You know that feeling? That feeling of standing infront of an ingredient that you work with week in and week out. An ingredient that is very versatile but for some or other reason you have no ideas what to do with? That’s how I felt last week when I had two, beautiful and plump, free-range chickens in front of me but had no idea what to do with them. Of course I could go the tried and tested route and flavour it with lemon juice and lots of herbs but I wanted something different. Yet, I still wanted the familiarity associated with roast chicken and all the comfort it brings (can you tell I’m an indecisive person?).
I spent all day thinking of new ways to use this chicken and really just couldn’t come up with anything. Eventually I started going through my blog for inspiration (not something I do often, I must admit). I saw the Butter Chicken Grilled Chicken post and thought why not incorporate something along those lines with a whole chicken. And so, the Indian-spiced Roast Chicken was born. I made a simple marinade using yoghurt, curry paste (korma), garam masala and lime juice and smeared it under the chicken skin and all over the chicken. I also spooned the left-over marinade into the cavity of the chicken. The end result was juicy, tender and incredibly flavoured chicken that had me licking my fingers. I served the chicken with a cucumber and red onion salad and naan bread and it was a meal to remember! (Perfect for Valentine’s day actually!)
Then on another note, we have been working very hard on re-designing the Simply Delicious you are looking at right now. The new site is fresher, cleaner and prettier (in my opinion) and I have to thank my incredibly hard working and multi-talented husband, Chris for this re-vamp. He is the most incredible web-designer! The site will be launched tomorrow (15 February 2011) and I hope you guys will love it as much as I do.
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I’ve gotten a few comments from readers who have found the chicken too strongly spiced. If you like gently spiced/milder food, halve the quantities of he seasoning and spices. I like bold, punchy flavours and so I like to use loads of spice on my food. Also, the rub is only used on the outside of the chicken so I like it to be a bit stronger as the chicken meat itself can be quite bland.
1 x 1.5-2kg (4.41 pounds) free-range chicken, innards removed
1 cup plain yoghurt
3 tbsp curry paste (I used a Korma paste)
2 tbsp garam masala (I used a hot mix from my local curry shop)
2 tsp salt
juice of 2 limes (or lemons)
1 tsp sugar
cucumber & red onion salad
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°c.
- Combine all the marinade ingredients and smear all over the chicken. I gently loosened the skin over the chicken breasts and smeared some of the marinade underneath the skin as well. Spoon the remaining marinade into the cavity of the chicken.
- Place the chicken into a roasting tray and place in the oven.
- Allow to roast for 45 minutes at 180 °c before turning the heat up to 220°c. Allow the chicken to roast for another 30-45 minutes checking regularly to see that the spice mixture isn’t burning.
- Remove the chicken from the oven and check that it’s cooked throughout by checking that the juices run clear when you cut into it. Return to the oven, covered with foil if it’s not cooked to your liking.
- Serve the chicken with naan bread and cucumber salad.