Lemon and saffron pot roast chicken...

Not your usual Sunday roast chicken, but if you like spices (and I don't mean spicy food but flavoursome!) and if you like to try something different this dish is definitely for you!
You really don't have to be a huge fan of Indian cuisine, as this chicken is quite a mellow spiced bird, and I think that if you're not familiar with Indian food that much, it can be a perfect introduction to it.
Beside beautifully roast chicken you're also getting a creamy sauce, which we couldn't get enough of - even my two lil girls! We ate it with rice and Polish "mizeria" (sliced cucumber with cream, green onions and some salt), but if you have some Naan bread or roast/boiled potatoes it will be a great accompaniment too.

lemon and saffron chicken

It's been ages since I've roasted the chicken whole, meaning in its normal round shape. I always cut it along the spine and flatten it. Not really sure if it cooks quicker or not, but it definitely fits better in my dish and it's easier to cut/portion afterwards.

lemon and saffron chicken

The recipe comes from new Amandip Uppal's book "Indian made easy" - which is slowly becoming my favourite cookbook about Indian cuisine.

How to make it...

- 1 whole chicken
- 2 tablespoons grated ginger
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- zest and juice of 2 lemons
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 2 tablespoon ground coriander
- 5-6 saffron threads, soaked in 1 teaspoon milk
- 2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 large cinnamon stick
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 star anise
- 4 cardamon pods
- 2 tablespoons creme fraiche

Preheat the oven to 180 C. Place ginger, garlic, coriander, cumin, lemon zest and juice, soaked saffron threads and oil in one bowl and mix. Rub it in all over the chicken and place the bird in a lidded ovenproof dish. Add the rest of the spices and salt, then pour enough water to come a third of the way up the chicken. Cover with the lid.
Place in the oven and cook for 1 hour, then remove the lid and cook for further 25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through (thermometer should read minimum 75 C, the juice coming from the chicken should be clear and NOT pink and the meat should fall off the bones).
Remove the chicken from the dish, then pour half of the cooking stock into a pan and stir in the creme fraiche. Place over a low heat and simmer for about 10-15 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced by half and slightly thickened. Cut the chicken into serving pieces and pour over the sauce.


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