I cannot tell a lie: the bhajis and biryani that accompany this dish are reheated leftovers from my local Indian restaurant that I bought on my way home from the pub the night before. But the roast chicken is mine and mine alone, using the other half of the chicken from my recent Pot-Roast Spanish Chicken.
Half free-range chicken
For the marinade
5 tbsp natural Greek yoghurt
Juice of 1 lemon
3 garlic cloves, crushed and finely chopped
Thumb-sized piece ginger, peel and finely chopped
Half onion, finely chopped
1 tsp salt
For the spice fry
2 tbsp vegetable oil or ghee
2 bay leaves
4 cardamom pods
5 whole peppercorns
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander power
Half tsp cumin seeds
1. Remove the skin from the chicken, then make deep gashes through the flesh, almost through to the bone.
2. Mix the yoghurt with the ginger, garlic, onion, lemon juice and salt and massage into the chicken. Transfer to a freezer bag and put in the fridge for 1 hour or, even better, overnight.
3. Heat the oil or ghee in a large frying pan. Shake the excess marinade off the chicken, then lightly brown the chicken all over. Transfer the chicken to an oven-proof dish.
4. Add the excess marinade to the same frying pan, followed by the whole spices and powdered spices. Stir-fry for 1 min, then pour in 250ml water, a little at a time, to prevent the spices burning. Do this for about 10 mins untl all the water has been used and you are left with a thick sauce.
5. Pour the sauce over the chicken in the oven-proof dish. Spread over the chicken then put the lid on the dish. Cook in a pre-heated oven at 180C/Gas 4 for 45 mins, then remove the lid and cook for a further 10 mins.
6. Serve with accompaniments of your choice, but this went brilliantly with reheated onion bhajis and vegetable biryani.