One whole free-range chicken
1 whole lemon – thinly sliced
Juice & zest of one whole lemon
4-6 shallots – cut into quarters
2 tsp ground cumin
1 ½ tsp five spice or alternatively you can use (½ tsp ground cinnamon and½ tsp ground cloves)
Ground ginger & garlic
Few curry leaves – finely chopped (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbs margarine or butter
Seasoning soy sauce
Drizzle of clear honey (optional)
- Start by preparing the marinade – In a small bowl mix all the dry spice ingredients followed by a good drizzle of olive oil, and the rest of the wet ingredients, give it a good mix and set aside.
- Butterfly chicken by placing breast side down and using heavy-duty kitchen scissors or shears to cut along both sides of backbone, turn chicken over and open it, press gently to flatten it. Using a sharp knife slash into the chicken thigh (this is optional). This will help the chicken to cook quicker, and enable the flavours/seasoning to penetrate right into meat.
- A little tip, using your finger gently run under the chicken skin in such a way to separate the skin from the chicken. In doing this I like to rub the spice mix in this cavity rather than rubbing the spices all over the skin surface – this gives the chicken a more flavorsome taste without burning the spices leaving you with crispy spicy chicken skin.
- Rub the prepared marinade spice inside and under the skin cavity and paint rest of the marinade on surface, placing the lemon slices around.
- It is best to marinate the chicken beforehand then place in a dish cover with cling film and leave to marinate overnight of few hours before. When ready to cook take the chicken out of the fridge to come to room temperature
- If cooking in the oven, preheat it to 200°C. Place the chicken skin side up in a roasting dish and roast for 45 minutes at 200°C. Baste the chicken through, scatter the shallots around in the baking tray reduce oven temperature to 180°C and cook for another 30minutes until the chicken skin is crisp and the meat almost falling off the bone.
- Transfer chicken to a carving board, and leave to rest 10 minutes. Cut chicken into portions, and serve with roasted vegetable. Served here with beetroot raita and coriander flavoured rice.
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