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Cardamom Lemon Chicken

Cardamom Lemon Chicken 1

Today’s experiment is vaguely Indian in spirit, although I’ve not actually seen anything exactly like it in any of my Indian cookery books. While my wife was travelling recently, I cooked some chicken pieces using lemon zest in an Italian style pesto as a marinade and, since I had chicken (and fresh lemon) leftover, I thought I would experiment a little further, this time working with the flavors of the east…

The Ingredients

  • 1 ½ lbs. Chicken pieces;
  • ¾ tbsp. Salt;
  • 1 tbsp. minced Lemon Zest;
  • 1 tsp. Sugar;
  • 3 tbsp. Lemon Juice;
  • 1 ½ tbsp. Turmeric;
  • ¾ tsp. Cardamom Powder;
  • ¼ tsp. Cayenne Pepper;
  • 1 tsp. Amchoor Powder;
  • 1 tsp. Cumin seeds;
  • 2 tbsp. Butter or Ghee;

The Method

Cardamom Lemon Chicken 2

First, mix together the lemon zest, sugar and salt and, in a separate dish, combine the turmeric, cardamom, cayenne and amchoor.

Cardamom Lemon Chicken 3

Make several slashes in the skin and flesh of the chicken pieces. Rub them first with the lemon juice and then with the lemon zest mixture, making sure you get plenty into the slashes and under the skin. Set aside for a good 30 minutes or so.

Cardamom Lemon Chicken 4

Now rub the pieces well with the spice mixture and, again, work some under the skin and into the slashes. Cover and refrigerate for several hours, or overnight, to allow the flavor to penetrate.

Cardamom Lemon Chicken 5

Pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees and, while it is warming, toast the cumin seeds in a dry pan until they give off their fragrance and are just beginning to brown. Add the butter and, when it is melted remove from the heat and keep warm in a small bowl until needed.

Cardamom Lemon Chicken 6

Finally, bake the chicken on a wire rack, turning once during cooking, and baste several time with the butter, making sure that some of the cumin seeds adhere to the chicken skin. You will need to bake it for about 30 minutes or so and, if you like, you can give it a quick blast under the broiler to give it that nice ‘Tandoori’ look. Allow to rest for 5 minutes and then serve.

The Verdict

Cardamom Lemon Chicken 7

Well, this was very tasty, and the chicken was nice and moist. I liked the hint of lemon and cumin but I was a bit disappointed that the cardamom really didn’t come through. Unfortunately, I was a bit cautious with it as this spice is very aromatic and can easily overwhelm dishes if one is not careful. Next time, I would use half as much again, at least. Still, this made a lovely supper and the second piece that I saved for lunch the next day was just as good.


20 Comments Post a comment
  1. I love Cardamom, but my husband hates accidentally biting into them whole. I never new there was Cardamom powder. That would solve my problem.

    This dish looks very good. I guess it might be good to use the same recipe but spread out over 4 or 8 pieces of chicken or a kilo of drumsticks?

    June 12, 2013
    • For sure … just adjust for the amount of the seasoningd accordingly. You might want to up the amount of cardamom a little…

      Also … if you can’t buy cardamom powder, you can always open the pods and then remove and grind the dark seeds from inside. Actually… although I wouldn’t do it here but, if I am doing a curry powder or other powdered spice blend using cardamom, I throw the whole pods, husk and all into my spice grinder. They blend up just fine 🙂

      June 12, 2013
  2. As always you are one of my fave foodie blogs!! Such dedication and commitment that I am finding hard to do for my own blog at the moment.

    June 12, 2013
    • I agree, he’s a cunningly clever foodie… I’d rather cook his recipes than blog!

      June 12, 2013
  3. MMM on Wednesdays I drive out to the CSA for my share of veggies and free range meat, I’ll have to pick up a few chicken legs and try this! Looks so yummy.

    June 12, 2013
    • It’s a good recipe to play around with.. lots of scope for improvisation 🙂

      June 12, 2013
  4. Clayton #

    Lately I’ve been buying whole chicken leg & thigh pieces. One can never run out of ideas on how to prepare legs and thighs. So yours is another; I will definitely make this recipe. Thanks!

    June 12, 2013
    • Unaccountably, it is more expensive up here to buy a whole chicken and cut it up at home than it is to buy pieces!!

      June 12, 2013
  5. This sounds really good. I like cardamom but I probably would have been afraid of adding too much as well. Thanks for the tip on the amount of spice to add!

    June 12, 2013
    • I’m going to have to do it again so my wife can try it now 🙂

      June 12, 2013
  6. Excellent looking chicken. I love the high colour.

    June 12, 2013
    • It’s nice when taste *and* appearance comes together 🙂

      June 12, 2013
  7. Sounds very good. I appreciate how you experiment with flavors and your feedback at the end of your post is so honest. Great looking chicken dish.

    June 13, 2013
  8. Hi, is me again…I’m catching on my reading. This chicken looks and sound amazing. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    June 14, 2013
  9. This looks really, really good. I need to start playing around with amchoor more!

    June 16, 2013
    • I only use it once in a while really, but it definitely has its uses.

      June 16, 2013
  10. American Cookin' #

    Oh man! This looks good! I’ll have to give it a try sometime! =)

    June 28, 2013
    • I just recently adapted the recipe to skewers of pork on the barbecue. Worked just as nicely 🙂

      June 28, 2013
      • American Cookin' #

        mmm…. i gotta get my bbq up and running! =)

        June 28, 2013

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