Cast Iron

Roasted Butterflied Chicken with Cardamom and Yogurt

January 31, 2011
8 Ratings
Photo by Rocky Luten
  • Serves 2-4
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. - TasteFood —TasteFood

Test Kitchen Notes

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&M —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • eatchimac
  • TheWimpyVegetarian
  • cocos cooking
    cocos cooking
  • QueenSashy

123 Reviews

eatchimac March 30, 2021
Oh, I didn’t try Roasted Butterflied Chicken with Cardamom and Yogurt Recipe. Now I can make it at home. So glad for sharing this recipe Now I can make it at home. It looks delicious. Now I can share your blog with my friend circle. I am so glad after seeing your recipe, Thanks for sharing this recipe. Food is one of the biggest topics of conversation online and offline. Keep it up, I am waiting for your next recipe!
TheWimpyVegetarian November 7, 2020
I made this for a small dinner party last night to rave reviews. One guy said it was the best chicken he'd ever had in his life. He and his wife called this morning to continue the raves. After making it for years, it's still the best!
Frances February 18, 2020
I made this for my man and he couldn’t thank me enough. It was fun to make for me as I love handling and preparing meat for some very strange reason - especially strange since I don’t eat meat. It seems like a long list of ingredients and somewhat lengthy to prepare but just make the marinade ahead of time if you want to break the steps down into two parts. It is as great as everyone says.
DAVILCHICK May 29, 2018
I made this recipe when it first appeared and it was so good that all my friends started making it so I never had to make it again. Cut to: I'm staying with my brother and decide to make it for him and his family. When I read the list of ingredients I wrote down a 1 3/4 pound chicken. After I bought the SMALLEST CHICKEN I COULD FIND I reread the ingredients and saw that it called for 1 3-4 pound chicken. The irony? We STILL had leftovers. #stillgreatafteralltheseyears
Frank Z. November 10, 2017
Sorry but is it Black for green cardamon?
TasteFood November 11, 2017
Green cardamom.
Frank Z. November 12, 2017
Thank you for replying!!!
Samantha August 23, 2017
I made this recipe for the first time about a month ago--and twice since! It's such a winner. I tweak the flavoring a bit--I always have ground cardamom on hand so that's what I use, and I reduce the cumin and the garlic. And I've found that marinating it for at least 6 hours is good (8 is better!). So glad I gave this one a try, it is a new go-to. Who can beat roast chicken in under an hour??
Kelly R. October 11, 2015
i've made this, and remade this, about 20 or 30 times now. It's my all time favorite way to bake whole chicken. And leaves leftover parts for a great flavored broth.
cocos C. June 29, 2015
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!
Natalie March 25, 2015
Thanks Barb168! I ended up using half the salt and added a bit more cardamom. It was amazing!
Barb168 August 21, 2016
Glad you enjoyed it, Natalie. :) I double the cardamom and other spices. It is one of our favorites! Delicious cold the next day, too.
Natalie March 21, 2015
the marinade seems soooo salty. Operator error? is this normal? I'm ready to start over...
Barb168 March 22, 2015
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.
priscilla M. December 17, 2014
really great roast chicken receipe and easy. also used ground cardamon 1 1/2 Tablespoon.
GuysEnPlace September 27, 2014
Unequivocally the best roast chicken I have ever made/eaten.
QueenSashy September 8, 2014
I am not sure how I missed this recipe, but now that I discovered it, I cannot wait to give it a try...
dymnyno September 8, 2014
This is one of my all time favorite chicken recipes! It is delicious and juicy.
Moby April 13, 2014
Outstanding! The most amazing chicken I've ever had.
ghainskom April 12, 2014
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 January 14, 2014
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.
Olivia L. January 9, 2014
This sounds amazing. What would you make for a side dish to serve with it?
innoabrd January 9, 2014
Check out

goes well and carries on the somewhat indian theme...
eep7 January 12, 2014
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.
TasteFood January 8, 2014
Try 2 teaspoons. Let us know how it turns out!
KimmyV January 8, 2014
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!
TasteFood January 8, 2014
Try 2 teaspoons. Let us know how it turns out!
Marci L. January 8, 2014
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!
za'atar July 9, 2013
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.
dymnyno July 9, 2013
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.