Chicken Masala with Cumin Carrots

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE traditional Indian food (next to Thai, might actually be my favorite). Tender meat swimming in a think and spicy sauce…yum! But, if you want something a little different from typical Indian fare, this is a good one to try.

We made them with chicken breasts in order to attempt something healthier, but I firmly believe bone-in chicken with skin would have knocked this one out of the park.

Thanks to Bon Appetit for this recipe. It is a good one for a crowd if they aren’t into ethnic foods. The flavors are mild (not lots of spice) without being boring.

Don’t omit the carrots – simple method, sure, but amazing results! Just throw them in the oven with the chicken after the chicken has gotten a bit of a head start.

CHICKEN MASALA
6 Servings

1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon garam masala*
2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
1 large garlic clove, pressed
1 4- to 4 1/2-pound roasting chicken, cut into 8 pieces, backbone removed
2 small onions, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices

Mix yogurt, chopped cilantro, olive oil, garam masala, salt, and garlic in 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Add chicken to marinade, 1 piece at a time, coating all sides. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate at least 2 hours. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep refrigerated.

Position racks in top third and bottom third of oven; preheat to 400°F. Arrange onions in thin layer on large rimmed baking sheet to form bed for chicken. Top with chicken pieces in single layer, spacing apart for even roasting (chicken will still be coated with marinade). Discard remaining marinade.

Roast chicken on top rack until cooked through and juices run clear when thickest portion of thigh is pierced with knife, about 1 hour. Serve chicken atop onion slices. Spoon pan juices around.

CUMIN ROASTED CARROTS
6 Servings

* Nonstick vegetable oil spray
12 medium to large carrots, peeled, cut on diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick pieces (I actually used baby carrots)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds (or ground cumin)
2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt

Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray large rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray.

Combine carrots and all remaining ingredients in large bowl; toss to coat. Spread in single layer on prepared baking sheet. Roast carrots until tender and lightly caramelized, turning carrots over once, 35 to 40 minutes.

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