Sunday, October 31, 2010

Spice-Roasted Chicken

[For my darling Beeksies]

A good roast chicken is the perfect emblem of home and hearth. My spice-roasted version looks ingredient-heavy, but is just as simple as any other roast chicken. The toasted and hand-ground spices instill the bird with a smoky warmth and golden hue that is irresistible, and, by rotating the bird while it cooks (a trick I picked-up from Julia Child), you ensure perfect browning and heavenly, crisp skin on all sides.

3 tbsp whole Coriander
1 tbsp whole Cumin
2 tsp Fenugreek seeds
2 tsp Fennel seeds
2 whole Cardamom pods
2 whole Cloves
1 Cinnamon stick
1 Star Anise
1 tsp whole Black Pepper
1 tsp whole White Pepper
1 tsp Turmeric powder
3-4 tsp Chilli powder (to taste)
1 tbsp fresh ground Ginger
2 tbsp fresh ground Garlic
3 tbsp Mustard oil
2 tbsp plain Yogurt
Salt (to taste)
One 4lb (2 kgs) Whole Chicken
2 tbsp Ghee (or Butter), melted
  1. In a large, flat-bottomed pot, dry-roast the whole spices together over high heat for 3-4 mins until golden brown. Remove spices from pot and grind them with a mortar and pestle. In a small bowl, mix ground spices with turmeric, chilli powder, ginger, garlic, mustard oil, yogurt and salt, and set aside.
  2. Wash chicken, discard giblets and pat dry thoroughly. Rub the spice mixture all over the chicken and inside the cavity. Carefully loosen the skin from the breast meat and rub spice mixture under the skin. Truss the chicken with butcher’s twine, place on a large platter, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hrs. About 30 minutes before cooking, remove chicken from fridge and bring down to room temperature.
  3. Preheat oven to 450ºF (230ºC). Place chicken in a roasting pan with the breast up, and set it on the middle rack of the oven. Allow chicken to brown lightly for 15 minutes, baste with ghee, then reduce the temperate to 350ºF (175ºC) and cook for another 1 hour. Turn the bird twice during the cooking so each wing side is up in turn. Baste with ghee after each turn.
  4. To check if the chicken is done, prick the thickest part of the leg with a fork. The juices should clear. Remove chicken from pan and rest on a cutting board, covered in foil, for 15-20 mins before carving.

1 comment:

  1. what a fantastic recipe: delicious and easy to make (happy clucking)



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