Roast Chicken with Indian Spice Rub and Raita

Jalapenos are the most popular chile peppers in the US. This is probably due to the availability and versatility of the chile. Jalapenos have a balanced combination of flavor and heat.

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3-4 lb chicken, cut up
2 Tbsp coriander powder
1 Tbsp cardamon powder
1 Tbsp cumin powder
2 tsp salt
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 Tbsp olive oil (more if necessary to get the paste to spread easily on the chicken)
6 cloves of garlic
1 inch knob of ginger
1 jalapeno
3 sprigs cilantro, stems and leaves

1 (32 oz) container of yogurt
1 cup finely chopped tomato
1 cup finely chopped cucumber
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
3/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup finely chopped mint
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

In a large bowl, mix all the dry spices together.

Using a mini prep (or you can do it by hand if you so desire) process together the garlic, ginger, jalapeno, and cilantro until it is chopped into fine pieces. Add to the spice mixture. Drizzle olive oil and mix until a brown paste forms.

Add cut chicken pieces and using your hands (and a disposable glove) rub all the chicken pieces so that they are thoroughly coated with the spice rub. Add olive oil as needed. Allow spice rub to rest on the chicken for at least 2 hours. (Overnight is fine as well.)

Preheat oven to 500. Before cooking the chicken, allow refrigerated chicken to come up to room temperature briefly, about 15 minutes, so it cooks more evenly.

Place chicken a foil lined roasting pan. Make an even single layer with some room around the chicken pieces so that the meat can cook evenly. If the chicken has already been brought out of the fridge and allowed to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes, then place in the center of the oven. Cook for 30 minutes, or until chicken is done. Skin will be golden and crispy. Serve with basmati rice and raita.

Raita: (makes about 5 cups – you can halve this recipe)
In a large bowl mix all of the ingredients and serve immediately or refrigerate in a covered container for up to 4 days.