I’ve got you under my skin… Vietnamese Roast Chicken.

I’ve got you deep in the heart of me
So deep in my heart that you’re really a part of me
I’ve got you under my skin

This sounds like a strange way to sing one’s way into a story. Go with it. You remember the standard, written by Cole Porter, made famous by Old Blue Eyes. Now sing along…

I’d tried so not to give in
I said to myself, “This affair never will go so well”
But why should I try to resist when, baby, I know so well
I’ve got you under my skin

I found myself humming this to myself as I prepared Vietnamese Roast Chicken with Lemongrass. I will get to why the tune was in my head.

Time to come clean. I had no shallots. I used a small onion and some spring onions instead. The camera never lies.

Here’s what you will need

  • A good free range chicken (Don’t start me about quality ingredients, particularly chicken.)
  • 3 stalks of lemongrass
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 4 shallots
  • 2 seeded red peppers
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

I divert from the recipe a little here (for convenience) Peel the outer leaves and slice the lemongrass. Roughly chop the chili, shallots, and garlic.

Ready to whizz. I don’t like the word ‘blitz’. It seems too destructive to me.

Put it in a blender and whizz it to a paste. Add the sugar, fish sauce and salt. Whizz to mix.

Blitzed. OK, I admit it is blitzed in the blender, even if I don’t like the word.

Wash and pat dry the chicken.

There is no reason for this picture bar I like the lighting. Very ‘Noir’, don’t you think?

Now the awful truth of the song. push your fingers under the skin of the chicken to loosen it from the breast (white meat to the modest amongst you) and the legs. Then scoop up half of the mixture and rub it into the flesh under the skin.

I couldn’t photo it while I did it. So you will have to take my word for it.

I found that humming along stopped me thinking about what I was doing. Rub the remaining mixture over the outside and inside the cavity of the bird. Tie it up and roast it. 220c for 15 minutes and 190c for another hour or so. Let it stand for 10 minutes.

You got to admit, it looks excellent. The house was full of the beautiful aromas.

Then carve it and serve it

Serve with Nuoc Cham.

My slightly strange-looking Nouc Cham. It tasted truly amazing. Try it.

For this you will need

  • 2 small garlic cloves crushed
  • 1 small red chili deseeded
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of lime juice
  • 4 tablespoons of fish sauce

Stick these in a blender and blend until the sugar has dissolved. I did not mince my chili enough so bits of it floated. Despite this faux pas, it tasted truly wonderful.

Why can I not manage to get lovely shots of the meal on the plate?

Carve the chicken and serve it with the Nuoc Cham and Thai fragrant rice. I got the recipe from a truly awesome book, in which there is not one single poor recipe.

Not only a fantastic recipe book but wonderful design and photos too.

Last but not least – the drink.

A nice (if unfashionable amongst the Pinot Grigio set), Napa Valley Chardonnay. Perfect with the chicken.

Oaked Chardonnay is sooo unfashionable at present that it is not easy to get a decent Chardonnay in these parts. It’s funny the fashion in wine. If it tastes good, it tastes good. If it goes well with a dish it goes well with a dish. Fashion should not dictate what goes with what.  This went perfectly with the heady chicken.

Now, sing for your supper.

“Don’t you know, little fool, you never can win?
Why not use your mentality, step up, wake up to reality”
But each time I do just the thought of you makes me stop
Just before I begin ’cause I’ve got you under my skin
Yes, I’ve got you under my skin…

Written by
Latest comments
  • Yum, yum Conor. On my way out to get the ingredients now!

  • Maybe I’m a bit twisted but I like stuffing a good quality bird. Having said that I don’t think I’ve done it whilst humming Cole Porter. As for Chardonnay, I hate to admit that, while only really liking that type of wine, I don’t think I’d know unoaked v oaked except that one tastes different to the other (actually that brings me on to Americans and wine – in the States wine selection is taken very seriously – its all ‘where’s it from and nosing and swirling, maybe I lack breeding but I can’t help thinking that in a steakhouse it justs helps the flash-fried flesh go down).

    • I’m with you on this. I have to laugh when out for a pizza, seeing punters sagely nodding their approval of a €10 bottle of plonk. I usually say that I will taste it later and let them know if it is off. They don’t like that. They don’t like when I joke that the same applies to the food. Joke? Perhaps.

  • Terrific recipe …. I’d almost not want to use the nuoc cham with it 🙂

  • This looks yum! Going to give it a go.

  • Whoa, good chicken!

  • This is definitely worth a try. That marinade could work well with pork too, I’m guessing. Would you absolutely recommend the dipping sauce with it? When I make it I don’t want to lose out on what it’s meant to be.

  • Viet food….spicy but I still prefer Thai…..BTW thanx for the visit to Food Nazi

    • I love to read the more reactionary views. So many people allow themselves to be browbeaten by restaurant staff with supersillious attitudes and chefs who think it is acceptable to shout and rant at underlings while turning out food that is not as good as I can cook at home.

      • I have run into many chefs that are egotistical and their food sucked…..

  • Looks great Conor….btw….now I cannot get that song out of my head!

  • Conor, your chicken sounds so good. I haven’t been able to find lemongrass in our little lake town so I’m growing some. When it gets large enough to harvest some stalks, I’m going to try your recipe.

  • Great song, great recipe. I love Thai food (or is it Vietnamese?) Never mind, I love those flavours. Fabulous with that dipping sauce.

  • I was singing along from the start of your post….the chicken looks amazing!

  • Where I can get this book? 🙂

    p.s. Food looks delicious as usual, worse to try after my diet 😀

  • I too am a singing cook but my tunes are usually more along the lines of “Yummy yummy yummy I got stuff in my tummy” with incorrect lyrics to boot.

    Love the sound of this spice paste – and I reckon it worked even better with your spring onion/onion mix as it probably added a bit more colour no? Anyway, either way sounds great. Might even give it a go this Sunday!

Join the conversation, you know you want to....

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: