This one’s a keeper! For the perfect dinner for four I added some potatoes to the roasting dish, and then served it with the most amazing date and almond spinach salad.
I was skeptical at first when I saw cinnamon in the recipe, because that’s something I’ve never had with chicken, but I’m so glad I took the risk and made this one. Paired with the yogurt sauce it is really a delicious combo.
What you need for the chicken:
- 1 (4-pound/ 1.8 kg) roasting chicken
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon peppercorns
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 3 cardamom pods
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 head garlic cloves separated and unpeeled, plus 6 peeled cloves
- 2 tablespoons finely grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 & 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 shallots, unpeeled and quartered
- 3 sticks cinnamon
- 1 cup chicken broth
What you need for the sauce:
- 1 cup plain yogurt, at room temperature
- 2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
What you do:
- Preheat the oven to 450F. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Place the chicken breast-side up on a rack in a roasting pan. If you don’t have a rack you can place some carrots under the chicken to raise it up.
- Combine the cumin seeds, peppercorns, coriander seeds and cardamom pods in a small frying pan. Over medium heat toast the spices, swirling the spices around for about 2-4 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly, then grind with a mortar and pestle or in a grinder. Mix with the curry powder, cinnamon and red pepper flakes.
- Chop the 6 cloves of peeled garlic finely and combine it with the ginger and olive oil, then rub this mixture all over the chicken. Sprinkle the chicken with salt, then sprinkle on the spice mixture.
- Place the unpeeled garlic, shallot quarters, and cinnamon sticks inside the chicken cavity, then tie the legs together with kitchen twine.
- Place the chicken in the oven and set a timer for 30 minutes.
- If you are making potatoes, place them around the chicken about 20 minutes into the roasting time, and drizzle them with olive oil.
- At the 30 minute mark, baste the chicken with half of the broth.
- Roast for 20 minutes more, then baste with the remaining broth.
- Continue to roast the chicken for about 20 more minutes, until the juices run clear when the leg joint it pierced with a knife. If you have a meat thermometer, it should read 165F/ 74C. My chicken cooked very quickly, so I recommend checking it earlier than you think you might need to. Remove the chicken from the oven and let it rest while you prepare the sauce. Salt and pepper the potatoes, then place them in a serving dish. Cover to keep warm.
- Separate the fat from the pan juices, discarding the fat. Place the pan juices in a saucepan and heat to boiling. Reduce the heat, then whisk in the yogurt. It may curdle, so you can press the sauce through a sieve if this happens. Remove the sauce from the heat and add the tomatoes and cilantro, setting some of these aside to garnish with if you wish.
- Serve with the sauce on the side. When I served this people found the sauce made a very nice topping for the potatoes too.