Sunday, February 12, 2012

Jamie Oliver's Empire Chicken

I'm not a great one for watching TV but I will watch cookery shows ad nauseum, Billy tells me the only things I'll watch are Cookery programs and things like The Biggest Loser and Operation Transformation - no shock to me that one of these leads to the other! But anyway moving swiftly along....
I was watching Jamie Oliver's Great Britain one night and I loved the look of his Empire Chicken recipe which was right up my street as I love spicing things up.This recipe which combines your traditional roast chicken, spuds and gravy with some eastern spices truly sizzles. We;'ve made it a couple of times now once just for ourselves and another time we doubled everything up as we had some people coming for Sunday lunch a few weeks ago, they loved it as much as we did.

Ideally start the chicken marinading the day before.
Slash the chicken’s legs a few times right down to the bone. Get a roasting tray slightly bigger than the chicken, then add all of the marinade ingredients and mix together well. Put on a pair of clean rubber gloves, then really massage those flavours over and inside the chicken so it’s smeared everywhere. If leaving overnight cover and put in the fridge.

For the chicken and marinade• 1.4kg free-range chicken
• 1 heaped tablespoon each finely grated garlic, fresh ginger and fresh red chilli
• 1 heaped tablespoon tomato purée
• 1 heaped teaspoon each of ground coriander, turmeric, garam masala and ground cumin
• 2 heaped teaspoons natural yoghurt
• 2 lemons, one to be stabbed in a few places and placed in the chicken.
• 2 level teaspoons sea salt    

For the Bombay Style Potatoes
 800g new potatoes
• sea salt and ground pepper
• 1 lemon
• 2 or 3 tablespoons olive oil
• a knob of butter
• 1 heaped teaspoon each
of black mustard seeds,( I couldn't get black mustard seeds so used regular ones), cumin seeds, garam masala and turmeric
• 1 bulb of garlic
• 1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
• 2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
• 1 small bunch of fresh coriander

For the Gravy:

 1 stick of cinnamon
• 3 small red onions, peeled
• 10 cloves
• 3 tablespoons each of white wine vinegar and Worcestershire sauce
• 3 level tablespoons plain flour
• 500ml organic chicken stock
• optional: natural yoghurt,to serve

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6 and organize your shelves so the roasting tray can sit right at the bottom, the chicken can sit directly above it, right on the bars of the shelf, and the potatoes can go at the top. Halve any larger potatoes, then parboil them in a large pan of salted boiling water with a whole lemon for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through. Drain the potatoes then let them steam dry. Stab the lemon a few times with a sharp knife and put it right into the chicken’s cavity. Move the chicken to a plate.

Roughly chop the onions and add to the roasting tray along with the cinnamon stick, cloves, vinegar and Worcestershire sauce, then whisk in the flour. Pour in the stock or water, then place this right at the bottom of the oven. Place the chicken straight on to the bars of the middle shelf, above the roasting tray. Cook for 1 hour 20 minutes.

Put another sturdy roasting tray over a medium heat and add the olive oil, a knob of butter, the mustard and cumin seeds, garam masala and turmeric – work quickly because if the fat gets too hot the mustard seeds will pop everywhere. Halve a bulb of garlic and add it straight to the pan, with the sliced chilli and chopped tomatoes. Add your drained potatoes to the tray, mix everything together, then season well. Finely slice and scatter in the coriander stalks, and keep the leaves in a bowl of water for later. After the chicken has been in for 40 minutes, put the potatoes in.

Once the chicken is cooked, move it to a board and carefully peel off the dark charred bits to reveal perfect chicken underneath. Pass the gravy through a coarse sieve into a pan, whisking any sticky goodness from the pan as you go. Bring to the boil and either cook and thicken or thin down with water to your preference. Put it into a serving bowl and drizzle over a little yoghurt. Get your potatoes out of the oven and put them into a serving bowl, then serve the chicken on a board next to the sizzling roasties and hot gravy. Sprinkle the reserved coriander leaves over everything.

We had it with some corn on the cob and green beans and it was absolutely scrummy!


  1. Hi Caroline, you are one of my 5 winners of the Liebster Blog Award. Details are on my blog at - Sarah

  2. That looks amazing Caroline, great blog! x