This recipe is a cross between Madhur Jaffrey’s Curried Whole Chicken (“The Ultimate Curry Bible”) and Diana Henry’s Spatchcocked Chicken with Chilli, Garlic etc (“How to eat a Peach”).
1 large chicken (about 1.7kg) and 2 red onions
Marinade ingredients: 5cm piece of fresh ginger; 3 cloves garlic; juice of half a lemon; 2 tablespoons olive oil; 2 green chillis or a scant teaspoon chilli powder; 1 teaspoon each of cumin, coriander and sea salt; some black pepper
To serve: curried roast potatoes, green beans or salad, yoghurt, wedges of lemon, fresh coriander
- Plonk the chicken on the surface, breast side down, legs towards you.
- Use good scissors to cut through the flesh and bone along either side of the breastbone, and remove it.
- Open out the chicken, turn it skin side up, then flatten it by pushing down hard on it with your hand. Cut off any raggedly bits of flabby skin.
- Skoosh together the marinade ingredients in a mini-processor.
- Ease up bits of skin and squeeze in teaspoons of marinade between the meat and the skin, all around the breast and legs, wherever you can find a point of entry. Gently massage the remaining marinade all over the outside and underside of the chicken and leave in the fridge (covered) for any time between 10 minutes and six hours, whatever suits you.
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees and let the chicken come to room temperature.
- Put a few slices of the red onion along the base of a roasting tin and plonk the chicken on top, skin side up. Roast, uncovered for an hour. Wiggle a leg or two to see if it’s done and make sure the juices run clear.
- Cut into serving pieces (you’ll want to prise the meat away from the spindly little bones if you have young diners) and serve with curried roast potatoes (Liz’s recipe: just roast in the usual way, but mix in a tablespoon or so of curry powder fairly early on), green beans or salad, yoghurt, lemon wedges and fresh coriander.