Clay pot cola chicken

Clay pot cola chicken

Luke Nguyen's Greater Mekong
Stuart Scott

People often ask how I come up with recipes on my travels. I simply ask the locals, and it is usually the elders who offer me the really authentic recipes. This one came from an 80-year-old man sitting on the side of the road reading his newspaper. He had a long grey beard and looked very wise, so I approached him and asked if he had an age-old recipe he could share with me. He stroked his beard, thinking for a few minutes, before telling me about this chicken dish, cooked in Coca-Cola. I had a bit of a giggle, as it didn’t sound like an age-old recipe, but he explained it’s a very popular country-style dish as all you need is a clay pot, a chicken, a few herbs and a can of Coca-Cola!


Quantity Ingredient
5cm piece of fresh galangal, peeled and ’finely sliced
10 kaffir lime leaves
3 red asian shallots, ’finely sliced
3 lemongrass stems, bruised
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1kg whole chicken
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
330 ml can coca-cola
ground white pepper, for sprinkling

Lemon dipping sauce

Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground white pepper


  1. First, put the lemon dipping sauce ingredients in a small bowl and mix until combined.
  2. If you can, use a large round clay pot — about 5 litre capacity — for this recipe. You will need to soak it in water for 2 hours before using it. If you don’t have a large clay pot, use another pot that is just large enough to hold the chicken, and skip the soaking step.
  3. Combine the galangal, kaffir lime leaves, shallot and lemongrass in a bowl. Add the salt and oyster sauce and mix well, then stu†ff the mixture inside the cavity of the chicken.
  4. Brush the soy sauce over the whole chicken. Place the chicken, head down, in the clay pot, then pour half the Coca-Cola into the cavity. Now place the chicken breast side down in the clay pot. Cover the pot and place over a gas burner or charcoal, over medium heat. Cook for 30 minutes.
  5. Turn the chicken over, then pour the remaining Coca-Cola over the chicken. Cover and cook for a further 30 minutes, or until the chicken is tender and cooked through.
  6. Cut the chicken into quarters, then sprinkle with sea salt and ground white pepper. Serve with the lemon dipping sauce, or lemon juice for drizzling.
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