Roasted Butterflied Chicken with Cardamom and Yogurt

By • January 31, 2011 113 Comments

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Author Notes: There is no shortage of spices in this recipe, yet the end result amplifies cardamom. Combined with garlic, ginger and yogurt this blend forms a thick marinade which coats, perfumes and tenderizes the chicken. I like to smear it over a whole butterflied chicken, but it's just as good with breasts or legs. Butterflying ensures quick cooking and even browning. If you can, let the chicken marinate overnight - the longer it sits the better. - TasteFoodTasteFood

Food52 Review: TasteFood turns the everyday roast chicken on its head, simply by bathing it in an intoxicatingly spiced yogurt marinade, butterflying it, and flattening it into a cast iron skillet to roast. Its incomparably crispy skin is brightened by a fragrant rub -- a testament to the benefits of grinding whole spices: you'll get so much more flavor and aroma. If you only have 3 hours to marinate, that'll do, but in our experience, overnight is well worth the wait. Note that, depending on your oven, you might need to cover the chicken with foil for the last 15 minutes of cooking if it's getting too brown. - A&MThe Editors

Serves 2-4

  • seeds from 6 cardamom pods
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup whole milk yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 3-4 pound chicken, butterflied
  • Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish
  1. Grind cardamom seeds and peppercorns in a mortar with pestle to a fine powder. Add salt, coriander, cumin and garlic. and smash the garlic. Add the olive oil to form a paste. Stir in yogurt, ginger and lemon juice.
  2. Place chicken in a large bowl or pan. Rub yogurt between skin and breasts and thighs. Then smear remaining yogurt over the outside of the chicken, front and back. Refrigerate at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours. Remove chicken from refrigerator 30 minutes before roasting.
  3. Preheat oven to 425 F. Place chicken breast-side up in a baking pan or cast iron pan. Bake in oven until thoroughly cooked, 45 minutes - 1 hour. Remove and let rest 15 minutes before carving. Serve garnished with cilantro leaves.
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Comments (113) Questions (6)

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5 days ago cocos cooking

I first started cooking this recipe in France, where it was grilled over an open flame and heartily devoured. I've since moved back to the States and this is still a popular favorite, whether grilled or baked. Thanks for sharing this delicious dish!

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3 months ago Natalie

Thanks Barb168! I ended up using half the salt and added a bit more cardamom. It was amazing!

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3 months ago Natalie

the marinade seems soooo salty. Operator error? is this normal? I'm ready to start over...

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3 months ago Barb168

Unless you are very sensitive to salt, this recipe is DELICIOUS! Most marinades are a bit salty, and remember this is for an entire chicken.

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7 months ago priscilla maung

really great roast chicken receipe and easy. also used ground cardamon 1 1/2 Tablespoon.

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9 months ago GuysEnPlace

Unequivocally the best roast chicken I have ever made/eaten.

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10 months ago QueenSashy

QueenSashy is a trusted home cook.

I am not sure how I missed this recipe, but now that I discovered it, I cannot wait to give it a try...

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10 months ago dymnyno

This is one of my all time favorite chicken recipes! It is delicious and juicy.

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about 1 year ago Moby

Outstanding! The most amazing chicken I've ever had.

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about 1 year ago ghainskom

Recipe out of this world. The meat was juicy as can be, the flavors present yet subtle. I'll be making this over and over. Thank you!

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over 1 year ago pamelalee

This chicken (just used thighs) was outstanding! Preparing it on Sunday so it could marinate overnight, made Monday’s dinner so easy to pull together after coming home from work. I served it with Union Square Cafe’s Brussels Sprouts mixed with brown rice. http://food52.com/recipes...

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over 1 year ago Olivia Lee

This sounds amazing. What would you make for a side dish to serve with it?

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over 1 year ago innoabrd

Check out http://food52.com/recipes...

goes well and carries on the somewhat indian theme...

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over 1 year ago eep7

I'm going to try it tonight with the one-pot kale & quinoa pilaf. It's quite a chameleon... great as a main dish or a side. http://food52.com/recipes...

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over 1 year ago TasteFood

Try 2 teaspoons. Let us know how it turns out!

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over 1 year ago KimmyV

Any idea how much ground cardamom I would need. I don't have any pods and live rural. Might have to order them. I do have some already ground though and would love to make this soon!

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over 1 year ago TasteFood

Try 2 teaspoons. Let us know how it turns out!

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over 1 year ago Marci Liroff

I gave up on the pods awhile ago and just use the pre-ground cardamom. I use 1 tsp (the same as the rest of the ingredients) Works great. LOVE THIS DISH! Made it again the other night!

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almost 2 years ago za'atar

Fantastic. Maybe my favorite food52 recipe, which is saying something because they're all delicious. I'd never roasted a whole chicken before and now I'm wondering what I was waiting for.

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almost 2 years ago dymnyno

I agree! Her Porcini-Rosemary Crusted Beef Tenderloin is also fabulous, delicious and on my dinner menu for a very large fancy dinner party on Saturday night.

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over 2 years ago Barb168

Making this again tonight - a real winner!!

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over 2 years ago _lotus

Just made this tonight, and it is stupid delicious. Yogurt marinade makes it so tender. The spice combo tastes just like the biryani I get from a local place.

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over 2 years ago LizC

Made this two weeks ago and going back for more tonight! So tender and delicious.

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over 2 years ago Urbain Dubois

Made this last night and followed A&M's recommendation to marinate overnight and it was wonderful. The yogurt made it super moist and really silky to slice into.
Thanks for this recipe!

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over 2 years ago Deborah

Excellent when stuck inside during Sandy.

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over 2 years ago Deborah

Excellent when stuck in doors during Sandy!

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almost 3 years ago IRONWOOD CHEF

Made this on a hot day with the cast iron pan on the BBQ--indirect heat--fantastic.