Whole roasted masala chicken

This recipe from Madhur Jaffrey zings with cumin, lemon and coriander. Why not try it this weekend for Sunday roast?
By Madhur Jaffrey
Whole roasted masala chicken
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Cook Time: 1.5 hours 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes plus 45 min marinating and resting
  • Effort: easy


For the marinade

  • 4 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp garlic, finely chopped or crushed
  • 3 hot green chillies, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp garam masala

For the chicken

  • 1.75 kg whole chicken, skinned
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Tips and Suggestions

This recipe is delicious with these roasted masala potatoes


1. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

2. For the marinade: Place all the marinade ingredients in a blender and process to a paste.

3. Using a sharp knife, make two deep, diagonal cuts into each breast of the chicken, going all the way down to the bone. Make two equally deep slashes in the thighs and two in the drumsticks as well.

4. Place the chicken, breast side up, on a roasting tray lined with enough foil to cover the bird completely. Pour the marinade paste over the chicken, rubbing it well into all the cuts. Put in the fridge for 30 minutes.

5. For the chicken: Sprinkle the chilli powder and black pepper over the chicken evenly. Wrap up the chicken in the foil so it is completely covered, with the tightly closed seam at the top. Bake in the middle of the hot oven for 1 hour.

6. Unwrap, without letting the juices run out, and cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes, basting two or three times with the juices.

7. Check the chicken is cooked by inserting a skewer into the thickest part of the thigh, between the leg and the body. If the juices run clear with no trace of pink, it is cooked. Continue to cook for a little longer if needed.

8. Set the chicken in a warm place to rest for 10-15 minutes, then carve and serve.

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