Wednesday, 3 July 2013

The Empire Strikes Back

As much as we love it, there comes a time when even we get sick of eating a normal roast chicken on a Sunday & it's on such times as these, that I switch to cooking Empire Chicken.  This is a Jamie Oliver recipe that I've tweaked ever-so-slightly but it's basically his take on an Indian roast chicken & it's bloomin' delicious!!
He serves his with Bombay-style Potatoes & a special spiced gravy but eat it with whatever you fancy!  This recipe is for the chicken & the gravy, you can find recipes for Bombay Potatoes easily online.  I use a large roasting tin that has a roasting rack that fits in it.  If you don't have one of these, put a large roasting tin on the shelf underneath a scrupulously-clean oven shelf & roast the chicken directly on this.  This way, the juices will fall straight down into the pan for the gravy!
Empire Roast Chicken
serves 4-6  oven at 200C
Chicken & marinade
1.5kg chicken
1 dessertspoon each of minced garlic, ginger & red chilli (I use the Lazy jars for ease!)
1 heaped tbsp tomato purée
1 heaped tsp each of ground coriander, turmeric, garam masala & cumin
1 heaped tbsp natural yoghurt
2 lemons
2 tsp sea salt
1 stick cinnamon
3 small red onions, roughly chopped
10 cloves
3 tbsp each of white wine vinegar & Worcestershire sauce
3 level tbsp plain flour
500ml chicken stock
1. Mix together the garlic, ginger, chilli, tomato purée, spices, yoghurt & juice of 1 lemon in a bowl.
2. Slash the chicken legs a few times right down to the bone then place on the roasting rack of your pan or on a board.  Put on clean rubber gloves (or the turmeric will leave you with yellow hands!) &  thoroughly smear the chicken with the marinade.  Get a nice thick layer on.  Leave to marinade for a few hours or overnight. Cut the other lemon in half & place inside the chicken cavity.
3. Place the chicken in the pre-heated oven.  When the chicken has approximately 40 minutes of cooking time left, remove from the oven to make the gravy.
4. Add the chopped onions to the pan with the cinnamon stick, cloves, vinegar & Worcester sauce & then whisk in the flour to make a roux.  Pour in the stock & whisk again then replace the chicken roasting rack & put it all back into the oven.
5.  Cook for the remaining time then remove.  The chicken can left to rest while you finish the gravy.  Push it through a fine sieve into a small pan & either add boiling water to thin or simmer it down to thicken it.  Make it the consistency you want.
 The chicken will be blackened on the outside but when the skin is peeled back, you're left with the juiciest, most delicious bird ever!  Serve with Bombay Potatoes, the gravy & a cucumber salad.  Yum!!

I'm sorry there are no 'after' shots of the dish but it's pretty much like feeding time at the zoo in this house when dinner's ready & food disappears before I can get my camera out!!  Enjoy!


  1. We have curried roast chicken similar to this (which looks marvellous by the way!) with rice and dhal and/or aloo sagg and salad and yoghart (and some poppadoms!). Mouth is watering now! x

    1. Hi Jenny, the dhal & aloo sagg sounds great, I haven't made them for ages! I actually bought more mung dhal the other day so I'll make that next time I do it :)
      Sarah x

  2. Wow that looks amazing, I never try new dishes, I need to xxx Jen xxx

    1. It's just so tasty Jen, you can make it as spicy as you like it!

      Sarah xx


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