugar and fish sauce.
- Place chicken into the sauce. Spoon over sauce. Surround with potatoes.
- Bake 1 hour – Place the lid on and bake for 40 minutes. Remove lid spoon sauce over chicken (ie. baste). Turn the oven up to 220°C/425°F (200°C fan). Bake uncovered for 10 minutes, baste, bake another 10 minutes.
- Beans, then bake 10 minutes – Push beans into the sauce (wherever they fit!). Baste again then bake for a final 10 minutes (no lid).
- Rest 10 minutes – Remove chicken onto a plate (Note 7). Rest 10 minutes. Put lid on pot to keep sauce warm.
- Serving – Carve chicken, place on platter. Stir basil leaves into sauce. Pour/spoon sauce, potatoes and beans over chicken. Garnish with chilli and coriander, if desired. Serve with jasmine rice!
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