Let me begin by apologizing to my email subscribers who got an additional post alert on Monday and then couldn’t find said post on the blog. It was a scheduling glitch. My apologies. Please bear with me!
Let me make it up to you with a special occasion dinner recipe.
I have never roasted a whole chicken in my life. Neither has my mom, to my knowledge. We are not exactly ‘eat-a-whole-chicken‘ kind of family.
I thought you had to be a genius to get a perfectly cooked whole chicken. Well, I have good news for you. It is really not that hard. Because if I can do it, anyone can!
I briefly contemplated roasting a turkey for Thanksgiving. But its humongous size scared me and we decided to settle for chicken. In the end, we were invited to a nice turkey dinner elsewhere, still I did roast a chicken later. Actually I roasted two birds on two different days, but that’s a long story! Since I got good results both times, I am confident enough to post the recipe. I don’t think it’s fair to post one-shot recipes.
It took me so long to post the recipe, as I wanted to give you some detailed tips I learned on how to get a tender roast chicken. I used my mom’s grandma’s recipe for a stuffed roast chicken. Well in those days, it was not oven-roasted, but slow-fried in a large pan.
As usual, I searched the internet too and found many different varieties of Indian style stuffed chicken. The most popular is the one among Malabar Muslims, where they stuff a chicken with aromatic rice and spices and deep fry it. I decided to stick with my mom’s recipe of an egg masala stuffed roast chicken.
The secret to a good roast chicken is definitely in the marinade. You need something that nicely tenderizes the meat. An aromatic paste of ginger, garlic, red chili powder, coriander powder and lots of lemon juice does the trick. Give the chicken a nice rub, and let it rest at least overnight and it cannot go wrong.
You will need:
For the marinade:
- Chicken – 1 full, cleaned and innards removed
- Ginger – a large stub, say 4-5 inches long
- Garlic – a whole head
- Curry leaves – a few sprigs (optional)
- Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
- Red chili powder – 1 tbsp
- Meat masala powder – 1 1/2 tbsp (or replace with coriander powder)
- Garam masala powder – 1/2 tsp
- Salt – 2 teaspoons (or as per taste)
- Lemons – 2
For the egg masala stuffing:
- Eggs – 2-3
- Oil – 2 tbsp
- Cumin seeds – 1/4 tsp
- Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp
- Onion – 1, chopped
- Ginger and garlic paste – 1 tsp
- Tomato – 1, chopped
- Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
- Red chili powder – 1 tsp
- Meat masala or coriander powder – 1 1/2 tsp
- Cilantro leaves – a few (optional)
- Oil – a couple of tablespoons
- Baking pan large enough to hold the chicken
- Foil and kitchen twine
Marinating the chicken:
- Clean and wash the chicken. Pat dry with paper towels. Poke the chicken in a few places with a sharp knife or fork. This will help while marinating the chicken and also accounts for the skin stretching while roasting.
- Grind the ginger and garlic along with all the other marinade ingredients and the juice of one lemon. Reserve the other lemon for later.
- Rub the marinade liberally all over the chicken, inside and out. Carefully lift the skin at the ends and rub the marinade underneath too. Juice the other lemon and rub the juice all over. Place the lemon peels inside the chicken’s cavity. Refrigerate the chicken overnight.
Preparing the stuffing:
This stuffing is a flavorful egg masala, that is commonly eaten as a side along with rice or Indian bread like appams, chapathis, naan, etc. You can very well make this a day ahead and refrigerate till the chicken is ready to be roasted. I forgot to take a picture, but it is similar to this Mushroom-Peas Masala.
For the Egg Masala,
- Boil and peel the eggs and keep aside.
- Heat oil in a pan. Add the cumin seeds and mustard seeds.
- When they start to sputter, add the onions and saute till they turn translucent.
- Add the ginger and garlic pastes and saute till the raw smell is gone.
- Add the masala powders and saute well. Add the tomatoes and cook till the oil separates.
- Remove from heat, add the boiled egg halves and cool the masala completely before stuffing into the chicken.
Roasting the chicken:
You’ve marinated the bird and prepared the stuffing. All that remains is roasting it. Take care of a few things and it should come out beautifully.
I could simply tell you to bake it at 350 deg.F till done, giving around 20 minutes per pound. But I’ll try to explain properly on how to get a juicy roast chicken with a nicely browned skin.
Remember, you need to pre-heat the oven, stuff and truss the chicken, then bake it, baste it and broil it. Finish by tenting it with foil and resting it for some time.
- Prep the oven: Pre-heat the oven to 400 deg.F and line a large baking tray with foil. (The chicken is baked at a high temperature at the beginning and towards the end, maintaining a slightly lower temperature for the rest of the time.)
- Stuff and Truss: Take the chicken out from the refrigerator and discard any liquid that may have dripped from the marinade. Remove the lemon peel from inside the chicken cavity and stuff the egg masala into it. Stitch it closed with kitchen twine or multiple strands of regular cotton thread. Truss the chicken i.e, tie the legs together, if you want.
- Bake : Rub some oil on the foil, place the chicken breast-side down and pour a couple of tablespoons of oil over it. Bake at 400 deg.F for 15-20 minutes.
- Baste: After 20 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 350 deg.F and continue roasting, giving around 20 minutes per pound and a little extra since it is stuffed. Remember to baste the chicken with the pan drippings every half hour or so. Midway through the roasting time, turn the chicken over so that all sides are evenly browned.
- Broil: Place the chicken on a roasting rack if possible, and broil at 400 deg.F for the last 15 minutes. This ensures a nice, crisp skin.
- Tent and Rest: Make sure the chicken is done (till proper internal temperature is reached or till the juices run clear when poked). Remove from oven, tent the chicken with foil and let it rest for at least 20 minutes before carving. This helps the juices to re-distribute evenly, keeping the chicken juicy and tender.
Look at that lovely golden brown skin! Needless to say, it was dee-licious!!
This recipe is a lot of work, but the results are well worth it. The meat is juicy and tender and the flavors are absolutely amazing.
This will make a nice special-occasion dinner.
Tell me, do you roast chicken regularly? Have you tried stuffing it?
Do try this Indian style stuffed chicken and tell me how you like it.
I am linking this up at these awesome blogs.
- A Blossoming Life
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- Better With Age
- Home Stories A To Z
- My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
- A Stroll Thru Life
- Cedar Hill Ranch
- Coastal Charm
- Elizabeth & Co
- House On The Way
- Savvy Southern Style
- The NY Melrose Family
- Not Just A Housewife
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- Domestic Superhero
- Living Well Spending Less
- Reasons To Skip The Housework
- Design Dining and Diapers
- The Shabby Nest
- French Country Cottage
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- Thirty Handmade Days
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- Nifty Thrifty Things
- By Stephanie Lynn