Saturday, January 16, 2010

Garam Masala Chicken

Garam masala translates from Hindi as "hot mixture." However, the spice mixture is not hot as in hot pepper (such as cayenne or scotch bonnet) hot. It refers more to the intensity of the spice mixture. The garam masala spice mixture varies by region in India but usually contains black & white peppercorns, cloves, bay leaves, long pepper, black cumin, cumin seeds, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, star anise and coriander seeds. It is absolutely delicious. If you haven't tried it, please do! This recipe is adapted from "Garam Masala Chicken with Roasted Vegetables" from Aida Mellencamp. I use less oil, less salt, and add the vegetables halfway through the cooking time. Otherwise, I follow the recipe. By adding the vegetables a little later, they still are nicely browned but have a little "bite" to them instead of being mushy. Also, by adding them later, I mix them with some of the chicken drippings, eliminating the need for added oil. The yogurt makes the skin nice and crispy and beautifully browned. I also have skipped the marinating process before and it was still fantastic. My whole family loves it!

Oh, and RG - I hope that things are going well at IR!

1/4 cup peanut oil
4 teaspoons garam masala
1 (2-inch) piece ginger, sliced
8 medium garlic cloves, smashed
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 (4 to 5 pound) whole chicken
1 1/2 pounds red potatoes, halved
1 pound butternut squash, large dice
1 medium red onion, large dice
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup plain whole milk yogurt (I use Greek)

In a small bowl, mix together 1/4 cup oil, garam masala, ginger, garlic, and 1 tablespoon salt. Place chicken in a large baking dish or plastic bag, loosen the skin from the breast and legs of the chicken and, using your hands, spread a good part of the mixture underneath. Rub the remaining mixture inside the chicken cavity and over the skin. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine. Loosely cover, refrigerate, and let marinate 30 minutes or up to 12 hours.

Arrange the rack in the center of the oven and heat oven to 400 degrees F.

Remove chicken from marinade, let any excess drip off, and reserve marinade. Let chicken sit at room temperature while oven warms up, about 30 minutes.

When the oven is heated, place chicken, breast side up and roast until skin begins to brown about 45 minutes. Toss potatoes, squash, and onions with the remaining marinade and season with salt and pepper. Add the vegetables to the roasting pan with the chicken (approximately half through the cooking time). Brush yogurt on chicken and continue roasting until chicken is well browned, juices run clear when inner thigh is pierced with a knife, legs move easily in the joint, and a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest portion of the thigh registers 160 to 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, about another 40 to 50 minutes. Let chicken rest at least 10 to 15 minutes before serving.


  1. That looks delicious! I am always looking for new ways to use Greek yogurt- I'll definitely have to make this recipe.

  2. Hi Jen!
    Thanks for the recipe. I love Indian food but have never cooked it. I'll have to give this one a try.

  3. Indian food is my absolute favorite cuisine(I could happily eat it every day for the rest of my life!). This recipe looks like a real winner, and I agree with you on the veggies...I like them with a little bit of a bite too.

  4. Oh man I gotta give this a try! I live in NY I can get to NJ for dinnertime...want a visitor...haha :)

  5. I love Garam Masala and have a potato recipe I make with it - delish. The chicken sounds like the next recipe to use it on - thanks.