Split and Roast Chicken in Tikka Tomato Sauce with Golden raisin pilau and dressed cucumbers.

Ingredients

This is a really simple but totally tasty way to tickle your roast chicken. A little north Indian sauce, spatch-cooked chicken. Perfect for the BBQ, grill or oven this meal packs a real flavour punch, is naturally delicious and brilliant for all occasions. 

Serves

  • 1 local chicken, free-range or organic if possible 
  • 1 jar, 300g Green Saffron’s Tikka sauce 
  • 150ml water 
  • Picked coriander leaves and toasted almonds nibs for garnish 

Golden raisin, lemon pilau 

Serves 4 - 6 people 

  • ½ medium onion, finely diced 
  • 35g butter or a splash of vegetable oil 
  • 2 cups of Green Saffron Vintage Basmati rice 
  • 6 cups of hot water 
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder 
  • 2 tsp Garam Masala plus a little extra for garnish 
  • 2 tblsp golden raisins 
  • Juice of 2 lemons and zest of one, finely grated 
  • 1 heaped tsp sea salt 
  • Good handful of coriander, flat leaf parsley and chives, finely chopped 

Dressed cucumbers 

  • 125g golden granulated sugar 
  • 1 tsp sea salt 
  • 1 level tsp powdered turmeric 
  • ½ tsp fresh ground long pepper, or black pepper is fine 
  • 100ml freshly squeezed lemon juice 
  • 550g cucumber, peeled, halved, de-seeded, sliced into thick 25mm slices on the bias, then halved into chunks 

Method

  1. Turn your oven to Gas Mk 5, 190°C 
  2. Next, cut the backbone out of your chicken, using a pair of poultry shears or a sharp knife. I find it easier using the shears, but it’s up to you. 
  3. Place the bird in a roasting tray, breast side up, using the palm of your hand, gently press down so you hear a ‘cracking’ sound. The bird should now be lying flat in the tray. 
  4. Using a sharp knife, score each breast and each leg three times, to help the marinade to soak in 
  5. Open the Green Saffron sauce, pour the contents over chicken, cover with wetted grease-proof paper and set aside for 30mins 
  6.  Pour the water around the chicken, place on a middle shelf in your oven, paper cover loosely in place and roast for 45minutes 
  7. Then, remove the paper cover, turn your oven to Gas Mk 7, 220°C and roast for a further 20 to 25 minutes. 
  8. Check the chicken’s cooked, remove from the oven, cover to keep warm, set aside to rest for at least 15 minutes 

Golden raisin, lemon pilau 

  1. Preheat your oven to 180ºC or Gas Mark 4 
  2. Melt the butter in a casserole dish over a gentle heat, then add the onion and sweat until it’s good and soft 
  3. Tip in the rice, then stir around for a minute or two, coating all the grains with the melted butter 
  4. Next, pour the hot water into the casserole, sprinkle in the turmeric, the Garam Masala, and the golden raisins, give it a quick but gentle stir, then cover the casserole dish with a tight-fitting lid or tin foil and place on a middle shelf in your pre-heated oven. 
  5. After 10 to 15 minutes check the dish see if all the liquid has been absorbed. If there’s still some liquid remaining, return the covered casserole dish to the oven and give it a couple more minutes until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is moist and glossy. 
  6. Remove from the oven, take off the lid or gingerly rip off the foil, add the salt, fluff gently with a fork, stir through the lemon juice and zest, sprinkle with the herbs and a little more fragrant Garam Masala. Set aside. 

Dressed cucumbers 

  1. Mix all the dressing ingredients, the sugar, sea salt, turmeric, pepper and lemon juice until the sugar and salt are dissolved.
  2. Pop them all in a clean jam jar and shake vigorously, this is an easy method to make the dressing. 
  3. Just before serving, dress the cucumber chunks generously and serve immediately. (You can keep any remaining dressing in a sterilised jar in the fridge for up to two weeks.) 

Assembly 

  1. Carve the breast meat, remove the legs, separate into drumsticks and thighs.
  2. Spoon some pilau rice on to warmed dinner plates.
  3. Place on some brown and white meat, spoon on a little sauce from the roasting tray, sprinkle with flaked almonds, coriander leaves and take to table with a small glass bowl of the dressed cucumbers. Yum!

chicken