Tamarind-Glazed Roast Chicken

Tamarind-Glazed Roast Chicken by SeasonWithSpice.com

Put aside that thyme, oregano, parsley, sage, and lemon, and experiment with a new mix of spices & herbs for your roast chicken dinner.  Just start with the tanginess of tamarind, and go tropical…

tamarind spice for chicken

For Tamarind-Glazed Roast Chicken, pound chili peppers, lemongrass, ginger, garlic and kaffir lime leaves into a spice paste, then combine with tamarind, brown sugar, and light soy sauce to form a glaze to soak and marinate the chicken.

After the juices and spices are well infused, wrap the chicken in fresh banana leaves (if you can get hold of them).  The fresh banana leaves add a unique earthy, grassy, nutty, smoky aroma and flavor to the roast chicken.  A practice you will find on grills throughout Southeast Asia.

Tamarind-Glazed Roast Chicken by SeasonWithSpice.com

When the chicken is roasting in the oven, or on the grill, the fragrance will be mouth-watering, but difficult for your nose to explain with so many spices & herbs at work.  Instead, let your tongue do the explaining when you take your first bite of the succulent chicken. 

The flavor hits you immediately with a zing and depth that enlivens the palate.  A moment you’ll forget what roast chicken is supposed to taste like.  The key is the distinctly sweet & sour tamarind that envelops the warm, citrusy aroma of lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves, and the pungent, spicy taste of garlic, ginger, and chili peppers.

Tamarind-Glazed Roast Chicken by SeasonWithSpice.com

Tamarind-Glazed Roast Chicken makes a perfect dish for a dinner party.  As you roast the chicken, your guests won’t stop asking you what that wonderful aroma is from the kitchen.  Keep up the suspense by responding, “Something tropical.”

Tamarind-Glazed Roast Chicken by Season with Spice  

10 drumsticks or 1 whole chicken - washed and pat dry
Salt to taste
Dashes of freshly ground black pepper
4 large banana leaves - rinsed and dried with a paper towel (use foil if you can't find banana leaves)
Vegetable oil to lightly grease the banana leaves (or foil)
Lime wedges

Spice Paste:
3 fresh red chilies (serrano chili peppers)
2 stalks lemongrass - white bulbous part only
1 tbsp ginger – peeled 4 cloves garlic
4 kaffir lime leaves (1 leaf = 2 segments) – center spine removed (optional ingredient)

Tamarind sauce:
1/2 cup tamarind water (2 tbsp tamarind pulps soaked in 1/2 cup warm water)
1 tbsp brown sugar or light palm sugar
1 tbsp light soy sauce

1. Pound (or blend in a food processor) the spice mixture ingredients into a smooth paste. Set aside.
2. Prepare the tamarind sauce, then combine with the spice paste to make the tamarind glaze.
3. Lightly season chicken with salt and black pepper, then rub the tamarind glaze thoroughly over each chicken piece. Allow to marinate in the refrigerator for at least two hours (overnight is best)
4. Preheat the oven to 400F (200C).
5. Place the marinated chicken drumsticks on the lightly greased banana leaves (or foil), and wrap them like a parcel. Seal closed with toothpicks.
6. If using banana leaves, line a roasting pan with foil (to prevent leaves from sticking to the pan once cooked). Place the chicken parcels on top, and bake for 40 minutes. Then remove the toothpicks and discard them. Baste the chicken with some of the juices, and then return it to the oven for another 10-15 minutes, or until chicken is cooked and tender. Serve with lime wedges.

- If you have the grill out right now, try using this tamarind glaze to make a tropical-inspired BBQ chicken.
Tamarind-Glazed Roast Chicken by SeasonWithSpice.com