Recipe: Indian Spiced Baked Chicken

I adapted this from a Madhur Jaffrey recipe where she bakes a whole chicken in a sealed parcel.

Instead, I used bone-in chicken quarters and once they were cooked I pulled all the meat off the bone, making it easier to eat and ideal for feeding a crowd.  The rich, aromatic sauce that’s created in the cooking process is wonderfully fragrant without being too spicy and the chicken is moist and tender.

You don’t have to pull the meat off the bones if it’s a sit-down dinner; just serve each person one piece of chicken. You could also use bone-in chicken thighs for smaller portions (adjust the cooking time accordingly) but don’t be tempted to buy boned chicken fillets – cooking chicken on the bone yields a juicier result with much better flavor.

This recipe has a two-step process and although very simple to make, it does takes a while to prepare but the end result is totally worth it. The discarded chicken skin wasn’t wasted either and was used to make Nigel Slater’s Chicken Skin Popcorn – a huge hit with hungry guests while they waited.

I served this together with a rice pulao with saffron, almonds, dried fruits & aromatics;   spinach with ginger, onion & chili and a cooling yoghurt ‘raita’ with walnuts, cilantro (coriander), chili and green onion.

The best part is that everything can be made in advance and reheated in a 300F /150C oven,  covered tightly with foil.

You don’t have to but I prefer to buy my spices whole and grind them myself; they have more flavor than the ready-ground stuff. Don’t cut back on the amount of oil either; it carries the flavor of the spices.

You’ll also need a food processor.

This dish freezes well once it’s cooked.

Indian Spiced Baked Chicken

Indian Spiced Baked Chicken


(Serves 6)


3 and 1/2 lbs (1.5k) of chicken quarters, on the bone

For the marinade:

1 inch (2.5cm) of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

2 cloves of garlic, peeled

6 tablespoons of plain (full fat) yoghurt

1/2 teaspoon of ground turmeric

1 teaspoon of salt

1/4 – 1/2 a teaspoon of cayenne

1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper

For the spice paste/sauce:

8 oz (225g) of onions, quartered

4 large cloves of garlic, peeled

1 oz (25g) of sliced almonds

2 teaspoons of ground cumin

2 teaspoons of ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon of ground turmeric

1 tablespoon of paprika

1/4 teaspoon of cayenne

1 and 1/2 teaspoons of sea salt

8 tablespoons of vegetable oil (I use grape seed or avocado oil as they’re better at high temps)

2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice

A good grind of black pepper

1/2 teaspoon of garam masala (an Indian ‘finishing’ spice, available in good supermarkets these days)


Skin the chicken pieces and discard the skin (unless you’re making chicken skin popcorn in which case, lay them flat on a roasting tray, season with salt and pepper and put in the fridge until you’re ready to roast them).

Indian Spiced Baked Chicken - stage 1

Indian Spiced Baked Chicken – stage 1

Arrange the chicken pieces snugly in a single layer in a deep roasting pan.

Make the marinade –

Put all the marinade ingredients in a food processor and pulse until you have a paste. Brush the marinade all over the chicken and set it aside at room temperature for 2 hours.

Make the paste/sauce –

Wipe out the food processor bowl (no need to wash it). Pulse the onions, almonds, garlic and ginger, pushing the sides down with a spatula until you have a paste. Add the ground cumin, coriander, turmeric, paprika, cayenne and salt – pulse to blend.

Indian Spiced Baked Chicken - stage 2

Indian Spiced Baked Chicken – stage 2

Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat then add the onion paste mixture to the pan and cook, stirring for about 8-10 minutes.

Add the lemon juice, a good grind of black pepper and the garam masala. Take off the heat.

Pre-heat the oven to 350F (180C)

Spread the onion and spice paste evenly over the chicken pieces. Cover with foil, making sure the edges are tightly crimped and that there’s some space between the chicken and the foil. Bake for 2 hours or until the meat is all but falling off the bone.

Serve like this or allow it to cool before pulling the meat off the bones and discarding them. Re-heat, tightly covered with foil at 300F (150C) for about 30 minutes.

For more easy Indian dishes, click here.

Indian Spiced Baked Chicken - cooked

Indian Spiced Baked Chicken – cooked









About edibletcetera

I'm passionate about food; I cook, photograph, eat...then writes about it in that order. I'm also an occasional restaurant critic and caterer; a former newspaper columnist; author; social media/marketing communications; world traveler; dog lover; skier...and wit, (according to those who know me).
This entry was posted in Indian & Asian Cuisine, Poultry. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Recipe: Indian Spiced Baked Chicken

  1. vigi harlow says:

    This recipe is very autheñtic and guaranteed, in my opinion, to be delicious based on ingredients. I love the choice of side dishes. I will save it for the next time I make curried chicken. Thanks Jackie!

  2. Thank YOU! I’m only sorry that you weren’t around last night to help us eat it 😉

  3. lynn henderson says:

    I was lucky enough to be at Jackie’s last night for this meal, it was really delicious,thanks for your great cooking jackie. 🙂

  4. Paul Freeman says:

    Looks delicious. I don’t have a food processor though. Pestle and mortar?

    • I use a pestle and mortar for grinding spices but for making a paste out of raw onions and almonds, you’ll need something way more substantial. Do you have a liquidizer/blender?

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