Saigon Lemongrass Chicken

The French have their way of roasting a chicken with garlic, herbs, and lemon – always a favorite, and one of the methods I use not only with an oven-roasted chicken, but also with a butterflied chicken-under-a-brick.  We won’t be doing any chicken under bricks until our deck is out from under snow, but that can’t keep me from butterflying a chicken and doing it in the oven. Tonight, continuing on an Asian theme since stocking up at Kam Man Market, we’ll be having chicken in a lemongrass marinade, adapted from Mai Pham’s excellent book “The Best of Vietnamese & Thai Cooking”. My copy is literally falling apart and splattered with specks of soy sauce and fish sauce, so often do I come back to this little treasure of Southeast Asian cuisine. Right now the butterflied Bell & Evans 3.75 lb bird is bathing in its marinade and will be roasted in a 12″ cast iron skillet for about an hour:




1 air-chilled chicken, prefereably Bell & Evans, weighing between 3.5-4 lbs., backbone and wingtips removed and breast bone slightly pierced from underside so chicken lies flat

Juice of 1 small lemon

1 medium shallot

1 stalk lemon grass cut into thin rings

3 plump cloves garlic

2 T fish sauce

3 T light soy sauce

1 t black pepper

1/4 cup honey

1/2 cup vegetable oil (not olive oil)


To make marinade, drop the shallot, cut lemongrass and garlic into feed tube of food processor with motor running.  Then stop motor, add the pepper, honey and vegetable oil, and process again until all is combined.  Pour this over the chicken in a large shallow platter or baking dish and let marinate in fridge as long as all day, or just a couple of hours.  Remove from fridge about an hour before roasting.

Place a 12″ cast iron skillet in oven and preheat to 425.  Remove chicken from its marinade and place skin side down on the hot skillet and roast for 20 minutes.  Then turn over and roast another 20-25 minutes.


Cut into serving pieces with poultry shears.


One thought on “Saigon Lemongrass Chicken

  1. This turned out quite tasty, but I think next time I’ll roast it entirely skin-side up; I’m sure the skin will brown and crisp up nicely from the sugar in the marinade, without the charred areas.


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