I’ve been wanting to do this for ages and I finally did, today! Merry Christmas indeed… 🙂
Oven-roasted Chicken Tandoori
You will be needing
-1 whole chicken, with skin on, innards removed.
-1 tbsp Yoghurt
-2 tbsp red chilli powder
-1 tbsp garam masala
-1/4 tsp coriander powder
-1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
-Juice of a whole lime (do not throw away the lime after squeezing the juice)
-Salt to taste
-oil/butter to baste the chicken
-1 large onion, a carrot, a large potato and one capsicum. Chop them up into large chunks. We will be using these to stuff the chicken. The flavours are much deeper this way.
-A handful of fresh coriander
-A large needle and thread to truss the chicken
This part was fairly simple actually.
-Mix all the ingredients and form a paste.
-Coat the chicken, outside and inside, with the paste generously.
-Marinate (refrigerated) for at least 12 hours. Some even recommend 36 hours, but really, who can wait that long?!!
-Take the marinating chicken out of the refrigerator half hour before you plan to bake it.
– Stuff the chicken with the vegetables. I stuffed the onions, capsicum and carrot, and used the potato to line the roasting tray. I also stuffed in the lime that I used for the lime juice.
-Use a large needle and thread to truss up the chicken. This is essential, so that the filling doesn’t spill out. I sewed the chicken’s tail bone with its crotch (I just heard it, ew!) and then tied its legs together to seal the cavity shut. Then I tied the wings together. That’s it.
But I won’t deny it, it was a traumatic experience. My first chicken trussing. My head was constantly telling me I was sewing up something that was alive a few hours ago. And weirdly, I kept getting reminded of the story of Ali Baba and the 40 thieves.
-Place the trussed chicken on the baking tray.
Note: There was a lot of liquid collected from the marination. I heated up a pan, added some butter and the chicken juices and cooked it for a while on high heat till it thickened to a gravy.
-Pour the gravy over the chicken and cover it well.
-Drizzle oil/butter over the chicken. I used a pastry brush.
-Place the pan over a wire rack. And line the base of the oven with aluminium foil to catch spills.
-In a preheated oven, bake at 250° C for 15 minutes
-Reduce the heat to 200° C and bake for a further 60 minutes.
You have to continuously ‘baste’ the chicken. This is a process where you cook the meat in its own juices. While baking, the chicken releases a lot of fat and water. This contains a lot of flavours, so it is important that this not go to waste. So periodically, open the oven, take out the juices collected in the bottom of the pan and ladle/spoon it over the chicken. This makes sure that the juices don’t get wasted, and keeps the top part dry.
I also turned the chicken over half-way through the cooking process.
For the last 15 minutes, I removed the chicken from the pan, placed it directly on the wire rack and cooked it at 240°C, This helped make the skin crispy and deep brown.
Take out, carve the chicken and serve hot. It was incredibly juicy, succulent and tender. The flavours were quite delicate and perfectly balanced. I loved it!
1. Do NOT mix the marination paste with your hands. My hands kept burning for hours! Use a spoon to mix, and use a pastry brush or the back of a spoon to coat the chicken.
2. Do not forget to ‘baste’
3.For the last 15 minutes, remove the chicken from the pan and place directly on the wire rack.