I should probably come up with a more interesting name than Indian Roast Chicken for this dish. But to be honest, that is exactly what it is. I could call it tandoori but that would be incorrect so let’s not try to dress it up too much.
This chicken is very simple to make. The long list of ingredients shouldn’t put you off as if you cook Indian food you probably have them all already. Adjust the various flavourings to your own liking. As you may already know, I am a fan of spatchcocking the chicken before I cook it. This simply means removing the backbone and breaking the breast bone so that the bird is flat, which allows for more even cooking and a shorter roasting time.
The chicken needs to be marinated, ideally overnight but a few hours will do.
On another note, some of you may have noticed that I’ve been a little quiet lately here and on other social media. Things have been a little manic and, long story short, I’ve upped sticks and moved to London for a month to attend Leiths Cookery School. I’m only a few days in now so still finding my feet but I am really enjoying it. Who knows where it might lead to!
Also, I discovered that I’ve made the shortlist to this years Littlewoods Ireland Blog Awards in the food and drink category. There is a public vote which is open for a week and I’m already late to it. So if you like what you read here I’d appreciate an aul vote here if you have a few minutes to spare. Thanks to whoever nominated me!
Useful tips & links:
- You can easily spatchcock a chicken yourself. I’ve even managed to do it! This video is a great guide to explain how to do it. This is the ideal way to prep whole chicken if you want to cook it in a barbecue.
- The marinade would also work really well on chicken wings. Make the marinade as below and bake the wings as per these Drunken Chicken Wings.
- The left over chicken freezes well or keep it in the fridge after cooling and use in a curry or in some wraps.
- For more ideas on cooking spatchcock-style, have a look at these delicious Grilled Poussin with Spices from Rory Kelly.
Indian Roast Chicken
- 1 medium chicken, spatchcocked
- 250ml of plain natural yogurt
- 50g of ginger, peeled and chopped
- 4-5 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 1 tbsp. of tomato puree
- 1 fresh red chilli, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp. of ground cumin
- 1 tbsp. of ground coriander
- 1 tsp of ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp of red chilli powder
- 1 tsp of garam masala
- ½ tsp of ground cardamom
- The juice of ½ a lemon
- 1 tsp of sea salt flakes or ½ tsp of regular table salt
- 1 tbsp. of ground turmeric
- 1 red onion
- 2 tbsp. of sunflower oil
- 200ml of coconut milk
- First off, spatchcock the chicken. You can get your butcher to do this or it is easy enough if you want to do it yourself. Refer to the video above in Useful tips & links.
- Cut some slashes into the skin of the chicken, particularly in the legs to allow the marinade to get as much flavour into the meat as possible.
- Next put the yogurt, ginger, garlic, tomato puree, fresh chilli, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, chilli powder, lemon juice, salt, garam masala and cardamom into a food processor or blender and whizz until everything has combined completely into a thick paste or marinade.
- Scrape the marinade into a bowl and stir in the ground turmeric. Avoid putting it in the blender or you will have yellow stains everywhere! Taste to see if you want to add more chilli kick or any other spice or seasoning.
- Put the chicken into a shallow ceramic or plastic dish or plastic bag and pour over the marinade. Massage it into the skin of the chicken and into the flesh where you have cut into it. Cover it in clingfilm and put it into the fridge to marinate, for at least four hours but preferably overnight.
- When you are ready to cook the chicken, take it out of the fridge and allow it to come up to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 200c/180c fan/gas mark 6.
- Peel and cut the onion into wedges or slices and place them into a roasting dish with the oil. Remove the chicken from the marinade and lay it flat on top of the onions. Discard any leftover marinade.
- Roast the chicken for 20 minutes and check it. Baste over any juices in the pan and return to the oven for another 20 minutes. Keep an eye on it. If the marinade on top seems to be browning too quickly, cover with foil so that the skin doesn’t burn while the meat is cooking.
- How long the chicken will take to cook depends on the size of the bird. To check, insert a knife into the thickest part of the leg and if the juice that comes out is clear the chicken is cooked. If there is any pink at all put it back into the oven. The chicken in the picture was approx. 1.5k and took 50 minutes to roast.
- When the chicken is ready, take it out of the oven and allow it to rest while you make the sauce.
- Put the roasting pan with the onions and any of the juices from the chicken onto a medium heat on the hob. Heat it until the juices start to bubble and then pour in the coconut milk. Allow it to simmer while the chicken rests.
- You can serve this with rice or with spiced roast potatoes like I have done in the picture above.