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In a nonreactive dish large enough to hold the chicken, combine all but 2 Tbs. of the lemongrass with all of the shallots, garlic, fish sauce, soy sauce, red pepper flakes, salt, and sugar. Add the chicken and turn it to coat, tucking some of the marinade underneath its skin. Pour any excess marinade into the bird’s cavity. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight. Bring the chicken to room temperature before cooking it.
Heat the oven to 350°F Put the chicken, breast side down, on a rack in a roasting pan. Cook for 40 minute Turn the bird over and roast until the chicken is cooked and nicely browned, 20 to 30 minute The sugar in the marinade may cause the pan juices to burn, but this won’t affect the chicken’s flavor.
About 10 minute before the chicken is done, combine the remaining 2 Tbs. lemongrass with the cilantro and vegetable oil. Using a spoon, rub the mixture on the bird, spreading it evenly; continue roasting. The chicken is done when its juices run clear. Let the chicken sit for 10 minute out of the oven before carving.