Tandoori ‘Split and Roast’ Chicken (Serves 4)
with buttered cabbage & sweet potato fries
What you need
4lb (approx 2kg) whole chicken of the best quality you manage, ideally organic, cornfed, or free-range
2 tbsp vegetable oil or clarified butter
Spices: 3tsp Garam masala, 2 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp cumin, freshly ground and ½tsp chilli flakes
4 cloves garlic, crushed or blitzed
60g ginger, finely grated or blitzed with skin on
200ml natural, plain yoghurt
4 tbsp pouring, single cream
3 tbsp tomato purée, rounded
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 savoy cabbage
Juice of a ½ a lemon
6 sweet potatoes, washed, sliced into chips and popped into cold water
Oil for frying
Sea salt to season
How to make it
- Spike the chicken with a skewer, knitting needle or small knife, then with a sharp knife or pair of sturdy kitchen scissors cut out the bird’s backbone and cut the loose skin between the legs its body. This is to give the marinade the best chance of fully flavouring the bird.
- In a bowl, combine all the remaining ingredients into a paste.
- Gently coat the bird all over with the marinade, not forgetting to also coat the cavity of the bird with a little of the marinade (for increased flavour).
- Place in a roasting dish and cover with foil or ‘wetted’ greaseproof paper. Pop the bird in its roasting dish onto a middle shelf of the oven and cook for *1½ hours with the foil or wetted grease proof covering it. You will need to baste the bird a couple of times during its time in the oven; simply tilt the roasting dish to form a pool of fragrant juices and spoon them over the bird. Then re-cover and pop back in the oven.
- Once you’re happy the chicken is cooked, remove from the oven, cut the bird in half and remove the legs. Cover all the pieces, set aside and allow to rest for about 20mins.
Next, the accompaniments:
- Take a Savoy cabbage and cut into 6 wedges, chopping through the equator. Place in a pot of gently bubbling water, and cook for 3 minutes, then remove (using a pair of kitchen tongs) and set aside onto kitchen paper to dry.
- Then take a frying pan, place onto a medium heat, add the butter, once it’s foaming add the wedges and fry on both cut sides for a minute or so. Squeeze in the lemon juice, baste the wedges with buttery lemon juices. Set aside and keep warm
- Thoroughly dry the sweet potato chips, drop them into the hot oil, about 170˚C and fry until golden, about 5 minutes, remove from the oil and immediately sprinkle with the salt whilst still warm.
- Arrange the chicken pieces and the cabbage slices on a large platter or charger, pop the fries into a bowl to the side and serve with warmed plates and plenty of paper napkins!
Tips & Cooking Notes:
i. If you have time, pop it into the fridge overnight or for 8 hours
ii. To cook your chicken allow 15mins per 500g (1lb) and then add another ½ hour at 180ºC or Gas Mk 4. For example, for a bird weighing 2kg allow (4 x 15)mins + ½ hour = 1½ hours.
iii. Always test the chicken is cooked by taking your skewer, knitting needle or small knife and spiking the thickest part of the leg. If the juices that run from the incision are clear the bird should be cooked!
iv. Don’t worry if parts of bird or the juices on the dish turn black, this is just the marinade cooking and anyway, it’s part of the authentic look!