1 whole chicken, about 1.3kg, spatchcocked
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons dark muscovado sugar
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
2 banana shallots, peeled
3 garlic cloves, peeled
2½cm-piece ginger
5cm-piece fresh turmeric, peeled, or 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
50g white sugar
300g red cabbage, thinly sliced
1 carrot, julienned
10 red radishes, thinly sliced
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 cucumber, deseeded and julienned
100ml rice vinegar
3 banana shallots, peeled
3 garlic cloves, peeled
2½cm-piece ginger
5 tablespoons chilli paste (I recommend sambal badjak)
2 stalks lemongrass, trimmed
2 tablespoons coconut milk
1 tablespoon tamarind paste

I have a vivid memory of saving my pocket money to buy this dish at the night market in my village when I was 11 years old. I waited all week for Friday night to come when the smoke from the stall carried with it the wonderful smell of grilled chicken that makes you instantly hungry. At the night market, a half chicken would be flattened and tied lengthways onto bamboo sticks so it could be turned easily to cook both sides; for my version, I use a whole spatchcocked chicken, marinated in the sauce and baked in the oven.


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1.Preheat the oven to 160℃ fan/180℃.
2.Using a handheld stick blender or food processor, blitz together the marinade ingredients, apart from the salt, with 2 tablespoons water until fine and smooth.
3.Rub the chicken with the 1 teaspoon of salt, then rub the chicken generously with the marinade and set aside in the fridge for 30 minutes or overnight.
4.For the slaw, dilute the sugar with 200ml boiling water and then add all the other ingredients, give everything a good mix and set aside.
5.Meanwhile, blitz together the sauce ingredients with 2 tablespoons water until fine and smooth.
6.Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over a medium heat and cook the sauce for 3 minutes, then add the sugar and salt.
7.Stir in 300ml water and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat.
8.Lift the chicken out of the marinade, place on an oven tray and bake for 15 minutes. Discard the marinade.
9.Take the chicken out of the oven, baste with the sauce and return to the oven for another 15 minutes.
10.Repeat the same process once more (basting then baking the chicken) so the chicken has cooked for 45 minutes in total.
11.Give the baked chicken another baste once it has been removed from the oven.
12.Cut into four pieces and divide between four serving bowls with the slaw on the side.
13.Serve immediately with any remaining sauce alongside.

Recipes extracted
with permission from
Bowlful by Norman
Musa (HarperCollins,
$49.99). Photography
Luke J Albert.