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whole roasted thai lemongrass chicken in coconut milk
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5 from 1 vote

Roasted Coconut Milk Chicken

My Thai inspired recipe for juicy roasted coconut milk chicken is made with cinnamon, sage, lemongrass, and a healthy helping of coconut milk!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time2 hours 5 minutes
Total Time2 hours 15 minutes
Course: main dishes
Cuisine: Asian, Thai
Servings: 6
Author: Kevin


  • 5 1/2 lb whole bone-in chicken
  • 2 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 sticks cinnamon broken
  • 1/4 cup fresh sage leaves loosely packed
  • 1 stalk lemongrass or lemongrass paste (See Note 1)
  • 1 lemon zested
  • 12 cloves garlic
  • 28 oz full fat coconut milk 2 cans


  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Pat dry the chicken with paper towels. Season the chicken with kosher salt and black pepper.
  • Heat oil in a heavy based oven-proof pot (See Note 2) over medium high heat and brown the chicken all over. Be careful not to scorch the skin on bottom, you want to brown it. I constantly moved it around in the pot using tongs.
  • Carefully remove chicken and set aside on a plate. Pour the out the excess fat and set aside to roast vegetables or discard. With spoon, scrape up bits of cooked chicken on bottom of pan and leave in pan. Return chicken to the pot, add remaining ingredients and bake covered for 90 minutes.
  • Remove lid and baste chicken with juices. Leave uncovered and bake uncovered for 35 minutes.
  • Let stand for 10 minutes before removing the chicken. Remove and discard lemon grass and cinnamon stick from sauce. Carefully cut into pieces or completely shred meat. Serve chicken with the sauce on the side and steamed rice with vegetables of choice.

Instant Pot Method

  • Pat dry the chicken with paper towels. Season the chicken with kosher salt and black pepper.
  • Add trivet to Instant Pot. Place whole chicken on trivet and add the cinnamon sticks, sage leaves, lemon grass, lemon zest, garlic cloves and pour coconut milk over all.
  • Cover with lid and seal vent. Cook on Poultry or High Pressure setting for 6 minutes per pound. Allow pressure to naturally release for at least 10 minutes.
  • Carefully lift chicken out of Instant Pot using trivet handles and discard cinnamon sticks, sage leaves, lemon grass, lemon zest pieces. Strain cooking liquid and press cooked garlic through sieve. Add cooking liquid back to Instant Pot and press the Sauté setting. Cook for 10 minutes uncovered to reduce. Serve with shredded chicken.
  • ***If you're looking for crispy skin on chicken, it isn't possible in the Instant Pot, but it's possible under an oven broiler! Using the trivet handles, remove chicken from Instant Pot and transfer to a baking sheet lined with foil. Place under broiler for 2-4 minutes, watching closely so as not to burn.



  1. For fresh lemongrass, trim and split lengthwise. If unavailable, use 2 tablespoons lemongrass paste, found in the produce section of most supermarkets. Stir it in with the coconut milk before pouring over chicken.
  2. Use a Dutch oven that is stove top and oven safe. If you don't have an ovenproof skillet or pan, brown the chicken, then transfer it to a casserole dish or baking pan large enough to hold the chicken and other ingredients.
  • Cook Time for Whole Chicken in Oven
As a general rule, the cooking time for whole chicken in oven at 375ºF. is 20 minutes per pound, plus an additional 15 minutes.
  • Cook Time for Instant Pot Whole Chicken
As a general rule, Instant Pot whole chicken cooking time is 6 minutes per pound, plus 3 minutes for each half pound.
3 pound chicken: 18 minutes on high pressure
4 pound chicken: 24 minutes on high pressure
5 pound chicken: 30 minutes on high pressure
Allow a natural pressure release for at least 10 minutes before quick releasing any remaining pressure.
  • Servings
On average, a 5 pound whole chicken yields 1.5 pounds of meat after cooking. This is enough for six 4-ounce servings.


Serving: 4oz | Calories: 461kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 44g | Saturated Fat: 28g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 41mg | Sodium: 1026mg | Potassium: 473mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 86IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 64mg | Iron: 6mg