I love a traditional roast chicken dinner but it’s nice to ring the changes sometimes – we’ve made this on the BBQ rotisserie in the summer but this is the indoor oven version. Roasted in a rich chilli and ginger-spiced marinade, the chicken is moist and tender, the crispy skin is a delight and the juices make a delicious Indian-style gravy. Serve with basmati rice, dahl, some spiced spinach, courgettes or roasted cauliflower with a cucumber and yoghurt raita and you’ve got a roast dinner with a difference that everyone will love.
Serves 4 – 6
- 1 chicken, about 1.5 to 2kg
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
- 1/2 tsp chilli powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 onion, peeled and sliced
- Zest and juice of a large lemon – roughly 4 tbsps lemon juice (save the lemon pieces)
- 1 thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 3 fresh green chillies
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- Place all the ingredients for the marinade in a blender and blitz until you have a paste.
- Rub the paste all over the chicken, inside and out. I also carefully push it under the skin of the breast with my fingers and massage it in. Place the bay leaves, lemon halves and cardamom pods into the cavity. Dust the skin with the chilli powder and black pepper.
- Set aside for at least an hour in a roasting dish – you could also prep it the day before, cover and leave it to marinate overnight in the fridge.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C.
- If the chicken has been refrigerated, bring it up to room temperature before placing it in the oven. Scatter the sliced onions on the base of the roasting dish, cover with foil and bake for an hour.
- After an hour, remove the foil, baste the chicken with the juices and then pour the remainder off with the onions into a small saucepan.
- Put the chicken back into the oven and roast for another 15 to 20 minutes until the skin is golden and crisp. You’ll know it’s cooked if the juices should run clear if the thigh is pricked with a knife.
- Lift the chicken out of the roasting dish onto a carving board and set aside until you are ready to serve. It will benefit from a 15-minute rest anyway.
- Meanwhile, make the gravy/curry sauce. Pour the juices from the saucepan into the roasting tray and scrape up all the sticky bits from the pan. Return the juices to the pan, blend with a stick blender – the onions will thicken it but you could also whisk in a tablespoon of plain yoghurt. Check the seasoning and add more salt or pepper to taste, cook it gently on the hob over a medium heat to deepen the colour slightly but don’t let it boil. Pour into a warmed jug to serve on the side.
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