Whole Roasted Chicken- Kerala Style with step by step pictures / Whole Roasted Chicken in spicy Indian masala with less oil/ Christmas Special Menu

Whole roasted chicken, a tested and successful recipe is shared with you.

Every year for Thanksgiving umpteen number of turkey recipes float so I adapted the technique and made this chicken  using our spices to get the authentic taste of Kerala chicken. So this post is for all those who wanted to try roast chicken instead of turkey.

I have made different flavored whole chicken few times earlier too but they were all for dinner and without light I could never take pictures.So this time during Thanksgiving long weekend  I prepared everything early for lunch and took some portion for few photos and put it back fast so I would not deprive my family the fun of digging into warm food. I could not do justice to pics as much as I would have loved to but I guess that’s ok because the best part is always seeing the joy on my daughter’s face biting into a yummy warm chicken piece.

Before we go to the recipe:

  • The items served are whole roasted  chicken ,onion gravy (recipe below), Fruit and nut pilaf  is very similar to Cranberry Pistachio pilaf ( i used cashewnut and raisins here all the rest is same) then  a simple yogurt based salad here’s a better one Beetroot raitaSome Veg Cutlet too would be really nice.
  • I have not removed  the chicken skin because it keeps the meat tender and juicy , the skin crisps up u can almost hear the crunch when u take a bite.
  • Every oven is different so please keep an eye on the heat and browning of meat.
  • Plan ahead.

Chicken -3 lb (with skin)
Red chili powder – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder -1/3 tsp
Salt to taste

Baker twine – to tie the legs
Red onion 2 large – For the bed

Spices to be dry roasted and powdered :(dry)
Cinnamon – small piece
cardamom- 3
Black pepper- 1 tsp
Whole red chili – 4
Coriander seeds- 11/2 tbsp

Spices to be ground to paste :(wet)
Ginger- 1 inch piece
Garlic 8-10 flakes
Green chili -1
Small onion/shallot – 4
Curry leaves – a few

PART 1 – To marinate
Wash the chicken well outside and inside well.Pat it dry with a paper towel on the outside.
mix the dry spices with red chili powder,turmeric powder and salt. slowly separate the skin from the flesh.Make few gashes/pokes on the flesh inside the chicken with knife also on the flesh outside   without tearing bruising the skin  (This is very important as the shin holds all the juices inside )

Then use ur lovely hands to apply the spices evenly into all pockets u can reach. Apply on all sides and inside too.Then do the same for the ground wet spices.Tie the legs with a twine and wipe all the leftover spices on ur hands on the skin.

Marinate and keep it in fridge(not freezer) for at least 2-3 hours ideally overnight.Bring it to room temperature before putting into oven.

PART 2 – To roast:
Tuck the chicken wing edge to the back.(to avoid burning of wing tip) Cut two large onions into two and lay the bed.On top of that carefully place the chicken pour around two glasses of water into the baking pan.Cover  the pan tightly with aluminium foil.U may require two sheet to cover the whole thing.

Preheat oven to 350 F and put the pan on the middle rack and cook for 1 hour then turn it upside carefully add some more water to the pan if it is dried up and cover with the foil again and bake for another 1 hour.The steam formed inside the pan cooks the chicken evenly and the onion bed enables even circulation of heat.

PART 3 -For final coating

Red chili powder -1 tsp (don’t add more as it will burn the chicken skin faster)
Cooking oil 2-3 tsp ( Use butter if you like )

Remove the onions from the pan and drain the liquid  and keep it aside.

Now mix the oil and chili powder and apply evenly on both sides of the chicken with a basting brush and return it into the pan.
Roast in 350F for half an hour( front up) and then turn and roast another half an hour( back up).If u feel it is browning too much take the aluminium foil used earlier and put it back loosely on top of the chicken but this time need not tuck and close sides.

Remove from oven when done and let it cool down for some time before u cut so the juices wont flow out.

Leftover chicken: After u cut and serve all the pieces there would be some meat left around the rib and bones.Separate and rip the meat using ur lovely hands and use it for chicken cutlet or Chicken thoran the next day.

Here comes the best part all the fat that was left in the pan after roasting … all those who are worried about fat in the chicken….now u are in the safe zone :))

U can discard the fat.
  • The first time I made tandoori whole roasted chicken it tasted really awesome but there were two big mistakes I did one I did not tie its legs and two I did not make any veg bed..The chicken looked odd and was sinking in pan with the fat and juices in the end.
  • This is not kozhi nirachathu as I have not used any filling inside the chicken.
  • Please make sure that it is completely cooked inside, check with a meat thermometer if u have one -the temperature of chicken breast should be -165F and thigh -165 -175 F


Ginger-a 1 inch piece
Garlic – 4 -5 flakes
Red onion -1 sliced+ 2 chopped from the bed
Tomato -2 chopped
Green chili -1 cut
Red chili powder- 1tsp
Turmeric powder – 1 /4 tsp
Salt to taste

Chicken stock reserved – 1 cup (not fat)

While the chicken is getting roasted  heat oil in a pan add ginger then garlic and green chili when a nice aroma comes add the onion and saute till it becomes translucent then add the cooked onions chopped red chili powder,turmeric powder and salt.saute for few minutes then add tomatoes saute for another 5 minutes then add the reserved stock and cook covered until the gravy reduces to required consistency.

Ipol swadistamaya chicken roast readyanu ini vrithaya pathrathil saladukalodu opum vilambiyaal mathi (Boeing Boeing Malayalam movie)

Hope you guys would give it a try and let me know.


33 Replies to “Whole Roasted Chicken- Kerala Style with step by step pictures / Whole Roasted Chicken in spicy Indian masala with less oil/ Christmas Special Menu”

  1. Rafeeda AR

    hahahaha… avasaanathe dialogue enikishtapettu!!! the roast looks super, love all the ground masalas… i keep roasting my chicken in my oven, the best thing about the oven is that there is a seperate setting for chicken and each time i roast, it comes out perfect because of that! we normally remove off the skin, bcoz HD gets irritated seeing it around. love the whole platter, set up… would have loved to be in ur place for lunch! *sigh*

  2. Droolsss...

    Ohfff!! Meennaaa…this is simply superb!! I could feel the aroma in the whole house as I read through your post. Thankyou very much for that detailed explanation and loved the idea of the onion bed and finally the guilt free indulgence into the chicken(fat free). Ippozhanu Christmas aayi ennnu sherikum thonunathu. Anyhow, Boeing Boeingile Mohanlalilnte avastha alla ee chicken undaaki kazhiyumbol ennu urappu…he..he..

  3. Priya R

    Wow Meena a perfect chicken roast and your explanation and tips are priceless nothing like a home blend recipe. This is sure a perfect treat. I think this bookmarked recipe will be top of the list in my agenda to try. Not well at the moment but will make this sometime when my tummy is alright. Merry christmas

  4. Divya Shivaraman

    You know meena Radhika of Food for seven stages was here 4 weeks back and we made this whole roast chicken – that was one yummy recipe and changed my opinion(i had opinion whole chicken will not have flavors inside) about its taste…your recipe reminded me the fun we had and made me stun by the way you explained and clicked…..lovely dear…sherikkum kalakki…thande neighbour avarunnu enikku 🙂

  5. Preetha Soumyan

    Wow… Meena you make me drool with your delicious recipes everyday.. and this one.. ammo.. enthaado …. ennikku vayya….i could smell the aroma.. in your kitchen here… wow!!!! yumm… if my kids see this pic.. they will definitely say mummy.. New year ithu mathi….your spread is so inviting dear….

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