Excerpted from Nik Sharma’s Season.
Roasting chickens during pockets of spare time on the weekends pays huge dividends during busy weeks. A whole chicken can feed a lot of people, and for a family of two like ours, it lasts a few days. Plus, a roasted chicken can be repurposed for an endless number of dishes, including salad, sandwiches, mac and cheese… the possibilities are endless. In this nifty roast chicken, I lace the meat with green chutney and serve extra on the side for dunking.
You can flavor a whole chicken with almost any savory condiment or sauce you love. The trick is to keep the sauce between the skin and the flesh, because the layer of fat in the skin helps the chicken retain its moisture while the flavors in the marinade (green chutney, in this case) penetrate the flesh. The combination of spices and acid in the chutney helps tenderize the chicken and flavor it simultaneously. Basting the chicken with the drippings and broth ensures that the meat will be tender, juicy, and flavorful.
- Combine all the ingredients in a blender and pulse on medium-low speed for 1 to 2 minutes, until you get a coarse paste. You might need to stop the blender to move things around. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Transfer the sauce to an airtight container and store for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator or up to 1 month in the freezer.
- Put the chicken in a large roasting pan or baking dish. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Slip your fingers between the skin and flesh to loosen the skin. Massage ½ cup of the chutney all over the meat, spreading to coat as evenly as possible. Rub generously with salt over the skin. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, and preferably overnight.
- Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F. Unwrap the chicken and pour the broth into the pan. Roast the chicken for at least 2 hours, basting it with the broth every 15 to 20 minutes, until the internal temperature registers 165°F on an instant-read thermometer and the skin turns golden brown. Remove from the oven and transfer the chicken to a serving platter. Tent loosely with foil and let sit for 10 minutes. (Collect any liquid left behind in the pan and cover and refrigerate or freeze for future use, such as soup.)
- Serve the chicken warm with the remaining 1 cup green chutney on the side for a dipping sauce.
Reprinted from Season by Nik Sharma with permission by Chronicle Books, 2018
Nik Sharma is an award-winning freelance food writer and photographer. He also writes a recipe-based food column for the San Francisco Chronicle called A Brown Kitchen and is also the author of the blog A Brown Table. His first cookbook, Season (Chronicle Books), was published in October 2018. He lives in Oakland, California.