Tandoori Chicken

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 small chicken; 700g/11/2 lb each
  • The juice of 2 lemons
  • Salt to taste
  • 115g/4oz Greek yogurt
  • 50g/2oz mild cheddar cheese, finely grated
  • 150ml/5 fl oz single cream
  • 6 large garlic cloves, crushed to a pulp or 1 tbsp garlic puree
  • 5cm/2-inch piece of root ginger, finely grated or 1 tbsp ginger puree
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder or to taste
  • 1 sp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 4 tbsp mustard oil or other cooking oil such as rapeseed
  • 50g/2oz butter, melted

If you want to spice up your Sunday roast, this recipe is your answer! It makes a heavenly alternative to the plain roast chicken. The roast potatoes, cooked in the marinated chicken juices, are simply gorgeous.

Method

Skin the chicken first of all. It is quite easy if you lay the chicken on its back and use a cloth and hold the chicken down with one hand on a flat surface. Starting from the neck end start pulling the skin away. If it does not come out in one piece do not worry, simply start again and pull the skin away from all sides until the chicken is completely free of any skin. Trim off excess fat.

Using a sharp knife make deep incisions on each chicken; 3 on each breast, 2 on each thigh and 2 on each leg. Rub the lemon juice and salt into the chicken, not forgetting the back, and set aside for 30 minutes.

Beat the yogurt until smooth and add all the remaining ingredients except the butter. Pour this mixture over the chicken and rub in well taking care to rub it into the incisions. Cover and refrigerate for 6-8 hours or overnight. Bring it to room temperature before cooking.

Pre-heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6. Line a roasting tin with greased foil and lay the chicken on the foil side by side. Cook in the centre of the oven for 15 minutes, reduce the temperature to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4. Baste the chicken with half the melted butter and cook for 10 minutes, or until brown patches appear on the surface. Baste with the remaining butter and cook for a further10 minutes. Remove and serve with the roast potatoes and green beans with mustard, cumin and garlic.

To roast the potatoes, peel them and cut into halves or quarters according to size. If using small potatoes leave them whole. Blanch in boiling salted water for 2-3 minutes and drain. Plunge them in cold water, drain and dry with a cloth or absorbent paper. Prick the potatoes with a fork or the point of a sharp knife. Add salt and pepper to taste and rub in 1-2 tablespoon rapeseed oil. Place on the roasting tin with the chicken; stir them around after 15 minutes. Cook for a further 8-10 minutes and remove them with a pair of tongs. Keep them hot until the chicken is ready.