This one’s a real crowd pleaser that tastes as good as it looks. The list of ingredients might look a little overwhelming at first, but this really is a very simple dish that knocks a big punch; all brought together by the sweet, spicy, glistening gravy. What’s particularly good about this is if you want to get the most out of this Indian spiced dish you can eat the chicken with the skin, but for my children (who run a mile from anything too spicy) it’s very easy to serve a little breast without the skin and it still retains the Indian sweetness, but without the mouth-tingling heat!
- 3½ lbs / 1.5 kg chicken
- 1 tablespoon of ginger paste
- 1 tablespoon of garlic paste
- 1 tablespoon of chilli paste
- 1 tablespoon of tomato purée
- 1 teaspoon of cumin
- 1 teaspoon of coriander
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon of garam masala
- 1 teaspoon of turmeric
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
- 1 carrot, roughly chopped
- 1 stick of celery, roughly chopped
- 1 large red onion, roughly chopped
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 17½ fluid ounces / 500ml chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons of plain flour
Mix all of the spiced chicken ingredients together in a bowl (see Tips below) and rub the resulting paste thoroughly into the chicken skin and inside the cavity.
Leave to marinate in the fridge for a couple of hours or preferably overnight.
Preheat the oven to 190°C (170°C fan) 374°F (338°F fan).
Place the olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, carrot, celery, onion and cinnamon stick in the base of a roasting tray small enough to snugly fit the chicken.
Place the chicken on top of the gravy ingredients, cover the chicken with foil and place in the oven to roast for 1 hour 40 minutes.
Remove the foil for the last 20 minutes of cooking time.
Move the chicken to a cutting board and put the roasting tray on a medium-high heat on the hob. Add the chicken stock and flour to the roasting tray and keep stirring as the gravy simmers and comes together in a thick, glistening sauce.
Put the gravy through a sieve and serve with the chicken.
For mixing the spiced ingredients and rubbing the chicken I always use a pair of disposable plastic gloves.
Garam (meaning “hot”) masala (meaning “mix of spices”) is a blend of spices commonly found throughout Indian, Pakistani and other south Asian cuisines. The composition of the mix may differ slightly from region to region but basically combines black and white peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon or cassia bark, nutmeg, mace, black and green cardamom pods, bay leaf, and cumin. Sometimes the different spices may be carefully balanced, other times one or more may be emphasised in the mix.