Roasted Chicken with Pineapple-Curry Sauce

Cooking the chicken breast side down ensures the lean breast meat stays moist and does not overcook. The sauce re-creates the taste of a high-fat coconut milk version but is made with creamy yogurt cheese as a base.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: about 4 ounces chicken and about 1/3 cup sauce)
Recipe from Cooking Light

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Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 260
  • Calories from fat: 21%
  • Fat: 6.2g
  • Saturated fat: 1.5g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 2.2g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 1.4g
  • Protein: 41.4g
  • Carbohydrate: 7.2g
  • Fiber: 0.5g
  • Cholesterol: 126mg
  • Iron: 2.4mg
  • Sodium: 738mg
  • Calcium: 68mg


  • 1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1/3 cup diagonally sliced peeled fresh lemongrass
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 (4-inch) piece peeled fresh ginger, thinly sliced
  • 1 (5-pound) roasting chicken
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped Walla Walla or other sweet onion
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced peeled fresh lemongrass
  • 1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup thawed pineapple-orange juice concentrate, undiluted
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon coconut extract


  1. Place a colander in a 2-quart glass measure or medium bowl. Line colander with 4 layers of cheesecloth, allowing cheesecloth to extend over sides. Spoon yogurt into colander. Cover loosely with plastic wrap; refrigerate 12 hours. Spoon yogurt cheese into a medium bowl; discard liquid. Set yogurt cheese aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°.
  3. Combine 1/3 cup lemongrass, 6 garlic cloves, and sliced ginger. Remove and discard giblets and neck from chicken. Rinse chicken with cold water; pat dry. Trim excess fat. Spoon lemongrass mixture into body cavity. Starting at neck cavity, loosen skin from breast and drumsticks by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat; rub salt under loosened skin. Lift wing tips up and over back; tuck under chicken. Place chicken, breast side down, on a rack coated with cooking spray. Pour water into a shallow roasting pan; place rack in pan. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 55 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in meaty part of thigh registers 180°. Cover chicken loosely with foil; let stand 10 minutes. Discard skin.
  4. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and curry; cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in 1 tablespoon lemongrass, 1 tablespoon ginger, and 2 garlic cloves; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in broth and concentrate; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 3 minutes. Strain mixture through a sieve over a bowl, reserving sauce. Discard solids.
  5. Stir fish sauce and coconut extract into yogurt cheese. Gradually add hot pineapple sauce, stirring constantly with a whisk. Cover and keep warm.
  6. Place a heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag inside a 2-cup glass measure. Pour pan drippings into bag; let stand 10 minutes (fat will rise to the top). Seal bag; carefully snip off 1 bottom corner of bag. Drain drippings into yogurt mixture, stopping before fat layer reaches opening; discard fat. Stir well. Serve chicken with pineapple-curry sauce.
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