Tandoori-Style Chicken with Saffron Lemon Rice Recipe

A recipe inspired by Peter Gordon, one of the pioneers of pacific rim fusion food. Serve this wonderful dish with a cooling Raita - a fresh chutney of Greek Yoghurt, Mint and Cucumber.

Serves: 4

Cooking time (including prep): 1hour (Marinade the chicken for 12 hours for best results, however 2 hours will do - the longer it sits in the fridge for the tastier and more tender it will be.)

Difficulty: Easy  

Spices Used: Smoked Hot Paprika, Saffron (Gunpowder Chest), Fennel Seeds, (Silk Road Chest).


4 Large chicken legs (thigh and drumstick if you can't find whole leg)

300 ml plain yoghurt

3 tbsp vegetable oil

4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

2 tbsp rosemary

2 tsp Smoked Hot Paprika 

1tsp Fennel Seeds

300g Basmati Rice

3 strips lemon peel

1/2 tsp salt

550 ml cold water

1 handful coriander leaves


If you have whole chicken legs, cut in half at the joint and remove the knuckle, if still attached.

In a bowl, mix together the yoghurt, oil, garlic, rosemary, paprika and fennel seeds and a pinch of salt. After mixing add the chicken and mix it all together. Make sure all the chicken is well coated and spread. Cover and put in the fridge, ideally overnight however if you've forgotten or don't have time 2 hours or anything over that will do. The longer it sits in the fridge for the tastier and more tender it will be.

Heat your oven to 190℃. Line a roasting tray with baking paper and put the chicken pieces in. Roast for 30-40 mins, ensuring you give them a turn and shake halfway through cooking. Cook until the juices run clear.

While the chicken is in the oven, cook the rice. It's very important to wash rice before you cook it to remove starch. Put the rice in a sieve and wash thoroughly before putting into a pot with the water.

Add the saffron, lemon, salt. Put the heat on high until the water reaches boiling point, then reduce to a simmer. Once you've done this put a lid on and cook the rice for 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and leave to sit.

Serve with a garnish of coriander and a slice of lemon. Ensure you put any juices that are sitting in the roasting dish onto your chicken once plated - the juices have so much flavour sitting in them!

Tip: The reason you want to marinate the chicken for as long as possible in the yoghurt is as there are some enzymes in the yoghurt which help to tenderize the meat.

It's very important to wash rice before cooking, the reason being is that rice is a highly starchy grain and if you don't the rice tends to take on a strange gummy texture.






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