Roasted Chicken – A Dinner Table Staple
After an evening full of back aches and strained eyes, I, like many students before me, blindly made my way towards the kitchen to grab a pack of instant noodles to tide me through the night. But enough rummaging around and caffeinated brain lead me to eventually produce this recipe of Roasted Chicken; It has since then become a family favourite and a dinner table staple whenever a daawat rolls its head around.
Now don’t get me wrong. I love the beautiful, intense artificial-ness of a good pack of maggi, or the brief but fulfilling maza of a granola bar, but how about I tell you a secret? You can prepare an entire roast chicken that’ll satisfy you for days WITHOUT a cooking background or really any prior knowledge of the food world except a basic understanding of how ovens work.
Sounds too good to be true doesn’t it? Well strap yourselves in then ‘cause it only gets better from here.
The real secret to this recipe is to get an already cut up chicken from the butcher. It saves time and prevents the awkward fumbling of carving a fully roasted chicken in front of expectant guests, cue the “haw haye” from the desi aunties in the back as you embarrassedly try to work out where to stick your knife and fork.
(Disclaimer: We do not intend to target desi aunties in any way. We love you in all your easily offended glory)
The pre-cut pieces also prevent the outer layer of the chicken from drying out as whole roast chickens tend to do. No cooking hacks or fancy tricks are needed to get it juicy and soft from the inside and out. The flipping of the chicken halfway through the baking time is also essential as it not only ensures even roasting but also gives the onions scattered on top a chance to absorb the butter and juices from the chicken and turn nice and soft instead of burning to a crisp.
This chicken is a strong and independent being, it needs neither your poor knife skills nor a poking fork. It stands proudly on its own place upon the dining table waiting to be picked apart by eager hands and hungry mouths. So, without further ado, let’s dive into why this chicken is the masterpiece I’ve made it out to be.
- One whole chicken (cut into regular pieces)
- 1 ½ tbsp chilli powder
- 1 ½ tbsp ground cumin (aka pissa huwa zeera)
- 1 ½ tbsp garlic powder
- 1 ½ tbsp onion powder
- 1 ½ tbsp salt
- 1 ½ tbsp ground black pepper
- 5 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp dried herb of choice (rosemary, thyme etc)
- 1 small onion (sliced thinly)
· Preheat the oven to 200 °C (or 400 °F)
· Put the chicken into a large bowl and add the spices to it. Put on a plastic glove and mix it all together with your hand, making sure each piece is well coated. If there are any crevices in the chicken make sure they are well attended to.
· Arrange the pieces in a large baking pan, preferably a 13 x 9 rectangular baking dish. Then spread the chicken out evenly so that every piece gets a chance to cook through fully.
· Arrange the pieces of butter at each corner of the pan, with one at the centre. To put it in simpler terms, place them in an X formation.
· Sprinkle herb of choice on each cube of butter, making sure it stays contained to the butter.
· Scatter your sliced onion upon the entire dish, you can slice up more onions if you’re an enthusiast but be mindful of the onion powder already in the recipe.
· Place the pan in the oven for 30 minutes, making sure to flip halfway for even cooking and to ensure the onions don’t burn.
· Take out of then oven and let the meat rest for 5-8 minutes
· And Your Roasted Chicken is ready to be served.
Recipe Notes to nail your Roasted Chicken 😀
-This chicken, although delicious, doesn’t yield much sauce. Prepare a traditional raita to accompany it. You can use any combination that you like but chilli powder, chaat masala and dried mint are a match made in heaven.
-The strange way of adding dried herbs is important, as if you mix them in with the spices, their flavor overpowers that of everything else. When the butter melts in the oven, the herbs will get to infuse with the whole dish and won’t taint the overall taste.
Looking for an easy yet mouth-watering dessert to satisfy your sugar cravings? Head over to my next blog on most delicious chocolate chip cookies ever 😀