Thai Roast Chicken is my favorite new way to roast a chicken. It’s delicious on the outside with the savory aroma of lemongrass and garlic and it’s slightly sweet from the perfect blend of fish sauce and brown sugar. It’s so juicy and tender on the inside. Even the breast is full of flavor. This whole roast chicken was just so yummy that I’ll be roasting another Thai chicken next week. This is hands-down the BEST roast chicken I’ve ever had.
The key to this Thai Roast Chicken recipe is you have to spatchcock the whole chicken first. Spatchcock means that you remove the backbone with a sharp knife or kitchen scissors. Once the backbone is removed, you will flatten the chicken. This results in a quicker cooking time and a skin that is out of this world good. Saveur has a great article with images on How to Spatchcock a Chicken.
You can throw away the backbone, but you can also make homemade chicken stock with it (that’s what I did.) You can also fry it up, or you can make homemade gravy with it. So many possibilities with zero waste.
Thai Roast Chicken tastes best when dipped in Nam Jim Jaew (Thai Chili Dipping Sauce). This is my favorite Thailand dipping sauce. It’s sweet and sour and spicy. It’s basically Thailand’s version of Nuoc Cham (which is Vietnamese Dipping Sauce). Nam Jim Jaew can be found everywhere in Thailand, and it’s no wonder. It’s absolutely delicious.
You can make Nam Jim Jaew as spicy as you want. You can also omit the chili flakes if you don’t want a spicy sauce.
What I love most about this Thai chili dipping sauce is that it has a tamarind base. I absolutely LOVE tamarind. It uses tamarind concentrate, which you can find at any Asian grocery store or online on Amazon. If you have blocks of seedless tamarind, like I do in my kitchen, you can also make your own tamarind concentrate (also called tamarind paste). Simply mix a chunk of it with an equal amount of boiling water. Wait until the water cools, mix it together with your hands. Strain it through a coarse sieve and you’re done.
I also just eat seedless tamarind like a snack because I grew up on it. That stuff is addicting!
This recipe is my all time favorite roast chicken. I adapted it from Marion’s Kitchen’s recipe. She has a great video on how to make it on her website.
If you try it, let me know how you like it. Enjoy and happy eating!
Thai Roast Chicken with Thai Chili Dipping Sauce (Nam Jim Jaew)
- 1 whole chicken (3-4 lbs)
- 2 tbsp lemongrass, minced
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 3 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp dark soy sauce
Thai Chili Dipping Sauce (Nam Jim Jaew)
- 2 tsp glutinous rice (sticky rice)
- 1 tbsp tamarind concentrate
- 3 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp lime juice (fresh)
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp chili flakes (optional, if you like spice)
- 1 small shallot, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup cilantro finely chopped
- Preheat the oven to 340 degrees F.
- Spatchcock the chicken: use kitchen shears and remove the backbone of the chicken. Lay the chicken (breast side up) on a roasting tray that is lined with aluminum foil. Press down on the chicken breast to flatten it slightly.
Marinate the Chicken
- Mix all the marinade ingredients together. Spread the marinade evenly all over the chicken, and on both sides. Make sure to get all the nooks and crevices. Let it rest for at least 10 minutes (overnight is even better and will result in a more flavorful chicken).
- Cover the chicken with aluminum foil and cook in the oven for 25 minutes.
- Remove the foil. Brush the chicken all over with the juice that's seeped out on the bottom of the tray. Bake the oven (uncovered) for another 15 minutes or until the chicken is completely cooked. A chicken is done when its juices run clear, or a meat thermometer reads 180 degrees F.
- Remove from the oven and let rest while you make the dipping sauce.
Prepare the Thai Chili Dipping Sauce (Nam Jim Jaew)
- Toast your glutinous rice (sticky rice) in a frying pan (no oil) over high heat until the rice turns brown and smells like popcorn. Place in a mortar and pestle and grind it until it becomes a fine powder.
- Combine the powder with the other ingredients of the dipping sauce (except the shallot and cilantro). Mix until everything is well combined. Then add the sliced shallot and cilantro right before serving.
Serve and Enjoy!
- Cut up the chicken. Serve with rice. Dip the chicken meat into the nam jim jaew sauce, and enjoy!