Did you know that cardamom is referred to as the Queen of Spices? It makes sense, then, that this regal spice will behave like proper royalty, restrained yet in charge, when teamed with a slick of spices in a potent paste for roast chicken. As the chicken marinates for some hours, the heady aromas of garlic and ginger will waft about and you may think that cardamom’s perfume is all but lost. Don’t be fooled. These bold flavors are all swagger, and will be suitably tamed and smoothed with roasting. As their sharpness mellows, the elegant cardamom will gracefully step forward, shining through in the finished flavor of the meat and crispy skin.
Roasted Chicken with Cardamom and Yogurt
Butterflying the chicken ensures quick and even roasting. The yoghurt will tenderize the meat and contribute to the browning of the skin. Serves 4-6.
6 cardamom pods, seeds removed
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon sea salt
3 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup whole milk greek style yogurt
1 tablespoon ground fresh ginger
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 3-4 pound chicken, butterflied
Grind cardamom seeds and peppercorns in a mortar with pestle to a powder. Add cumin, coriander, salt and garlic and smash together. Add olive oil to form a paste. Stir in yogurt, ginger and lemon juice. Smear spices between skin and breast and all over the chicken, front and back. Refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours. 3o minutes before roasting, remove chicken from refrigerator.
Preheat oven to 425 F. (210 C.) Place chicken breast-side up in a baking pan or cast iron pan. Bake in oven until thoroughly cooked, 45 minutes – 1 hour. Remove from oven and let rest 15 minutes. Carve and serve.