When I feel like I actually have the energy to make a full roast, chicken is my regular go-to. I don’t really waver on what I do to the chicken – some butter, lemon, salt and pepper. An old reliable recipe, but it’s getting a bit boring. So, when I had a day off yesterday and didn’t feel like going to bed at 5pm after a long day of Netflix and laundry (a great day by my standards!!), I decided I would make the effort to spice up old reliable.
Empire chicken and Bombay roasties!! This recipe is from Jamie Oliver’s 2012 cookbook: Great Britain, but can also be found on his website here: JamieOliver.com.
At first glance, it looks like a lot of work and a lot of spices that may not be stocked in your pantry. It wasn’t difficult, but it was a bit time consuming. The chicken is supposed to be marinated for some time, but I only decided to make it about 2 hours before prep time. It still tasted nice and spicy.
It was nice to combine the marinade in the roasting pan and not mess up any additional dishes. I threw the ginger, garlic, tomato puree, ground coriander, turmeric, garam masala, ground cumin, and yogurt in the pan. I didn’t have a red chilli, so I substituted it with jalapeño. Also, I must have the first edition of the cookbook because where it says zest and juice of one lemon on the website, my cookbook just says 2 lemons in the ingredients list and never mentions zest. I just kind of assumed that’s what was required and used the zest of half of a lemon, before cutting it in two and placing both in the chicken’s cavity for roasting. Then, rub all of those ingredients on and in the chicken. It smelled amazing!! The chicken cooked for about an hour and forty-ish minutes at 400F.
I used fingerling potatoes for the roasties, and parboiled them for about ten minutes with half a lemon, as called for in the recipe. I’ve never heard of the lemon bit, and I don’t actually know how much lemon is absorbed or if it actually does anything, but whatever. I follow the rules and the book said to do it.
The potatoes are also mixed with spices in a roasting pan on the stove. The best piece of advice I can offer is to have all the spices and ingredients ready to go before you put the roasting pan on the stove. It was so much easier just being able to dump one bowl of pre-measured ingredients in than run around the kitchen while trying to keep an eye on the pan. I mean, maybe you always prepare your ingredients before you start to cook, but I generally don’t.
Again, I didn’t have a red chilli, so I used jalapeño and combined it with cumin, garam masala, turmeric, garlic, chopped tomatoes, and because the supermarket didn’t have any black mustard seeds, I used brown mustard seeds. Google said they’re close enough and I listen to google. I put the potatoes in the oven with the chicken after it had already been in for just over an hour. When they’re done, sprinkle some roughly chopped fresh cilantro/coriander.
The recipe says to put the chicken straight on the oven rack, but I left it in the pan. Also, I don’t like gravy and there were only two of us eating this meal, so I didn’t make it. I didn’t feel like reducing the ingredients by a lot or wasting them for one person to use a tbsp’s worth. I did throw a handful of roughly chopped red onions on the chicken and in the roasting pan.
I also sautéed some chopped zucchini with diced red onion, cumin, turmeric and tomatoes as a third indian inspired side. I also tossed some fresh cilantro on them too. Super easy — VERY spicy. VERY good.
Overall – I’d definitely make the potatoes again. They were easy and amazing. The chicken was great, but now I have to find something to use a huge can of tomato puree that is only missing one tbsp. I know that’s a supermarket problem and not a recipe issue, but I don’t like wasting it.