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Indian Spiced Whole Chicken

It’s so hard to believe the month of Ramadan is nearly over, which is a bit sad for us because we love it so much. It’s such a time of being scheduled and focused and distraction-free. However bittersweet the end is, there is also a great reward in the three-day long celebration of ‘Eid ul Fitr, where we can enjoy the accomplished feeling of having fasted and completed a very special religious obligation.

up close of spiced raw chicken

Indian Spices on Midamar’s Halal Air-Chilled Organic Chicken 

One of my favorite things about ‘Eid is the chance to have glorious celebrations with amazing foods- some traditional; others innovative and novel, but all of it halal, of course. It’s an opportunity to have a large gathering with family and friends and reminds me of my childhood when celebrations almost always meant a house full of elders having coffee and dessert in the living room after a big dinner and us kids running around not even realizing the hours passing by.

raw midamar chicken

This year, we have some wonderful halal options for foods that can help take a celebration to the level of entertaining a crowd when small portions just won’t do and you definitely want to cook a meal yourself. Midamar’s Air Chilled Halal Organic Chicken is one of those options and my recipe for Indian Spiced Chicken can be used on a whole chicken that can serve up to 6 people or a their whole halal turkey which can serve at least double that amount.

Of course they also have other great {halal} meat products, too, which you should definitely check out for back-to-school meal planning and more.

midamar package of meats

Other products by Midamar. Check out the recipe for Keema I made with their Organic Ground Beef.  

What’s interesting about this particular chicken is the uniqueness of the air-chilling process Midamar employs, something I had never heard about until speaking with them. This is their explanation of the process in brief:

“Midamar Halal Organic Chicken is 100% vegetarian fed, and free range. Organic chickens are humanely raised and fed a diet of organically-grown grains. All Midamar Halal Organic Chickens are USDA Certified Organic and can be traced to the family farm where they originate. They are hand-slaughtered and cooled using unique air chilling technology, which means that the chickens are cooled by a blast of cold air instead of the traditional method whereby they are dunked in a pool of water. This prevents cross contamination and improves the taste and texture of the chicken.”

seasoning midamar chicken

I use a lot of spices in my Indian Whole Chicken recipe because that’s they way I love it. You can spice it up however you like, of course. Check out these amazing huge bay leaves (below), which you can find at pretty much any Indian grocer and some Middle Eastern markets, too.

large bay leaves

The trick to a great whole chicken, though,  is the technique of making it crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.

pretty roasted chicken

My secret is in the stuffing- stuffing the bird with a generous amount of butter, that is. And I don’t mean stuffing the cavity.

entire chicken whole cooked

I mean getting under the skin (pulling it out, which it does quite easily) and pushing pats of butter through then patting it down and sliding it across the breast and down to the legs and thighs.

pretty plate

Cooking temperature matters, of course, but what gets the chicken crispy on the outside is to first roast it without any covering, then reduce the heat and continue to cook it with a covering to lock in all the juices.

chicken thigh on plate

This whole chicken is a whole meal, too, because I add potatoes and onions. You could add other vegetables if you like, of course. I don’t think there’s any need for rice, but since there’s a bit of broth that is naturally made at the end, you can save it for a rice dish later the same day or the next, as it’s so flavorful.

potatoes up close

When serving, you can easily break off the meat for your guests or allow them to do it themselves. Either way, the meat is so soft and tender that you won’t be fighting with the meat to pull it off the bone, insha’allah.

plated indian chicken

I love how big these Midamar chickens are, too (naturally). Each one can feed a crowd of about six if you have other dishes on the side, whereas normally I can serve a whole chicken to four guests comfortably. 

 

Indian-Spiced Whole Chicken

Serves 6

Ingredients

3 cups red potatoes, roughly chopped

3 garlic cloves

1 large onion, roughly chopped

Midamar Air-Chilled Organic Whole Chicken

2 ounces real butter or solid ghee

2 tablespoons ground cumin

2 tablespoons ground turmeric powder

1 teaspoon ground cloves

4 large bay leaves

1/2 teaspoon mild curry powder

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon whole allspice

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

2 tablespoons smoked paprika

2 cups water

Directions

Preheat oven to 375° F. To a deep pan, baking dish, or oven pan with a rack, add the cut potatoes, garlic and onion.

Loosen the skin of the chicken’s breast and stuff it with small cubes of cold butter or ghee. Push it in and use your fingers to spread it to other parts of the chicken, such as the thighs and in between the creases of its wings. Flip the bird over so that it is now breast-side down.

Add all the spices to the roasting pan and rub all over the chicken.  Mix up the spices with the vegetables, too. Flip the bird again so that it is now breast side up (optional).

Add water to the pan, but not over the chicken.

Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes to allow the breast of the chicken to be nicely browned. Turn the bird gently over so that the breast is faced down for the remainder of its cooking time.

Reduce heat to 325° F. and bake, covered with foil, for an additional 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Remove chicken from the oven and check internal temperature of the meat away from the bone. It should read at least 165° F. Allow the meat to rest, covered, for at least ten minutes before cutting.

UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed.

Here’s how you can get your own to try:

Midamar is giving away a FREE Organic Whole Chicken with every order between August 13 and August 20th. Go to the company’s website to browse the site and order a whole bunch of great halal and organic meat options.

And then you can try this recipe just in time for ‘Eid…

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2 comments

  1. looks really good and tender,Juicy!

  2. Mine didn’t come out as yours appeared to. Followed recipe and method precisely, so can only imagine you have omitted an instruction or two.Spices on the potatoes didn’t get cooked off or absorbed adequately, I think the 90 minute cooking period (covered) may have been too long, I suggest basting 2 or 3 times during this period to ensure spices are cooked off and to check on progress. Chicken was tender enough, but really didn’t benefit from the addition of so many spices.

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