Indian-spiced roast chicken is juicy, delicious and perfect for family dinner served with fresh and cooling cucumber salad and flatbread.
This incredibly flavorsome chicken is maybe the best roast chicken recipe I have tried. Definitely in the top 3. It’s so aromatic and juicy and the skin is something to fight over. I love making this roast chicken when I have guests coming over because it takes very little effort and delivers big on flavor. Served with my easy flatbread, a quick yogurt raita and a refreshing cucumber and red onion salad, it becomes a casual feast.
How to roast a whole chicken
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Combine vegetable oil, garam masala (or any curry spice blend), paprika, cardamom, crushed garlic and ginger, sugar, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a small bowl or jug and mix well. Place a whole, cleaned chicken on a chopping board. It is not necessary to rinse chicken, in fact, it has been proven that rinsing a chicken spreads bacteria more. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels then loosen the skin over the breast (this can be done with a tablespoon). Brush the marinade over the chicken, lifting the skin over the breast and pushing some of the marinade over the breast meat. Make sure to cover the chicken entirely and spoon the remaining marinade into the cavity.
Place the chicken into a roasting dish and add quartered onions and garlic cloves. Place in the oven then turn the heat down to 180°C/350°F. Allow to roast for 45-60 minutes. Test if the chicken is done by cutting between the drumstick and the breast. If the juices run clear, the chicken is cooked. If the chicken is not done yet, roast for another 15-30 minutes until fully cooked. Remove the cooked chicken from the oven and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes before carving and serving.
How long to roast a chicken
A 1.5kg/3.3lb chicken will take approximately 45-60 minutes to roast at 180°C/350°F. To test if a chicken is cooked, cut between the drumstick and breast. If the juices run clear the chicken is cooked. You can also use a meat thermometer which should read 75°C/165°F when inserted into the thickest part of the chicken.
How to reheat roast chicken
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Place the chicken on a rimmed baking sheet and heat for 10-15 minutes until heated through. Alternatively, reheat the roasted chicken in a pan set over medium heat until heated through.
What to serve with Indian-spiced roast chicken
- Easy flatbread
- Easy marinated cucumber salad
- Crispy salt and pepper smashed potatoes
- Cucumber, tomato and red onion salad
Roast chicken recipes
- Lemon herb roast chicken
- Easy Tuscan roast chicken
- Peri-peri baked chicken and potatoes
- Spinach and feta stuffed roast chicken
Indian-spiced roast chicken
- ½ cup vegetable oil (alternatively use ½ cup plain yogurt)
- 3 tbsp Garam Masala
- ½ tsp paprika
- ½ tsp ground cardamom
- ½ tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp chilli powder
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp sugar
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 garlic cloves crushed
- 1 tsp crushed ginger
- 2 kg (4lb) whole chicken
- 1 onion quartered
- 4 garlic cloves
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F.
- Combine all the spices, oil and lemon juice and mix well.
- Loosen the skin over the chicken breast then brush the marinade over the chicken, under the skin and into the cavity.
- Place the chicken into a roasting dish then add the onions and garlic.
- Place into the oven and allow to roast for 20 minutes at 200°C/400°F then turn the heat down to 180°C/350°F and allow to roast for another 30-40 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
- Remove the roast chicken from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before carving and serving.
Hi, I like how there’s burnt bits in your chicken according the picture. How do I achieve that? I also wanted to know do you prefer doing the recipe with oil or yoghurt as you’ve mentioned both. I would also like to know whats the difference between using the oil and yoghurt.
The yoghurt will make a thicker crust and bake into a slightly drier skin but will keep the chicken super moist. I prefer the oil because it is easier to work with. The caramelized bits happen when the oven is hot enough.
I was in a rush so hardly had time to marinate but it was still intensely good!
Thanks for the great recipe. It’s a winner.
Hi can this work for a roast duck too ?
I’m sure it would.
The flavors were amazing and the meat was tender! The skin didn’t get crispy though. I marinated it in a sealed gallon bag for 5 hours in the refrigerator. Could that method of marinating prevented it from crisping up? If so, what should I do next time? Cover it with marinade and leave it uncovered in the refrigerator? Thank you!
The skin won’t crisp up as the marinade will prevent that. Dry skin crisps up best. You would need to wipe off all the marinade in order for it to get crispy which would mean a loss of flavor.
Trying this dish tonight. Report TBA ??
Do you think I could make this in a rotisserie? Thank you in advance!
It turned out great!
I have made this recipe many times now and love it.
I was wondering if this would work with boneless breast of chicken without skin?
Can you please let me know? My husband cannot eat the skin even though it’s delicious …
Yes, I think it will work very well.
Thank you so much. It turned out nicely
Looks Yummy! I am planning on making this soon. How long do you recommend me to marinate the chicken with the marinade? please let me know. Thank you
At least 30 minutes but up to 24 hours in the fridge.
Well explained. Definitely gonna try! After so many recipes yours was best!
Thanks so much!
Absolutely delicious. Served with mint and coriander yogurt, onions and tomatoes. So easy. Now saved in my “Love it” pin file. Definitely one to make again and again.
I marinated mine for two days (initially intended to be one) and then made in my new Ninja Foodie! ? It was literally flavorful to the bone! Kids rated it best chicken ever! ? Thanks for the recipe!
SO happy your family liked it so much. It’s a winner, for sure!
Exactly what I was planning to do with this delicious looking chicken. Did you just follow Alida’s instructions exactly on temp & time, or did you modify for the Ninja ? That would be a great help. TIA 🙂
Omg this was the easiest recipe and it taste amazing.
OMG this was delicious,. I roasted root vegetables in amongst the chicken marinade and cooking juices and served it with blanched beans and coriander mint yoghurt. Absolute winner here! Has already been requested again!
Delicious! So glad you liked it Mandy!
This was really good. I could not stop eating the skin! Adding to the meal plan.
Yay! Thanks for your comment Charlene.
I was most impressed with this chicken recipe – so tasty, yet easy to prepare. I added some fresh chopped coriander to the yoghurt marinade, as well as some chopped chillies, as my husband and I are spicy food freaks! I also used my own home-made garam masala. We cooked the chicken on our gas barbeque (braai), using a drip tray beneath in which I roasted potatoes and pumpkin.We loved this succulent yet deliciously spicy chicken dish – a nice variation on the usual tandoori skewers. Thank you very much. I’ll be cooking this meal again and again.
Tried this recepie today – loved it !
A big Y U M <3
Gonna try it for tonight
I hope you liked it! 🙂
The chicken was very good. I had to adjust the cook time and temperature substantially, as I bought a six pound chicken, but if you plan for that, you should be pleased with the results. I don’t normally eat the skin on chicken, but this was crisp and tasty–I couldn’t resist!
So glad you liked it.
Hi, I make the Indian spicy chicken all the time and your recipe is missing a few ingredients.
Respectfully I would like to point them out.
Pls add yogurt to few tbsp of oil , add garlic to this recipie and paprika or red chillies for the authentic red colour, otherwise food color also works . Pls try and let me know.
Thanks for your comment. I didn’t add any garlic as it would just burn during the roasting process and add unpleasant bitterness. As far as the coloring goes, I quite like the way the chicken looks as is but if you’d like to add paprika or chilli, you’re more than welcome. All recipes are adaptable to change as you feel fit.
Mia van der Kop
Hi!!! Just making it! The recipe does call for garlic or am I missing something!?
Yes, the garlic cloves are in the recipe card. 3 in the marinade and 4 to roast with the chicken.
Currently making this recipe for thanksgiving!!!
What did you think Shamira?
This looks yummy!
I have chicken thighs instead. Will the same recipe work for them?
Have you tried this on the grill before?
Yep, chicken thighs will work just fine. No, I haven’t but I think it’ll be fine. The marinade might catch and burn a little though. I hope you love this recipe!
Alida, this chicken was great and so juicy! I didn’t have yogurt so used sour cream and that worked well. There was so much of the mixture, I just ended up rolling the chicken around in it so I could get as much of it as possible on and in the chicken. I actually didn’t care for the marinade (on it’s own) when I tasted it but went ahead and cooked the chicken anyway and am so glad I did because it is amazing when done! Thank you for creating and sharing this wonderful and new way to roast chicken. I also appreciate the person who posted the link to the homemade curry pastes… I used store-bought korma curry but will definitely try making my own next time.
I’m so glad you liked it Heather, it’s definitely one of my favourites. The marinade when raw can be quite unpleasant as none of the spices have been cooked out but as you saw, once it’s cooked, it’s beautiful and aromatic.
Oh My Goodness! Made this tonight and it was awesome. Like you, I love spice but didn’t have spicy curry paste or garam masala. The only change I made was adding cayenne pepper to pump up the heat. My husband is licking his fingers as we speak. Great recipe!
I’m so pleased you (and your husband) loved this chicken. It’s one of my favourites!
I think it would be great in a crockpot. The cooking times might just need to be adjusted a little.
Mondo | I bake he shoots
this looks amazing. I wonder how it would turn out if I made it in my crockpot…
Nus, I’m sure 48 hours should be fine if it’s well sealed and the chicken is fresh.
What’s the longest time the chicken can be marinating in the fridge for? Is 48 hours too long?
My chicken is marinating in this as we speak… Can’t wait to try it!!
I hope you love it!
Lee, In South Africa we use the Metric system so all my recipes use Degrees Celsius.
Increased to 375 fahrenheit
Are the degrees in Celsius or Fahrenheit seems to be taking really long to cook
I followed this recipe after pinning it, it was great loved it, I’d recommend covering the bird for the first 30mins however as the marinade did begin to catch! All in all a great mid-week number well done!
This chicken is REALLY yummy! It makes quite a bit of marinade so I ended up using about half as a dipping sauce on the side, to which I added a few tablespoons of apricot preserves. The skin is the best part. Lot’s of flavor! Thank you for sharing this recipe!
This looks amazing! On my to do list for next week.
Great tip. Thanks Sorcha!
I love curry, I’m going to try this recipe, can’t wait to try it, thanks
Hope you enjoy it Isabel!
Julia Al Arab
That is so mouthwatering! Can’t wait to try it!
Made it for the first time for dinner tonight. We loved it. I couldnt find any garam masala so I used chili powder. I also added some stuff to the recipe. I changed the salt measurement to 1/4 tsp. I dont like using salt when I cook. Definitely making whole chicken like this everytime 🙂
So glad you liked it! I also just love it.
Instead of replacing the garam masala with chili powder, you could more closely approximate the flavour of garam masala with a combination of nutmeg, cinnamon, cayenne, and black pepper … add some coriander, cumin and cardamom if you have them, too.
We cooked this on our charcoal grill this last night for Mother’s Day here in the US. Fantastic! The spice level was perfect for us, and the smoke from the grill enhanced the flavor. I will definitely make this next time I want to impress dinner guests. I couldn’t find korma curry paste at our main grocery so I used Jamie Oliver’s recipe. http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/uncategorised-recipes/easy-homemade-curry-pastes
So glad you liked it Angie!
I just found this recipe through a friend on Pinterest last week, and made it for the first time tonight. I is awesome! My husband and I both loved it! Thank you so much – now I have a new way to roast chicken!
I’m so glad you liked it Jes!
I followed the recipe exactly as stated and used all the right ingredients.It came out bad. 2tsp of salt was waaaay to much and 45min at 180 and then another 45min at 220 was not even close to enough roasting time.I was hoping this would be good but it wasn’t 🙁
Jaime, I’m so sorry this recipe didn’t work for you. Your chicken must’ve been very large if it wasn’t cooked in that amount of time. The teaspoon measurements I use is a 5ml spoon and it is normally just perfect. Perhaps next time you should adjust to your own taste?
what camera did you use to take these pics? i really need to know. food looks mouthwatering tasty!
I used my Canon 50D with a 100mm macro lens. 🙂
Your photography is simply beautiful – the best food photography I think I’ve ever seen!
Thank you so much Gaynor. What a compliment!
WOW WOW WOW! I love your new design on the blog!
Thanks Lorraine. I’m so pleased you like it!
Hello – I can’t wait for your new website!! this is my daily getting into work routine… reading through your blog… will pop in later to see if the new site is launched yet!
this is what we always make for Sunday roast very yummy and the chicken comes out tender every time…I just make my own curry paste but yummy non the less….ur pics look delicious as always.