How to make it

  • Clean and dry the chicken, remove as much skin as you can without breaking the chicken. Make a paste of the chili powder, salt and vinegar and apply liberally on the chicken inside and out. Marinate in the refrigerator for about 3 hours or more.
  • Place a large roasting pan or a large oven-proof pan on the stove, heat 1 tbsp oil, and brown the chicken on all sides. Remove the chicken from the pan and keep aside.
  • Add more oil to the pan if necessary, and add the whole peeled chestnuts. Cook for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the shallots, garlic and bay leaves to the pan and mix well. Add the chili powder and salt and saute for about three minutes. Add the white wine and thyme and cook till the wine is reduced down to a glaze. Remove from the heat.
  • Stuff the chicken with the chestnut mixture, and tie the legs with a kitchen twine to secure the stuffing.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 200C/400F.
  • In the meantime, prepare the gravy. Add a little more oil to the pan, if needed, and add the diced onions and saute till onions are soft. Add the red chili powder and coriander powder and saute till the spices start to brown. Add the ginger paste and saute a bit more. Now add the diced tomatoes, mix well and cook till the tomato pieces are cooked. Add the hot water and salt and boil till the gravy is medium thick.
  • Place the stuffed chicken back into the pan, and pour some gravy over the chicken with a spoon, if it is too thick, rub some over the chicken with the back of the spoon.
  • Roast the chicken for 20 minutes breast side down. Keep some hot water ready. Turn the chicken over, baste with the juices from the pan (if the juices have dried out, add some hot water to the pan.) and roast for an additional 40 minutes, basting the chicken every 15 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and let it cool a bit. Untie the chicken and scoop out the chestnut stuffing into a bowl. Cut the chicken into eight pieces and serve with the chestnuts and lemon wedges on the side.

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