Basics

This is one way to roast a chicken.  We have a roast chicken once a week; I buy one at the Farmers’ Markets from one of the organic farmers and we usually have it for dinner on Sunday night.  This recipe was in the Sydney Morning Herald’s food section on Tuesday, 22 March 2011, the recipe is from Jill Dupleix.

I can’t even tell you how delicious this is.  It’s my kids’ new favourite way to have roast chicken.  They also love, love, love the lentils, which completely surprised me.  The last time I made this I didn’t have any ginger or coriander but that didn’t seem to bother anybody.

ROAST SPICED-YOGHURT CHICKEN (SERVES 4)

200g plain natural yoghurt (this makes quite a lot, too much in my opinion. 125g is ample).

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp fresh ginger, finely grated

2 garlic cloves, finely grated

1 red chilli, finely sliced

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp salt

2 tbsp tandoori spice mix or paste

1.5kg fresh organic chicken (you could use chicken pieces ie Marylands, skin on)

400g canned lentils, drained

1 tbsp tomato paste

1 tbsp garam masala

2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves

75g baby spinach leaves (or one bunch of English Spinach, leaves only)

1 lemon for serving

2 tbsp coriander sprigs

Beat the yoghurt with one tablespoon of olive oil, the ginger, garlic, chilli, lemon juice, salt and tandoori spice mix.  Using poultry shears, cut down either side of the backbone of the chicken and remove.  Turn cut-side down and push down on the breastbone with the heel of your hand to help it flatten out.  Slash the drumsticks once or twice, then coat the chicken with yoghurt mixture and leave for an hour or two (I left mine marinading in the fridge for the whole day and it was fine).

Heat the oven to 200C. Place the chicken skin-side up in a roasting tray lined with baking paper and roast for 50 minutes or until golden and cooked through.

Heat the lentils with remaining olive oil and tomato paste, garam masala, chopped coriander, sea salt and pepper and a splash of water and simmer for 10 minutes over low heat.  Add the spinach leaves and allow to soften and wilt.  Cut the chicken into chunks and serve with the lentils, lemon wedges and coriander sprigs.

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