Donal Skehan's... Sunday spice
Liven up family feasts this summer with my new take on roast chicken with Indian flavourings.
Baked Indian-Spiced Yoghurt Chicken with Couscous
Move over traditional Sunday roast! This Indian spiced chicken, marinated in yoghurt, is the way forward. The acidity in the yoghurt helps to make the meat tender and allows the spices to do their magic. Try to buy a free-range or organic chicken, as the flavour is greater.
You will need
1.5kg whole chicken
2 large onions, peeled, cut into thick slices
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 lemon, halved
For the marinade:
2 large garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp freshly grated root ginger
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp hot paprika
1 tbsp ground turmeric
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
250ml natural yoghurt
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the couscous:
3 cardamom pods
2 tsp vegetable stock granules
handful fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped
100g toasted silvered almonds
To make the marinade, mix the garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, garam masala, paprika, turmeric, oil and yoghurt in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Slash the chicken legs several times with a sharp knife (this is to help ensure crispy skin once cooked), then rub the marinade all over the chicken, both inside and out. If time allows, put the chicken in a large food bag, or covered in a non-metallic dish, and leave to marinate for at least four hours, or up to 24 hours is best.
Take your chicken out of the fridge 30 minutes before it goes into the oven. Preheat the oven to 230°C. Make a trivet with the onions in an oval casserole dish or roasting tin and then drizzle over the rapeseed oil. Season with salt and pepper and sit the chicken on top. Put the lemon inside the chicken's cavity and place in the oven and immediately reduce the heat to 200°C. Cover the chicken loosely with foil and roast for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and roast for another 50 minutes, basting the chicken halfway through cooking.
Meanwhile, prepare the couscous. Bash the cardamom pods with the back of a knife and place them in a bowl with the couscous. Add the stock granules and cover with boiling water, cover with cling film and leave until all the water has been soaked up and the couscous is plump. Using a fork, fluff up the couscous when it's ready and fold in the coriander and almonds.
Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before you carve it, then arrange on warmed serving plates with the couscous to serve.
One of my favourite treats on a warm summer day is a spiced Mango Lassi. If you‘ve never had one before, think of it as a smoothie with the flavour turned up. All you need is some fresh or frozen mango, yoghurt (coconut yoghurt would be great here), milk and spices of your choice. I like a touch of cinnamon or cardamom. Whizz it all together in the blender and you have a refreshing summer drink!
Green Saffron Spices
Arun Kapil is a man who knows a lot about spices, and I happen to know this first-hand as we recently collaborated on my newest Skoff Pie. Arun’s company, Green Saffron, which boasts a huge range of sauces, spice blends, chutneys and even special spice kits, has everything you need to get started in the spice world. His delicious, authentic sauces are available in selected food stores, farmers’ markets or online.