Thomasina Miers’ recipe for spiced turmeric chicken bake with golden potatoes

Ilove to eat this dish outside, when the smell of the spices flood the air with their fragrance. Turmeric-stained roast chicken pieces are a bewitching sight, but it is the texture of the popping mustard seeds and the crisp, oil-soaked potatoes, with their lip-tingling heat, that I really love. Serve with cooling bowls of raita and warm flatbreads to scoop up every last mouthful.

Spiced turmeric chicken bake with golden potatoes
A richly spiced dish full of crisp, fatty chicken skin, silky onions and golden roast potatoes.

Prep 15 min
Cook 1 hr 10 min
Serves 4

1¼ kg roasting potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 ½ tsp turmeric
6 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp plain flour
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp black mustard seeds
2 tbsp coriander seeds
½ tsp chilli powder
1 thumb-sized piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1-2 green chillies, roughly chopped
3 red onions, peeled and finely sliced
4 chicken drumsticks and 8 thighs
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
Coriander leaves, to serve
1 lemon, half juiced, the rest cut into wedges

Heat the oven to 220C (200C fan)/425F/gas 7. Put the potatoes and half a teaspoon each of turmeric and sea salt into a deep saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10-15 minutes, until tender to the point of a knife. Meanwhile, pour five tablespoons of the vegetable oil into a baking tray and pop it in the oven to heat up.

Drain the potatoes and toss in a bowl with the flour, spices and generous amounts of salt and pepper. Toss in the ginger, chilli and onion and mix well, bashing up the edges of the potatoes as you go. Carefully tip the potato mix into the tray of hot oil, stirring to coat, then roast for 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, rub the chicken in the remaining tablespoon of oil. Toss with the rest of the turmeric, the garlic and plenty of salt and pepper. Once the potatoes have done their 25 minutes, turn down the oven to 200C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6 and lay the chicken pieces skin side up on top of the potatoes. Roast for another 30 minutes, moving the potatoes once or twice during that time, so they turn golden and crisp all over, until the chicken juices run clear and the skin is crisp.

Once the chicken is cooked, remove from the oven, scatter over the coriander and lemon juice and serve with the lemon wedges.

The simple flex
The potatoes are delicious on their own, or try tossing them with spears of broccoli or asparagus in the final 20 minutes of cooking, or with freshly boiled peas at the end.