Cambodian grilled chicken (541 calories per serve)

I spent a good chunk of my childhood in Cambodia. Most of the time, my mom or our helper would cook. But sometimes, especially when my mom was time-poor, she would buy grilled chicken from local hawker stalls that used to set up in the evenings outside the Lucky Supermarket (back then there was only one). I remember my mom only wanting to have the ‘freshly grilled’ ones and sometimes that meant we had to wait a good 20 minutes to wait for it to cook. But the wait was worth it and I remember the wonderful aroma and smell as if it was yesterday. This recipe comes pretty close to the real deal but Australian chicken is a lot more tender than what was available in Cambodia all those decades ago. It’s a real treat and trip down memory lane.

Serves 4

Prep time 10 mins + marinate overnight
Cook time 45 mins

1 whole chicken (approx 1.8-2kg), butterflied
6 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp salt
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp chilli paste / 3-4 crushed chillis
2 tbsp vegetable oil

Dipping sauce (optional):
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 lime, juice

Marinade the chicken withe the garlic, sugar, salt, soy sauce, fish sauce, chilli paste and vegetable oil and leave it overnight in the fridge.

Grill for 5 minutes on each side for about 45 minutes in total, or until cooked. Baste with the leftover marinade every time you turn over.

Rest the chicken for 10 minutes before cutting into pieces and serving with dipping sauce (optional) and rice.

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