- 1 large free-range chicken (about 1½ kg/3lb 5oz in size)
While it's the traditional Christmas bird, turkey is good to eat all year round, though…
- 3 lemons, cut into eights
Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…
- handful black, pitted olives
Widely grown all over the Mediterranean, where they've been cultivated since biblical times…
- 3 small shallots, peeled and left whole
Related to the onion (as opposed to being a younger version of it), shallots grow in clusters at…
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled and squashed
- 2 tbsp sumac (see Know-how, below)
This wine-coloured ground spice is one of the most useful but least known and most…
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
For the spiced yoghurt
- 1 tsp each ground coriander and cumin
- ½ tsp each ground turmeric and mustard seeds
- ½ tsp chilli powder, mild or hot, depending on taste
- 500g pot natural yogurt
- 1 long red chilli, thinly sliced
- bunch spring onions, sliced
Also known as scallions or green onions, spring onions are in fact very young onions, harvested…
Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Two things happen to the chicken. First, season the inside. In a bowl mix the lemons, olives, shallots and garlic with half the sumac and some salt. Scrunch them all together and add 1 tbsp of water. Open the bird up and pour the mix into the cavity.
Then the outside. Take the oil and the rest of the sumac and rub onto the chicken, massaging it into every part possible. Roast for 11⁄2 hrs or until cooked through and the juices run clear when a skewer is inserted into the thickest part of the leg.
While the chicken is cooking, mix all the ingredients for the spiced yogurt with some salt – if you like it a little milder, deseed the chilli before slicing it. Carve the chicken and serve topped with a dollop of the yogurt.
Know-howSumac is a powdered spice from the Middle East. Its sour, lemony flavour works well with chicken and lamb as well as rice and pulses. Find it at specialist food shops or order online from thespiceshop.co.uk. If you can’t find any, then finely grated lemon zest can be added, but you won’t get the same ‘bronzed’ colour on the chicken’s skin.