Roasted Butterflied Chicken with Cardamom and Yogurt

By • January 31, 2011 • 105 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&MA&M

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.

Comments (105) Questions (6)

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10 days ago Maureen O'Byrne

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

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12 days 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!

Pamelalee

3 months 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...

Stringio

3 months ago Olivia Lee

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

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3 months ago innoabrd

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

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

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3 months 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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3 months ago TasteFood

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

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3 months 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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3 months ago TasteFood

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

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3 months 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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10 months 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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10 months 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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about 1 year ago Barb168

Making this again tonight - a real winner!!

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about 1 year 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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about 1 year ago LizC

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

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about 1 year ago Urban 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 1 year ago Deborah

Excellent when stuck inside during Sandy.

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over 1 year ago Deborah

Excellent when stuck in doors during Sandy!

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over 1 year ago IRONWOOD CHEF

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

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over 1 year ago Summer of Eggplant

We had this last night, delicious. A nice change from our usual roast bird.

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almost 2 years ago Ms. T

Woah. I made this yesterday and it was a life-altering kitchen experience. Beyond delicious. Thanks for sharing and for spurring me on to several "firsts": first time butterflying a chicken, first time using whole cardamom pods, first time roasting a chicken in a skillet...but it certainly won't be the last for any of those. Bravo, Lynda!

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almost 2 years ago 4rednecks

This was on my dinner table tonight, and it rocked! great flavors and the chicken was so juicy! I will share and make again!

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about 2 years ago deanna1001

Wow. Fabulous. Thank you!!!

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about 2 years ago margaretpm

Where is the print feature on this page?

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about 2 years ago Gcvlee

This was succulent, aromatic and delicious! Simple to make and well worth doing again! Thanks!

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over 2 years ago ECava

This made the tastiest pan juices of any bird I've ever roasted. I'm even more excited about the leftovers! Thanks for sharing with us.

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over 2 years ago Waverly

I am always looking for a new chicken recipe. Your recipe looks wonderful!

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over 2 years ago TasteFood

I am so happy you all are enjoying this recipe. It's time for me to make it again, too!

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over 2 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

I've made this lots of times now and it is - hands down - my favorite way I've ever had a chicken. Ever.

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over 2 years ago dymnyno

Susan and Lynda, I totally agree !!

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over 2 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Happy New Year, Mare!!! How are you!

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over 2 years ago ubs2007

Made this tonight for my 4.5 yr old, his buddy and mother. WOW! The fragrance and flavors danced on our taste buds. I served seconds and thirds. The boys comments, "This is fantastic. Just delicious...can you please make this again!" Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!

Claire

over 2 years ago midnitechef

There are breasts waiting at home, this would be perfect!

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over 2 years ago EmilyC

Just wanted you to know that I made this tonight for the first time and absolutely loved it! The marinade is full of flavor and well balanced -- and it's great to be able to fully prep the chicken the night before. I'll be making this again and again!

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over 2 years ago rayva

Hey there! So, I'm making this with skinless bone-in thighs... Should i shake or wipe some of the marinade off before roasting in a cast iron skillet? I'm worried about burning. Thanks, I am so looking forward to this dish!

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over 2 years ago Robin O'D

Wow, really, really good! And it was all I could do not to dip a big piece of bread into those pan juices. I actually spooned a little of it into my rice pilaf! Excellent!

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over 2 years ago TasteFood

Thanks - so happy you enjoyed it!

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over 2 years ago Robin O'D

Also, since I loved your technique so much, I tried this with smoked paprika instead of the cardamom, cumin , coriander and ginger and it was also great!

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over 2 years ago dymnyno

Lynda, I just wanted you to know that I think this is my all time favorite chicken recipe. I make it at least once every couple of weeks. The flavors are fantastic!

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over 2 years ago TasteFood

Thanks Mary - that means a lot coming from you!

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over 2 years ago toomanydirtydishes

This is absolutely lovely. I've made it several times, and we enjoy it more every time. Tonight, we are celebrating post-Hurricane Irene with it. Thanks so much!

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over 2 years ago TasteFood

You're welcome and enjoy your much deserved celebration!

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about 3 years ago SweetM

Really, really good - excellent flavor! My husband is not a big chicken fan, and he loved it.

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about 3 years ago Marci Liroff

Made this last night after a friend suggested it. I'm so in love with it....I want to marry it! Easy peasy, and such an amazing flavor profile. It'll go in my favorite chicken "go-to" recipes from now on! THANK YOU!!

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about 3 years ago adashofbitters

Made this last night. Oh my yum. What a fabulous dish. Love the combination of flavors, the juiciness of the bird, and the crispy skin. Can't wait to make this again!

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about 3 years ago Midge

Served this with cous cous this weekend. SO delicious. Thanks for a great recipe TasteFood.

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about 3 years ago DAVILCHICK

RIDICULOUSLY EASY AND DELISH. We served it for company and they were duly impressed. Great dish. Thank you!

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about 3 years ago TasteFood

Thanks, again, everyone for your kind comments this past week. I'm so happy you're enjoying the recipe!

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about 3 years ago Jdtirado

This looks fabulous. I am going to make this tonight. As a older male trying to learn how to cook, this website hasn't steered me wrong yet, except that I have to drive 50 miles to get some basic ingredients like creme fraische lol.

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about 3 years ago nyy7

In the oven RIGHT NOW Had to sub Tofutti Sour cream for yoghurt because we are kosher. Will let you know how it came out!! Smells GREAT!

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about 3 years ago nyy7

It was great!! Everyone LOVED it!!

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about 3 years ago jen_c

This sounds amazing, can't wait to give it a go.

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about 3 years ago chalknet

Congratulations.......you just invented tandoori chicken.

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about 3 years ago innoabrd

Similar marinade technique, but significantly different spicing and I've never seen a tandoori chicken presented quite so nicely...or in fact presented looking anything like this.

Perhaps you didn't mean it as such (and I think I'm being charitable, but that's the kind of place this is), but your comment comes across as snarky and rude. As (a) your comment is inaccurate and (b) your own recipe contributions here appear to be negligible, can I suggest you either show some appreciation for this place and its contributors in your comments or keep them to yourself. There are plenty of other places on the net for trolling...

Chris_in_oslo

about 3 years ago Greenstuff

Chris is a trusted source on General Cooking

cookinginspite: the best I could do to re-introduce the topic is to point you to amanda and merrill's spatchcocked recipes:

http://www.food52.com/recipes...
http://www.food52.com/recipes...

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about 3 years ago COOKINGINSPITE

This recipe looks wonderful and I can't wait to try it! I missed the spatchcocked/butterflied chicken discussions and couldn't find it when I searched the site. Can someone send me a link? I haven't cooked chicken that way yet but want to...Thanks!

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about 3 years ago MyCommunalTable

Hooray! Just saw this. Great recipe and well deserved win! It is saved.

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about 3 years ago Greenstuff

Chris is a trusted source on General Cooking

I didn't think this recipe got enough attention during the cardamom contest or during all the recent spatchcocked/butterflied chicken discussions. I'm so glad to see that the truth will out! The second time I made it, I turned the temperature down a bit, and that was a mistake. Bake it nice and hot, and you'll get that wonderful skin and also keep the cardamom from overwhelming the flavors. But yes!! The yogurt plus spices is a keeper.

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about 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Congrats! I knew this sounded fabulous when it was first entered!

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about 3 years ago Stockout

Congratulations TasteFood. Another roasted chicken for my MUST MAKE list. I make a roast every week and this will definately be next weeks. I love the yogurt addition. In the summer I make a Chicken Vindaloo which is chicken legs and thighs marinaded in yogurt. Wonderful, so glad you posted this.

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about 3 years ago TasteFood

Wow, what a nice surprise! Thank you editors for the wildcard win, and a big thank you to everyone for your comments!!!

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about 3 years ago Daphne

Hi TasteFood! Happy news for you today! This sounds wonderful with all the rain expected for the remainder of the week. It's going to make G. happy on Fri. when he walks in the door at night and the scent of this dish is welcoming him in! Thank you!

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about 3 years ago gingerroot

Congratulations TasteFood, what a well-deserved Wildcard win! Looking forward to making this.

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about 3 years ago lapadia

A wonderful addition to Book 2, congrats!

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about 3 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Yay!!! Congrats on the Wildcard win!!! This is a great recipe. I'm so glad it (and you) will be in the book!!

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about 3 years ago monkeymom

I second this! Beautiful recipe, congrats to you!

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about 3 years ago Kitchen Butterfly

Congratulations...........it looks wonderful

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about 3 years ago dymnyno

I am so excited that this recipe won! I have been making this recipe once a week since you posted it. It is incredibly delicious!

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about 3 years ago Lizthechef

So well-deserved!! Cannot wait to try this out. I have a beautiful chicken in the fridge too!

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about 3 years ago cheese1227

Fabulous dish, TasteFood. Congrats!

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about 3 years ago Brussels Sprouts for Breakfast

This looks amazing! I'll have to give it a try!

Lnd_jen

about 3 years ago lastnightsdinner

Lynda, you've done it again - congrats on your Wildcard win, and thanks for sharing another beautiful recipe!

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about 3 years ago Midge

Sounds outstanding. Congrats!

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about 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Wow! This sounds excellent! Congrats on the wild card win!!

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about 3 years ago healthierkitchen

Was wondering what to make tonight - done!!

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about 3 years ago healthierkitchen

Delicious!! All I had were thighs, but they worked out just fine. The cardamom really shines.

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about 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Congrats on the Wild Card! This looks so yummy!!!

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about 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Wow--congratulations on the Wildcard!

Chris_in_oslo

about 3 years ago Greenstuff

Chris is a trusted source on General Cooking

We ate this tonight...a Monday night that also happened to be Valentine's Day. It was great, my husband called it "scrumptious' and while he likes great food, that's not a usual adjective. The crispy skin! I love cardamom and ginger and coriander and cumin and garlic and everything else you include. I'm guessing that by next Valentine's Day I'll have made this a lot, always a little bit differently, but always scrumptious.

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about 3 years ago TasteFood

I am so happy you liked it!

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about 3 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

This looks -- and sounds -- so delicious! It's on my "must-try-next-week" list, to be sure. Like Mr Hirschfeld, I'll very likely serve it with pauljoseph's wildcard rice. Mmmmm. Can't wait! ;o)

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about 3 years ago TasteFood

Thanks, AJ. I hope you like it!

Clickworker

about 3 years ago Binte's Kitchen

wow.....this is the most gorgeous chicken i've ever seen. Can't wait to impress my husband with it.....maybe on Valentines :)

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about 3 years ago TasteFood

Cardamom is reputed to be an aphrodisiac.

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about 3 years ago Lizthechef

This looks beautiful, both the recipe and your photo - thumbs up!!

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about 3 years ago TasteFood

Thanks, Liz!

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about 3 years ago thirschfeld

I think this will be dinner tonight. Looks similar to Tandoori minus the heat and food coloring. I might just pair it with pauljosephs rice.

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about 3 years ago innoabrd

Hey, that's what I'm doing! Actually, I'm thinking it'll end up not dissimilar to a reshmi kebab.

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about 3 years ago TasteFood

Let me know how you like it. pauljosephs rice sounds delicious.

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about 3 years ago thirschfeld

I like the way the spices mildly permeate the meat under the skin. Big hits of spice with crispy skin then mild spice with great chicken flavor. Delicious, will definitely be adding this to the chicken recipe box. I love the way the garlic adds a sumptuous richness.

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about 3 years ago innoabrd

This was great. I based a bit during the first half hour or so. Also, I added a few black cardamom to the mix. Served with pauljoseph's rice and a variation of http://www.food52.com/recipes...

super easy food52 dinner...

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about 3 years ago dymnyno

Lynda, I made this recipe tonight and had to tell you that it was fabulous. Something is wrong if this is not a finalist...a winner!!!

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about 3 years ago TasteFood

Thanks Mary! I am so glad you liked it!

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about 3 years ago cheese1227

Georgous photo!

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about 3 years ago TasteFood

Thank you!

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about 3 years ago dymnyno

This sounds delicious...I like the use of yoghurt. (is spatchcocked the new butterflied?) Your picture looks delicious too!

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about 3 years ago TasteFood

Thanks, Mary. I think spatchcocked is the "under a brick" method. This one isn't flattened. I feared the yogurt marinade would burn if I did that.

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about 3 years ago innoabrd

Nice pic. This is going on the dinner menu this week.

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about 3 years ago TasteFood

Thanks, I hope you like it!

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about 3 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Wow, this looks amazing. The yogurt is genius. I am planning on making / entering a roast chicken tomorrow but your already looks way better ....

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about 3 years ago TasteFood

The yogurt is a wonderful tenderizer and nicely helps with the browning.

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about 3 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

This sounds wonderful!! And what a stunning photo!!!

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about 3 years ago TasteFood

Thanks, Susan!

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about 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Yum! Love your spice blend.

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about 3 years ago TasteFood

Thank you. The blend mellows nicely with roasting.