Saturday, March 10, 2012

Tandoori Roast Chicken with Spiced Roast Potatoes and Garlic and Lime Greens

When people ask me what I miss about the UK (other than, of course, my loved ones), the answer is quite obvious for me. Roast dinners and curries. I think I have mentioned before that I lived in the curry oasis of London and so used to be very spoiled for choice. And I would regularly host Sunday roasts – cooking mountains of food and squeezing as many people into my flat as possible to eat off their laps.

The Thai climate isn’t ideal for big stodgy curries or plates heaped with roast. But if you turn the air conditioning up and close the curtains on the bright sunlight, it feels a lot more acceptable. So in this dish, I combine two of my food heroes – tandoori chicken and the Sunday roast. You get all the comfort of crispy roast potatoes, and all the excitement of fragrant spices and a good old kick.

Timing: 2 hours plus marinating time
Rating: Moderate – nothing very complicated you need to multi-task and keep an eye on your timings
Serves: 5


For the chicken:
2kg whole chicken
4 garlic cloves
1 inch knob ginger
2 tsp garam masala
3 tbsp paprika
2 tsp chilli powder
2 tsp ground cumin
1.5 tsp salt
1 tsp turmeric
Juice of 1 lime
1.5 tbsp vegetable oil
4 tbsp natural yoghurt
4 tbsp single cream
1 tbsp tomato purée

For the potatoes:
1.5kg potatoes
2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp ground cumin
Salt & pepper
5 tbsp olive oil

For the greens:
600g greens
20g butter
2 garlic cloves
Zest and juice of 1 lime
Mango chutney and mint and yoghurt dip to serve


  1. First make the marinade. Either marinate the chicken overnight, or first thing in the morning for about eight hours. Start by mincing the ginger and garlic – either finely grate, or chop and then pound in a mortar and pestle. Add all of the dry spices to the ginger and garlic and mix well. Then add the yoghurt, cream, oil, salt, and tomato puree.
  2. Prick the chicken all over with a sharp knife to make lots of small incision.
  3. Cover the chicken with the marinade so that it is well-coated all over. You should have about a quarter of the marinade left over – you’ll use this later to baste the chicken – keep refrigerated until you need it. Cover the chicken with foil and refrigerate.
  4. About 2 hours before you want to eat, preheat the oven to 180°C.
  5. Place the chicken in a roasting dish and cover with foil. Roast for 1 hour. About half way through, baste with the remaining marinade. After 1hr remove the foil and put the chicken back in to oven to carry on roasting for another 30 minutes to allow the skin to brown.
  6. As soon as the chicken goes in the oven, start on your potatoes. I really like  Jamie Oliver's roast potatoes so I have based this recipe on his method. Peel your potatoes and cut them so they’re all an even-size. Rinse the potatoes in cold water to get rid of excess starch. Put them in a large saucepan, cover with cold water and a good pinch of salt. Bring to the boil and cook for 6 to 7 mins, so that they’re parboiled. Drain and leave them to steam dry for 3 minutes. Put the potatoes back in the pan, put the lid on and give it a good shake. This helps increase the surface area of the potatoes and so will make them crispier. Transfer the potatoes to a baking tray and add the olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Make sure they are all evenly coated with oil.
  7. When the chicken has been cooking for about 40 minutes, put your potatoes in the hot oven and cook for 30 minutes until lightly golden and three quarters cooked.  Then gently squash each potato with a potato masher to once again increase the surface area. Next combine the spices for the potatoes with a teaspoon of vegetable oil (just enough to form a paste) and coat the potatoes. Put them back in the oven and cook for a further 40 mins until cooked through and crispy. Remember to keep an eye on the chicken and keep track of how long it has been cooking for!
  8. While the chicken and potatoes are roasting, prepare your greens. Put a large pan of water on to boil. Trim any tough stalks and cut the greens into strips. Place the greens in the boiling water and cook just long enough for them to soften (about 2-3 mins). Drain the greens and then plunge them into ice water to stop them from cooking further, then drain. Slice the garlic very finely. You’ll finish cooking the greens a little later.
  9. After 1 hour and 30 mins of cooking, remove the chicken from the oven and check that it is done by inserting a knife into the chicken and making sure the juices run clear. Replace the foil over the chicken and leave it to rest for 20 minutes. This allows the juices to settle before you serve.
  10. While the chicken is resting, give the potatoes a shake and finish cooking your greens. Heat the butter in a large pan or wok. Add the garlic and cook until it is soft. Tip in the greens and add the lime juice, zest, and season with salt and pepper. Combine well and cook for a further 2-3 minutes until warmed through.
  11. Time to serve up your roast. Serve with some mango chutney and a mint and yoghurt dip.

Cooking ahead? You can prepare the marinade the day before and marinate the chicken overnight. You can get the potatoes up to the end of step 6 several hours in advance, and you can prepare your greens up to the end of step 8 several hours in advance too.


  1. This looks delicious, I love roasting a whole chicken. I'll definitely have to try this recipe! ~Eric @ Happy Valley Chow