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Spiced Grilled Chicken Recipe

An excellent way of giving chicken pieces a slightly Indian flavour. It has the advantage that the dish is further improved if the prepared chicken(s) rest in the fridge, with their added flavourings for a time before being grilled.

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4 chicken quarters, or 1 roasting chicken cut into 4 by your butcher
3 teaspoons (15ml) Coriander seeds
16 Cardamom pods
½ teaspoon (2ml) Black Pepper Corns
5cm/2 ins Root Ginger, peeled
1 teaspoon (5ml) Cloves
Salt and freshly-ground Black Pepper
50g/2oz Butter at room temperature
1 tablespoon (15ml) Olive Oil

For the Sauce (optional):
1 tablespoon (15ml) Olive Oil
25ml/1 oz Butter
2 medium Onions, peeled and finely-sliced in rings
1 teaspoon (5ml) ground Turmeric
2.5cm/1 in Ginger Root, peeled and very finely-chopped
400ml/15 fl oz Plain Yoghurt
25g/1 oz Currants

A few watercress or mixed leaves to decorate (optional)


1. Put the coriander seeds and cloves in a frying pan over a low heat for about 2 minutes - until they give out a pleasant smell - remove them from the heat.

2. Pound the cardamoms until they split - keep the seeds, and throw the husks away.

3. Pound the cardamom and coriander seeds with the cloves and black pepper corns - either with a pestle and mortar or in a coffee grinder reserved for spices.

4. Mix these spices into a smooth paste with the butter.

5. Carefully separate the skin from the flesh of the chicken pieces, and make small slits into the meat.

6. Divide the butter into four, and work each into the cuts of a chicken section. Pull the skin back over to cover the flesh as naturally as possible.

7. Season the chicken quarters with a little ground pepper on both sides.

Put the chicken into the fridge until required - but leave for a minimum of two hours, but overnight if possible.

8. When ready to cook, heat the grill, then put the chicken in a grill pan - drizzle over the olive oil, and grill, skin-side-up, for ten minutes, seasoning with a little salt half way through. Turn the chicken over, and repeat for a further ten minutes, again seasoning with a little salt after five minutes.

9. Remove the chicken from the grill, and insert a sharp knife as close to the bone as possible - if the juices run clear, the chicken is ready, if still a little pink, grill for a few minutes more - skin side up.

10. While the chicken is grilling (or ahead of time if you prefer), make the sauce.

11. Melt the butter with the olive oil, in a deep frying pan over a low heat.

12. Add the onion rings and 'sweat' until they are soft, stirring them occasionally.

13. Add the turmeric and finely-chopped ginger, plus a little salt and pepper.

14. Cook slowly for a further five minutes, then add the yoghurt and the currants.

15. Warm through, then serve in a side dish to be served as a side accompaniment to the chicken.

Serve the chicken with a few watercress or small mixed leaves on the side.

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