Indian Spiced Roast Chicken

It’s always easy to continue down the route of familiarity when cooking at home, working with recipes that we know, that deliver on flavour and are received with gratitude, clean plates and full stomachs. While I would not go so far as to use the old adage that familiarity breeds contempt, for the home cook it sometimes prevents us from adapting our skills and can hamper creativity. The past year has very obviously seen an enhanced sense of cooking fatigue so it’s always a positive thing to try to switch things up so to speak while not compromising on flavours that we both know and love. Recently I have been looking at different ways of making roast chicken in alternative ways and this Indian spiced roast chicken is both simple in its execution but offers mounds of familiar comforting flavours. Here is have used crème fraiche as the base of my marinade; the creamy citrussy nature something I found both pleasing as a flavour alternative but functionally I find that the higher fat content protects the chicken better while roasting. However, feel free to use full fat natural yoghurt instead. Another slight alteration I have made to common recipes is to leave both the garlic and ginger whole in this rather than chopping finely before adding to the marinade. Finely chopped garlic and ginger can burn quite easily and the acrid bitterness is something I don’t find particularly pleasing.

I served this with saag aloo and spiced roast cauliflower, recipes for which can be found here and here. I also recommend serving a sauce on the side here; a tomato based Indian chutney would work well or indeed save any leftover sauce from a curry, freeze it and serve on the side with this. Alternatively, this would be excellent served with rice, a chickpea curry or dahl, and some naan bread.


  • 1 x 1.5kg free range chicken
  • 1tsp ground coriander,
  • 1tsp ground cumin,
  • 1tsp Kashmiri chilli powder,
  • 1tsp garam masala,
  • 1tsp turmeric,
  • 1tsp curry powder
  • 1tbsp tomato puree
  • Zest and juice of one lemon
  • 1 tbsp veg oil
  • 1sp salt
  • Half tub crème fraiche approx. 125-150g
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed with the back of a knife
  • 1 thumb sized piece of ginger, thickly sliced (no need to peel)

*Note* I recommend using gloves when handling the chicken and the marinade as the turmeric can stain fingernails and clothes quite easily.


  1. Place all of the marinade ingredients into a bowl and mix thoroughly into a smooth paste. Put the chicken into a large sealable plastic bag and add the marinade. Seal the bag and gently massage the marinade into the chicken until coated evenly all over. Put the chicken on a plate or plastic container and marinade in the fridge overnight though for at least 6 hours and up to 24 hours
  2. When ready to roast, take the chicken out from the fridge about 30 minutes before roasting. Preheat oven to 180°C Fan, 400°F, Gas Mark 6
  3. Remove the chicken from the plastic bag, place in a roasting tray and top with the reserved  marinade until coated all over. Season with a sprinkle more salt and some freshly ground black pepper. Roast in the oven for approx. 70-80 minutes or until a meat thermometer placed into the thickest part of the thigh reads at least 75 degrees Celsius (or until juices run clear). Adjust cooking times accordingly depending on the size of the chicken you are roasting.
  4. Remove the chicken from the roasting tray and place on a clean plate, cover with foil and rest for about 30 minutes. Serve with saag aloo and spiced roasted cauliflower.
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