Garam Masala Chicken


Having a made a nice-sized amount of garam masala blend lately, I’ve been looking for ways to use it.  The spice blend will lose its potency in a couple of months, and I’d like to use it when it’s as fresh as possible.  Maryann, over at Finding La Dolce Vita, mentioned that she was marinating chicken in yogurt and garam masala.  Enough said.  I’d made a chicken rice pilaf using a Nigella recipe a while back that involved marinating the chicken in yogurt.  It was fantastic.  I figure, I have it on good authority from these two ladies that this is what must be done with some of that garam masala.  

So, into the kitchen I went tonight to “experiment.”  This “experiment” is now one of my favorite new recipes.  The yogurt provides a luxurious marinade for the chicken.  The meat comes out of the oven moist and flavorful, and the dish is very aromatic and well-perfumed.  This isn’t everyday roast chicken; it makes more of an occasion out of the standard roast. I served this chicken with fattoush, and we are now sacked out on the sofa with full bellies.  You can dice up an onion and some tomatoes and stir a cup of peas into the roasting pan along with the chicken to stretch the dish a bit farther.  Prepared this way, the dish would be great served over rice.  

Garam Masala Chicken

  • 1 small chicken, cut up, or 3 large chicken breasts with skin on(about 2 1/2 lbs of chicken)
  • 1 C plain yogurt
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1″ piece of ginger, grated
  • 2 T garam masala
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • a pinch of turmeric
  • juice of half a lemon
  • sea salt 

Place your chicken in large freezer bag.  Add all the remaining ingredients to a small mixing bowl and whisk to combine well.  Pour the marinade into the freezer bag.  Let the chicken marinate for at least one hour or overnight.  Preheat oven to 425º.  Pour the chicken and marinade into a medium roasting pan.  Roast the chicken for 45 minutes to an hour, until the juices run clear and the skin is golden brown.

Serves 4-6 if making a whole chicken, or 3 if making the breasts only.


17 thoughts on “Garam Masala Chicken

  1. The first time I made Indian food was just more than a year or so ago and we love it! I’ve made Tiki Masala a couple of times w/ two different recipes and it’s good no matter. Your version sounds yummy — I can just smell the spices in this.

  2. That looks really great. I love the idea of marinating in yogurt, and I love Indian food, but I’ve never really tried it at home (okay, once, but it wasn’t met with great success.) You’ve encourage me to try again!

  3. The garam masala and yogurt marinade is fantastic with lamb shanks or larger cuts slow roasted to fall apart tender.
    Marinate over night as a minimum.
    Give it a shot if you enjoy the unusual.

  4. @ kellypea – Ooh. Have fun with that. I love Chicken Vindaloo and Chana Masala. Good times ahead!

    @ grace – Spice is nice! I agree.

    @ Fearless Kitchen – It’s also great for keeping roasted chicken from getting dry.

    @ limeandlemon – Glad you like it- we loved it!

    @ noble pig – thank you! It’s so perfumed and delicious. I love it.

    @ maryann – Sounds sinfully delicious. Yum.

    @ abby – It is very easy – just roasting chicken! Let me know how your chicken turns out!

    @ Greg – I will totally try that. I think these flavors would be really great with lamb. And, I love a nice, long, easy marinade. Good stuff.

  5. Amazing. I was thinking about adding some garam masala to my roast chicken recipe tonight and decided to google it to see if anyone had tried it. Apparently it’s delicious so I’m going for it with a second bird!

    I think I’m going to westernize it a bit though… going to make a ghee/butter/garam masala/black pepper/lemon zest mixture and stuff it under the skin. If you’ve never had a roast chicken this way you need to try it. Juiciest bird you ever tasted!

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