This little dish very is Indian in spirit, although I don’t think I have ever actually seen cardamom paired with lemon zest in any of my Indian cookery books. The two flavorings do, however, work very nicely together with baked chicken…
- 1 ½ lbs. Chicken pieces;
- ¾ tbsp. Salt;
- 1 tbsp. minced Lemon Zest;
- 1 tsp. Sugar;
- 3 tbsp. Lemon Juice;
- 1 ½ tbsp. Turmeric;
- 1 – 1 ½ tsp. Cardamom Powder;
- ¼ tsp. Cayenne Pepper (or more to taste, if you like);
- 1 tsp. Amchoor Powder;
- 1 tsp. Cumin seeds;
- 2 tbsp. Butter or Ghee;
First, mix together the lemon zest, sugar and salt and, in a separate dish, combine the turmeric, cardamom, cayenne and amchoor.
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.
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.
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.
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.