I was well into my 30s when I learned how easy it is to roast a chicken. Before then, I’d thought roasting a chicken was a gargantuan task, akin to roasting a Thanksgiving turkey. My cousin, Lucy Bremner, gave me the key to chicken-roasting success.
Lucy’s no-fail method is essentially this: Wash and dry a chicken. Put the giblets into a plastic bag and freeze them for another use. Place the chicken, breast-side up, into a baking dish. Put either a bay leaf or half a lemon into the cavity. In a small bowl, mix 6 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and a tablespoon of any combination of spices you feel would enhance the chicken, such as thyme, basil, marjoram, oregano, and sage, plus some pepper.
Put a spoonful of the spice mixture inside the cavity, and spread the rest evenly over the outside of the chicken.
Roast the chicken at 375 degrees F for 1 hour. You don’t need to baste or look at the chicken while it’s cooking. You can even start the chicken in a cold oven, but if you do that, add an extra 10 minutes cooking time. Simple.
Which brings me to this recipe for tamarind ginger roast chicken. It’s essentially Lucy’s recipe with a few modifications. In this case, I stuff the chicken with chopped broccoli tossed in a tamarind-ginger sauce. Putting a few vegetables inside the chicken makes it juicier. And I pour a ginger-lemongrass-seasoned olive oil over the outside of the chicken. I cook the chicken for an extra 15 minutes because of the stuffing.
The broccoli cooks in the juices of the chicken, and the tamarind sauce oozes out with the juices into the pan, creating a perfect sauce you spoon over the chicken and broccoli when it’s done.
Add some rice or quinoa, and you’ve got an easy, delicious dinner. Even my picky teenager loves this recipe, which is quite a recommendation!
Tamarind Ginger Roast Chicken
Delicious and quick to prepare, this roast chicken is stuffed with broccoli and seasoned with tamarind, ginger and lemongrass.
- 4-pound chicken
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons tamarind paste
- 1 teaspoon chopped ginger
- 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts
- 1 teaspoon coconut aminos
- 3/4 cup broccoli florets, chopped into small pieces
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon powdered ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon lemongrass powder
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Wash and dry the chicken. Salt it inside and out. Place it into a baking dish.
In a small bowl, whisk together the tamarind paste, ginger, walnuts and coconut aminos.
Toss the broccoli florets in the sauce.
Stuff the chicken very loosely with the broccoli florets.
If you want, you can use a metal or bamboo skewer to close the opening.
In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, powdered ginger and lemongrass powder.
Spread the mixture over the outside of the chicken.
Roast the chicken at 350 degrees F for 75 minutes.
Check the temperature of the chicken at the thickest part of the thigh. It's done when it reads 165 degrees F.
Remove from oven, and allow the chicken to sit for 5 minutes
Remove broccoli from the cavity, slice the chicken, and spoon sauce and pan drippings over broccoli and chicken before serving.
Wash and dry a 4-pound chicken. Salt it inside and out, and place it in a baking dish.
Put the tamarind sauce into a small bowl.
Add chopped ginger.
Stir in walnuts.
Toss until ingredients are blended.
Cut broccoli florets into small, bite-sized pieces.
Toss the broccoli florets in the sauce until well coated.
Fill the cavity with the broccoli mixture.
Use a skewer to close the opening (optional).
Mix ginger and lemongrass powders with olive oil.
Coat the outside of the chicken with the ginger lemongrass sauce.
Bake at 375 degrees F for 75 minutes. Watch carefully for the last few minutes. The chicken is done when its temperature at the thickest part of the thigh reaches 165 degrees F.
Slice the chicken and serve with broccoli and pan juices.