Roasted Whole Yogurt Chicken

Lesa Jones

Roasted Whole Yogurt Chicken

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Total time: 1 hour and 35 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6

3 - 3.5 lb / 1.5 - 1.8 kg whole chicken
2 tsp salt (plus more to taste)
Black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
½ stick cinnamon
2 cardamom pods
¼ cup loosely packed fresh sage leaves
2 lemons, zest only (avoid grating the pith which is bitter)
10 cloves of garlic, whole, skin on
2¼ cups yogurt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Wash the chicken under water and pat dry with paper towels.

Sprinkle on the salt and 5 grinds of black pepper. Pat all over the chicken, concentrating on the top and sides.

Heat oil in a heavy-based pot over high heat. Brown the chicken all over. The easiest way to do this (and minimizing skin tearing) is with tongs stuck in the rear of the chicken and a wooden spoon to lift and leverage the chicken. Tilt the chicken as required to brown as much of the skin as possible.

If you can manage it (or if you have a helper), pour the excess fat out of the pot with the chicken still in it. If you can’t, remove the chicken onto a plate, then drain the fat.

Add the remaining ingredients into the pot (return the chicken to the pot if you removed it).

Bake covered for 40 minutes, then bake uncovered for 50 minutes (1.5 hours total).

Let stand for 5 minutes or so before removing the chicken from the pot onto a serving plate. Serve the juice from the chicken and spices on the side. Some prefer not to strain it because they want the bits of curd and garlic on their chicken, as well as bits of sage.


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