Yoghurt and Lime Roasted Chicken

Yoghurt and Lime Roasted Chicken, with roasted new potatoes and home-made gravy

With baking so much recently it got to the stage where the glass on the oven door wasn’t as see-through as it once was. Elbow grease for ten sorted that out. That was Sunday, one of the hottest days of the year. And I was roasting chicken. Thankfully, as long as there’s no prep to do, I can have the oven on as I’m usually ensconced behind (or in front of) my laptop two rooms away, beside an open window. That aside, this Yoghurt and Lime Roasted Chicken is quite possibly one of the simplest roasts I’ve ever made.

Earlier in the week, when I wanted to try roasting chicken in yoghurt, I did go online – the quagmire that is – to check for a suitable recipe. And I did my usual of getting the ‘ell out of there, and quick. So, when I’m not sure of a recipe I go with the basics, initially. And that included having to make do, so to speak, with a smallish roaster within a larger one with the smaller on top of a rack (see photo below Instructions).

There is reasoning behind this, besides owning a selection of roasters of differing sizes, as I’d wanted to roast the chicken actually in yoghurt and yet have other veg underneath for the gravy. And I’m so glad I did as this is as good, if not even better, than roasting chicken with lemon and garlic, something I’ve done in the past. I say good meaning better as this produced a sensational gravy, which never happens when roasting with lemon. And I love my gravy! Oh, it’s almost as if I can hear muttering…not another home-made gravy. Well, most of the top UK chefs and chefettes serve home-made gravy to their precious clientele. If it’s good enough for them…

Yoghurt and Lime Roasted Chicken

INGREDIENTS:

  • 500g (17.64 oz) x chicken leg quarters, skin and excess fat removed and discarded, score the thicker parts of meat with deep cuts (or for easier prep keep the skin on as the meat might be even more tender)
  • 4 x serving spoonfuls plain yoghurt, approx. 200ml (6.763 fl oz)
  • 1/2 x lime, juiced through a sieve
  • 400g (14.11 oz) x new potatoes, scrubbed and coated in olive oil
  • 2 x dried bay leaves, split
  • 300g (10.58 oz) x onions, halved, peeled, trimmed and cut crossways into thick slices
  • 4 x garlic cloves, root end cut off, garlic peeled and kept whole
  • 1 x dried bay leaf, split
  • 1 x medium sized green finger chilli (Scoville rating: 50,000), washed and kept whole
  • 400ml (13.53 fl oz) x cold water + extra for the gravy
  • 1 x broccoli stalk, trimmed and cut in half lengthways
  • 2 x small stems fresh flat leaf parsley, rinsed
  • 1/2 x organic vegetable stock cube
  • 2 x tablespoons plain (AP) flour
  • 2 x tablespoons olive or sunflower oil
  • seasoning, both freshly ground sea salt and black pepper
  • single (light) cream, to serve
  • freshly snipped or chopped flat leaf parsley, to serve

Measurements within brackets above are approximate only.

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 200°C or 392°F.
  • After removing the skin and excess fat of the chicken quarters hold them securely and score fairly deep cuts into the thicker parts of the thighs and drumsticks. Place in an oven suitable dish and pour the lime juice, through a sieve, over the chicken and make sure the meat is well coated. Set aside whilst preparing the other ingredients.
  • Prep the onions, garlic, broccoli stalk and finger chilli (keeping the chilli whole) and add them to a larger roaster with the split bay leaf pieces and water. Place a rack on top and set aside.
  • Prep the potatoes and coat them nicely in oil. Add the yoghurt to the chicken (making sure both sides are covered), place the potatoes alongside (adding some to a separate roaster if there are too many to fit), tuck the bay leaf pieces in and around the chicken. Place this smaller roaster on top of the rack, which is effectively inside the larger roaster, and place in the oven on the second shelf up, if using electric. Roast for an hour, basting the chicken and potatoes by turning them over halfway through. After the first hour (and the second basting) and before returning to the oven change the position of the shelf to second shelf down and continue to roast for another hour and ten, basting halfway through (times of roasting will probably vary according to oven used).
  • Remove all from the oven and carefully separate the roasters. Remove the bay leaf pieces, chilli and the broccoli stalk (and set aside) from the onions and garlic, add the liquid (what’s left of it) to a measuring jug. Add any liquid that’s in the secondary roaster, holding the chicken and potatoes, as well, pouring this through a fine wire metal sieve to collect the yoghurt curds (to be discarded). Pour in enough cold water to top this up to 300ml (10.14 fl oz). Transfer the onions and garlic to a blender with the liquid from the jug and purée this until smooth. Pour this through a fine wire metal sieve held above a large heavy-based saucepan (that’s going to be large enough to hold not only the gravy but also the chicken pieces as well). Rub the purée through with a wooden spoon discarding the pulp that’s left in the sieve. Grab all of this new purée from underneath the sieve as well. Add the parsley, half a vegetable stock cube, reserved bay leaf pieces, chilli and one of the broccoli pieces from the onions and put on electric heat No 3 (out of 6).
  • In the meantime add the flour and oil to a small saucepan and put on heat No 1. Stir this occasionally and take off heat if any bubbling occurs, putting back on heat to continue. It takes about 5 minutes to cook out the flour, which must not change colour or scorch. After that time take off heat and set aside.
  • When the gravy is starting to heat through add some of the roux (oil and flour mixture) and stir constantly, upping the heat to No 4 if necessary. Stir often until the gravy thickens, adding all of the roux if necessary. Taste for any needed seasoning (at this point I would add freshly ground black pepper only). Add a little single cream to gain the consistency needed, lower the heat and add the chicken pieces. The bay leaf pieces, chilli, parsley and broccoli can be removed and discarded before serving. Put on a lid and reheat the chicken (scraping off any yoghurt curds and discarding those) for about 5 minutes before serving. Add the potatoes to a shallow pan with a little oil and butter and reheat those, again just before serving.
  • Serve with fresh peas, mangetout or sugar snap peas.

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All photographs within (Todas las fotografías dentro de) Feed the Piglet:
All rights reserved (© Todos los derechos reservados) – Copyright © Johnny H Hepburn


28 comments

  1. My goodness. This is fabulous. Would never in my wildest imagination come up with roasting chicken in yogurt. I can see how the gravy would be silky smooth with the yogurt base. (I am picturing this correctly right?) The chicken browned so wonderfully too. A fantastic discovery. 🙂

    Like

    • I’ve been wanting to try this for ages now. And marinating meat in milk, which I’ve never done before. This isn’t really a marinade as such as I dolloped on great spoonfuls of yoghurt on the chicken and shoved the roasters in the oven. Although the chicken itself was sort of marinated in the lime juice, for all of 15 minutes whilst I prepped the veg.
      – Exactly what happens to the yoghurt I’m out on as I was only left with a little cooking liquor and curds, the latter were sieved and discarded. You’re right about the gravy, as it did have a very silky smooth consistency. And this is subtle here as I’ve not only used merely half a lime the chilli was kept whole rather than cut in half. Next time I’ll try doing that with the chilli during the gravy making process to gain a little extra heat.
      – I’m hopefully making this again this weekend 🙂 It’s that good! A tad nervous about stating roasting times as it seemed exceptionally slow with my oven. Still, will go with the same next time.

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  2. When I see gravy in your post title, I always look forward to the recipe because I still haven’t had a go at making homemade gravy… One of these days, though… This one sounds good, as usual!

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    • Your wonderful comment sums it up – I’ve failed miserably in my quest to get you lot cooking gravies!! I’ll never succeed, will I?
      – Thought I should try and go a tad bombastic with the end of the summary. Just to get my point across. Having said that it’s only within the last 10 years I’ve bothered to make gravy at home. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is. Believe me, I wouldn’t bother otherwise 🙂
      – This is deliciously subtle. As you can imagine using only half a lime for a quick marinade isn’t going to produce an overwhelming flavour of lime. It’s there, though. Just. Great with the yoghurt, that I can’t get enough of, atm. And, of course, retaining the skin on the chicken would keep the meat even more tender. I’m not keen on the skin, admittedly. Which is why I removed it. Even easier to prep if kept with 🙂

      Like

    • It’s such a simple idea, Sofia. Can’t believe I’ve never roasted with yoghurt nor milk. The latter I’m hoping to try soon as well. This was so good I’m hoping to make this again this weekend.

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  3. Johnny – I’ve done a yogourt marinade on chicken but it did not work out half as well as yours. This looks just beautiful and I will give it a try – once the temperature drops. We are in the midst of a week in the mid thirty degree C range. 😉

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    • Not that I’m being pedantic but this wasn’t technically a marinade as such. Yes, the chicken was coated in lime juice whilst preparing the veg. But, the yoghurt was literally piled on top of the chicken and shoved in the oven! That simple. What happened to the yoghurt I still don’t really understand as I was only left with less than two tablespoons of curd that I discarded.
      – That’s hot! We’re about ten below that. And here by the coast there’s usually a slight breeze. One of the pluses of living here. Except in winter as it’s generally colder than inland.

      Like

    • Don’t take this wrong but it wasn’t really a marinade, as the yoghurt was slopped on and chicken shoved in the oven 🙂 I was running late with an oven that’s kinda slow with certain food stuff. It’s fine with baking but roasting tends to take an age. This was good, I have to admit. Regardless of what it is. More of this, please 🙂

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    • Thank you. It’s almost a one dish meal. Well, two roasters and one saucepan for the gravy. And it should be served with your favourite greens, like mangetout. Still, for two there isn’t that much washing up to do 🙂

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    • Yes, apart from the gravy this is exceptionally easy to prep. I might even keep the skin on the chicken next time as that would be even easier, and keep the meat a little bit more moist. There isn’t a massive taste explosion re lime but there’s just enough for my palate.

      Like

    • Hah! Thank you. Yes, I’m going with this again at the weekend, as long as I can get the necessary ingredients. It’s so easy to prep. Okay, a little bit of faffing around with the gravy. But even that’s relatively easy 🙂

      Like

    • This isn’t exactly a marinade, as in the chicken isn’t kept for any length of time in the yoghurt outside of the roasting time. I was running late. And didn’t want the flavours to be too overwhelming. So I kept this as simple as possible. It definitely worked in my favour. Although, difficult to appropriate accurate oven roasting times as my oven seems to be kinda slow. Bit like myself 🙂

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  4. I have to prepare a dinner for my dear old father and I do believe I have found what I’ll be cooking. The roasted chicken looks yum and I’m a sucker for simple and delicious dishes like this and of course the yogurt marinade. YUM!

    Like

    • I’ve been responding to peoples comments and hopefully clarifying that the chicken pieces are cooked in yoghurt, not marinated as such. Yes, they’re in lime juice for about 15 minutes at room temperature. Which is enough time to infuse the meat (that’s scored). I cooked this again last weekend and it turned out as good. Come to think of it I used a small lime rather than half a medium size. How to measure that precious liquid!? Shall update certain points, like accidentally adding 400ml to the gravy rather than 300 (which didn’t make any difference to the overall flavour). And why my chicken pieces take that long to cook is anyone’s guess.

      Like

    • Thank you! This was only the second time to roast with yoghurt. The other recipe I do is more of a marinade for lamb skewers, with yoghurt and allspice. Those were pretty amazing. Really must look out for more recipes using yoghurt. Problem is I very seldom eat meat.

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  5. Yoghurt and chicken seems a great combination!Here in Italy we don’t prepare sauces with yoghurt generally, but I would like to try it! Thanks for the detailed explanation and congrats for the beautiful photo (now I’m hungry…) Cris

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    • Chances are there isn’t a lot of yoghurt used within British cooking either. Apparently, milk is a great ingredient to use with meats. Something to do with the enzymes. I’ve never understood the scientific aspect of cooking!

      This recipe is incredibly easy! And virtually no fuss. Excepting the gravy, if you make it.

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