This is one of my favorite dishes. Everyone should know how to make it because it is so easy and there is nobody on earth that does not like it if they like chicken (vegetarians can try marinading paneer to make tandoori paneer)! I have recently started making a whole roast chicken rather than doing just legs or small pieces, for some reason it just tastes much better when you roast the whole chicken. Serve the chicken with some lemon wedges along with some nice mint and coriander chutney, and hot nan bread. Of course you need the mandatory sliced onions salad (purple onions are best) which has been dressed with a bit of vinegar/lemon and salt/pepper ( or even chaat masala) if you have it.
I like cooking my chicken on the chicken roaster stand, it always makes me laugh cause the poor chicken looks really silly on it, but does make it crispy and brown all over. The other thing I do is fill the baking tray underneath with a bit of water and I think it keeps the chicken really moist. Also, remember to use big cloves of garlic or add more if your garlic cloves are of the tiny variety, I use 5-6 really big fat cloves, the whole flavor comes from the ginger and garlic and you must not feel shy with them. I have left my chicken to marinade in the fridge for unto 48 hours and have to say it tasted amazing, the smells of the ginger and garlic had gone into every part of the chicken and it just had great flavor. So you can be pretty flexible, just don’t do it for less than ten hours.
Anyone who tries this is guaranteed to crave it again and again, so here’s the beautiful recipe for you…
1 whole organic chicken
Juice of 1 lemon
1 cup greek yoghurt (full fat)
3 heaped tsp paprika powder
2 tsp garam masala
5 cloves garlic
1.5-2 inch piece of ginger
1-3 green chillies
Wash and pat dry your chicken with paper towels. Peel and discard the skin from your chicken, paper towels come in handy to get a grip and peel the skin off.
Cut some slashes on the legs and the breast of the chicken, so the marinade can really get in there. Rub the chicken with lemon juice and salt. Also get a little juice and salt in the cavity. Leave for 10-15 minutes.
In a small blender, throw in your ginger, garlic and juice of lemon and green chillies and blend till a paste is made (does not have to be too fine a paste).
Mix the paste with the yoghurt in a separate bowl and add the paprika and the garam masala and a teaspoon of salt. Mix really well, taste and season. Place the chicken in a large enough zip lock bag and pour in the yoghurt marinade and close the bag. Ensure you get the marinade all over the chicken by rubbing/massaging the marinade into the chicken by squishing the chicken in the bag with your fingers. Make sure it gets everywhere and coats it well. Leave this to marinade in the fridge for 24 hours.
Take the chicken out of the fridge an hour before you are going to cook so it comes to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 190ºC/375ºF/gas 5, and bake your chicken for 45 minutes or till juices on the thigh run clear. If it looks like it needs some charring then, let it broil under the grill for five minutes or so ( you could brush it very lightly with a some oil before broiling).