I’m now into week 6 at Leiths and it has amazed me and most of my fellow students just how much we’ve learnt in such a short space of time. All of the little things that you do while cooking but you aren’t quite sure why – well these have all have started to make sense now. It’s true – there is science behind cooking!
One of the key skills that I’ve learnt over the past few weeks (which I thought was beyond me) was jointing a chicken. Following a few demonstrations by the teachers, I approached the task with much trepidation. However, once I started I felt in complete control. Much simpler then I ever thought it would be. You also get quite a sense of power brandishing a big knife around!
So, three chickens down and I quickly realised that I would be cooking a lot of chicken over the coming weeks. I have to say my Spicy Roast Chicken recipe came immediately to mind. For me, this meal is the ultimate in comfort food. It reminds me of lazy Sunday afternoons with the smell of the chicken emanating through the house. It’s such a quick and easy recipe and all the hard work is done by the marinade.
The chicken has a lovely spice finished by the tang of the lemon. I normally serve with rice and a lovely fresh salad, topped off with the cool mint chutney to even out the spice. However, it’s also great with some fresh chappati’s (if you really want to push the boat out) or pitta breads. My mouth is watering as I type this!
Anyway, its very easy to make and super delicious.
Enjoy…. And let me know how you like it!
Spicy Chicken with Mint Chutney (Serves 4)
For the chicken marinade
1 medium chicken jointed or 3.5llb chicken with different jointed pieces
½ red pepper, sliced
½ yellow pepper, sliced
1.5 tsp crushed garlic
1.5 tsp crushed ginger
¾ tsp crushed green or red chilli (if you like your food spicy, you can add more)
½ tsp red chilli powder
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground corriander
1 tbsp of olive oil
¾ tsp of salt
¼ tsp of garam masala
Pinch of turmeric
Juice of half a lemon
¼ tsp of finely grated lemon zest
Small handful of chopped coriander
For the mint chutney
250g greek yogurt
½ handful of mint leaves, chopped finely
1 shallot, finely diced
½ tsp of cumin
Pinch of salt
In a large bowl, combine all the wet and dry spices with the olive oil into a smooth paste.
Add salt to taste.
Once the marinade ingredients are properly combined, add the chicken pieces and ensure each piece is coated well with the marinade
Leave to marinade for at least 30 mins but you can leave overnight too
20 mins prior to cooking, add the lemon juice and zest
Heat the oven to 200c/Gas mark 6
For the chutney, place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Taste and add more salt if required.
Arrange the marinated chicken in a shallow roasting tin, skin side down. Lay the sliced peppers on top of the chicken
Bake in the oven for 15-20 mins (depending on the size of the pieces). Do not cover the chicken. Place larger pieces on the outside of the tray (as this is where there will be more heat).
After 20 mins, turn the chicken over to skin side up, arranging the peppers back on top if possible. Bake for another 15 mins or until the chicken is cooked through completely
Remove from the oven and place under the grill to brown the top of the chicken. Serve immediately with a fresh salad, rice and mint chutney