Coconut & lime roast chicken

Photographer: Emma
Serves 6

This is the second of two recipes intended for our hangi which sadly was rained out.  I had intended to marinate the chicken overnight, then wrapping it in banana leaves before placing it into the hangi baskets to spend the day slowly cooking.  Whilst the rain quashed these plans I decided to resolutely stick to my guns and cook this recipe in the oven instead. To accompany the chicken I scrubbed a whole lot of dirt-crusted new season’s potatoes and simply placed them on a baking tray to roast, their brown skins wrinkling and pulling away from their waxy yellow interiors.

I think there is a lot of potential to play with this recipe.  You could add lemongrass or kaffir lime leaves, coriander or spring onions.  You could even add a tablespoon of rice flour to the coating which you rub on the chicken’s skin to give it a crunchy exterior.  The salsa verde recipe makes a good half a litre so pack what you don’t use up into sterilised jars and give it away as gifts.  Just remember to keep it in the fridge.


1 whole chicken
2 tbsp desiccated coconut
2 limes, juiced
1 red chilli, seeds removed, halved lengthways then finely sliced
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp ginger, freshly grated
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp light soy sauce

Watercress salsa verde
2 ½ cups watercress
1 shallot, peeled
1 clove garlic, peeled
3 tbsp capers
4 anchovy fillets
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
250ml olive oil


Coconut & lime roast chicken
1. Firstly, place the desiccated coconut, half the lime juice, half the chilli, half the shallot and half the garlic into a bowl and mix to combine. Use this mixture, as well as the limes left over from squeezing, to fill the cavity of the chicken.
2. Place the remaining lime juice, chilli, shallot, garlic, as well as the ginger, oil and soy sauce into a bowl, season and mix to combine.
3. Spread this mixture over the top of the chicken, massaging it into its skin. At this stage either place the chicken into the fridge to marinate (for a few hour or overnight) or place into a pre-heated oven at 180°C and cook until juices run clear. This should take anywhere from 1 ¼ – 1 ½ hours depending on the size of the chicken. Be sure not to overcook it otherwise it will dry out.

Watercress salsa verde
1. Place the watercress, shallot, garlic, capers, anchovies, vinegar and mustard into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.
2. Lastly add in the olive oil and blend again until just incorporated then season with salt and pepper.
3. Serve with the chicken. There will be left over salsa verde which you can store in a jar in the fridge.