Spiced roast chicken


  • 1½ lemons
  • 2 onions, cut into wedges
  • 1 orange, cut into wedges (unpeeled)
  • 1 x 400ml tin coconut milk
  • 500ml/18fl oz chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 small chicken (about 1.2kg/2lb 10oz)
  • 1 clementine
  • handful coriander leaves
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • sea salt and black pepper

For the marinade

  • 2½ tsp mild chilli powder (preferably Kashmiri)
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tbsp runny honey
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 5 tbsp natural yoghurt
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 50g/1¾oz piece fresh root ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 100g/3½oz unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp olive oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6. You will need a large roasting tin and a wire rack that will fit inside, for the chicken to sit on.

  2. Boil one lemon in water for 20 minutes until soft and then set aside.

  3. For the marinade, combine all the marinade ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

  4. Put the onions and orange wedges, coconut milk, stock and bay leaves in the roasting tin. Cut the remaining half lemon into chunks and add to the tin. Put the rack inside the roasting tin and place the chicken on top.

  5. Using a sharp knife, score the legs and breast of the chicken. Massage the marinade into the chicken and inside the cavity (plastic gloves are useful for this). Stab the boiled lemon a few times and place it in the cavity, together with the clementine and the fresh coriander.

  6. Cover with kitchen foil and roast the chicken for 45 minutes, then remove the foil and roast for a further 30–40 minutes, basting every 30 minutes or so, until dark golden and cooked through. The juices should run clear when the thickest part of the thigh is pierced with a skewer. The spice marinade can darken considerably, so if the chicken is browning too quickly for your liking cover with foil again. Remove from the oven, cover and leave to rest for 20–30 minutes.

  7. To make the gravy, pour the entire contents of the roasting tin into a blender or food processor and blitz until almost smooth. Pass the mixture though a fine sieve into a jug. Melt the butter in a pan over a medium heat, whisk in the cornflour, then immediately pour in the blended mixture a little at a time, whisking constantly. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  8. Serve the gravy alongside the chicken.

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