2 whole young chickens
4 stalks fresh lemon grass
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped ginger
1 ounce garlic, finely chopped (about 6 large cloves)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped Chinese parsley roots
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 to 2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons oil
Hot sticky rice
Garnish: Chinese parsley sprigs, cut into 2-inch lengths
Red chili peppers (optional)
Rinse chickens and pat dry. Split chickens down the breast, but do not cut all the way through; press open. Place chickens in a large bowl. In a food processor or blender combine lemon grass, ginger, garlic, shallots, parsley roots, brown sugar, coconut milk, fish sauce, soy sauce and oil; blend until smooth. Pour sauce over chickens and marinate overnight in the refrigerator. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place chickens on a rack in an open pan with the split side down. Bake for one hour, depending on the thickness of the chicken, or until the juices run clear when the thigh is pierced with a sharp knife. Serve with hot sticky rice. Garnish with Chinese parsley and red chili peppers.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.