Indian Baked Whole Chicken aka Best Chicken Ever

Posted By Stephen

I couldn’t get the title of the post to do justice to the meal, so had to add that bit on the end. The recipe is from Madhur Jaffrey’s “Indian Cookery” and the title in there doesn’t do it justice either; it is simply called “Whole Chicken Baked in Aluminium Foil”. On reading the recipe though, it becomes obvious that there is more to it than that – there is a marinating step and then some more spice paste is put onto the chicken before it is wrapped up and cooked.

We found the recipe in the morning while paging through our recipe books and when I saw that it required the whole chicken to be skinned, I was initially a bit worried that I would spend the whole afternoon in the kitchen trying to do it. But then serendipity – we were watching Saturday Kitchen and Atul Kochhar ended up doing exactly that! I didn’t skin it as quickly and effortlessly as he did, but at least I had an idea of the technique before starting, which helped a lot.

We had planned a few accompaniments too – dal, roasted cauliflower, braised cabbage and chapatis.

The chicken was brilliant. At one point I said something like “this is the best chicken I ever remember eating”. The depth of flavour was intense, but in a mellow and rounded way. The spice paste had cooked through and made an excellent sauce, along with having flavoured the chicken with its deep gingery, garlicky, spicy goodness. I can’t think of much more to write about it that will do it justice, but we will certainly be cooking this again when some friends are around to share the deliciousness.

Indian Baked Whole Chicken
Serves 4-6

2.5cm ginger, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
6 tbsps natural yoghurt
1 tsp turmeric
1 1/4 tsps salt
1 tsp cayenne pepper
Black pepper

1 chicken, skin removed
225g onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled
4cm ginger, chopped
25g slivered almonds
3 tsps cumin
3 tsps coriander
1 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tsps salt
2 tbsps lemon juice
1/2 tsp garam masala

First make the marinade by blending all the ingredients together. Rub the marinade all over the chicken, including the inside, and set aside for two hours.

Meanwhile, blend the onions, garlic, ginger and almonds together into a paste. Add the cumin, coriander, turmeric, paprika, cayenne pepper and salt and blend again.

Put some oil into a frying pan and fry the paste over a medium-heat for 8-9 minutes. Add the lemon juice, pepper and garam masala and mix together. Leave the paste to cool and pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees.

Spread the cooled paste all over the chicken, including the insides and then wrap securely in foil. Bake, breast side up, for 90 minutes or until the chicken is tender.

Feb 19th, 2011

3 Comments to 'Indian Baked Whole Chicken aka Best Chicken Ever'

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  1. earlybird said,

    I agree with your amended title for this chicken. It is absolutely the best. Good cold too.

    I once went to dinner with some then ‘new’ friends. Apparently they had been stressing what to cook for me. I walked into the kitchen, sniffed and said with pleasure ‘Ah! Madhur’s chicken in aluminium foil ‘Yum!’ and we have been friends ever since.

  2. Kerri said,

    That’s a great story, you must have a very good nose!

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