Bengali Roasted Chicken

This recipe uses a unique blend of ingredients common to the Bangladesh area with a mixture of veggies and sweet potatoes to make a complete meal.  Roasted in a very hot oven, the yogurt sauce reduces down to a thick glaze coating.  This recipe will make a lot, so you’ll have plenty for leftovers, or enough for about 6 adults for dinner.  Set aside a few hours for preparing and marinading before cooking, and then about an hour to cook before serving.

Gather Up:

  • 12 Chicken Thighs, bone-in and skin removed
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp whole mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp whole fenugreek seeds
  • 2 tsp whole fennel seeds
  • 2 tsp whole cumin seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 inch piece of fresh ginger, grated in a coarse grater
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1-1/2 cup cream top plain yogurt
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander seed
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into large chunks
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into large chunks
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 3 inch x 1/2 inch sticks
  • 2 medium-large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks

Add the olive oil to a medium frying pan over medium-high heat.  When the oil is hot, add the mustard, fenugreek, fennel, and cumin seeds and stir until they begin to pop (almost like popcorn) – about 30 seconds to a minute.  Reduce the heat to medium and add the bay leaves, ginger, and garlic.  Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes until the ginger and garlic are soft.

Remove the pan from the heat and add in the yogurt, coriander, and salt.  Stir well, loosening any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, and then let cool completely.  Cut up the bell peppers and carrots while you are waiting.

When the yogurt mixture is cooled, add it to the chicken in a large mixing bowl.  Toss in the bell pepper and carrot pieces and stir everything to coat well.  Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 6 hours.

After the chicken has marinated, preheat the oven to 475 degrees – convection if you have it.  Mix the sweet potatoes in to coat them as well.  Place the chicken thighs in two baking pans, then arrange the veggies and potatoes around the sides in roughly a single layer.

Roast in the oven on two separate racks (about 1/2 way and 1/3 way down from top), switching the pans to different racks every 15 minutes, until the chicken is fully cooked and browned – about 45 minutes total.  You can check it with a quick read thermometer to double check it as it gets close.  Remove from the oven and let stand a few minutes to cool slightly.

Serve up a couple of the thighs with a selection of the veggies and potatoes along side.  You can see how the yogurt has reduced down to nothing but a glaze – sticking all of the herbs and spices right to the sides of everything.  Some fresh greens with a little cool cucumber avocado dressing goes perfect with it.  Dig in!

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