Recipe courtesy of Simpson Wong

Chicken with Kaffir Lime Pesto

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 2 hr 35 min
  • Prep: 20 min
  • Inactive: 2 hr
  • Cook: 15 min
  • Yield: 2 servings
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1/4 cup canola oil

2 tablespoons minced garlic

2 tablespoons minced ginger

2 tablespoons minced lemongrass

1 tablespoon curry powder

1 tablespoon salt

1 teaspoon chili akes

2 bone-in chicken legs

1 whole bone-in chicken breast, split

Kaffir Lime Pesto:

1/2 cup holy basil

1/2 cup fresh cilantro

1/2 cup fresh mint

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup roasted and chopped peanuts

1 tablespoon minced garlic

10 kaffir lime leaves

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup coconut milk, for basting

2 lime wedges, for serving


  1. Mix together the oil, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, curry powder, salt and chili flakes in a large bowl. Add the chicken and rub the mixture into the chicken pieces. Cover and let sit for 2 hours in the refrigerator.
  2. For the kaffir lime pesto: Pulse the basil, cilantro, mint, oil, peanuts, garlic and lime leaves in a food processor until incorporated into a pesto and season with salt and pepper. Set aside while you cook the chicken.
  3. Heat a cast-iron grill pan over medium-high heat and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. Brush half of the coconut milk on the skin of the chicken and place skin-side down onto the grill pan until crisp, 2 minutes. Brush the rest of the coconut milk on the other side of the chicken, and grill for another 2 minutes. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake until cooked through completely, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan and immediately toss in the pesto, allowing the heat to cook the pesto and release its fragrance and layers of avors. Squeeze the limes onto the chicken, plate and serve.