Archive of BBC Food Recipes

Cumin and yoghurt chicken with cucumber and dill salad

Prep time overnight
Cook time overnight
Serves 4-6
From Saturday Kitchen Best Bites
A yoghurt marinade keeps this bird juicy and tender. Opening out the chicken reduces the cooking time for a quick roast.


  1. For the chicken, mix all the marinade ingredients together in a bowl.

  2. With a sharp knife, carefully slash the chicken legs two or three times down to the bone. Rub the marinade into the chicken, massaging into the meat.

  3. Place on a plate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, but you can leave it for 4-6 hours.

  4. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

  5. Heat a griddle pan until very hot. Remove the chicken from the marinade, letting the excess drip off, but do not wipe clean. Pour a little olive oil onto the griddle pan then add the chicken, skin side down. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, until golden and scored with brown griddle marks.

  6. Transfer to a roasting tin and place in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until completely cooked through. Test the chicken is cooked by pushing a skewer into the thigh meat - if the juices run clear the chicken is cooked.

  7. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 5-10 minutes.

  8. For the cucumber salad, cut the cucumbers into halves lengthways and scoop out the watery seeds.

  9. Cut the cucumber into wedges and place in a bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and toss together to coat. Season to taste with more lemon juice or salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  10. To serve, carve the chicken into eight pieces (legs, thighs and breasts). Place the cucumber salad into a pile on a plate and a bit of chicken alongside. Serve with crusty bread or a cous cous salad.


For the marinade

  • 300ml/11fl oz natural yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp mint or coriander, finely chopped
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds, ground
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely grated or crushed
  • good pinch of pepper

For the chicken

  • 1kg/2lb 2oz chicken, preferably organic, spatchcocked
  • drizzle of olive oil

For the cucumber salad

  • 1 large or 2 medium cucumbers
  • ½ lemon, juice only
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large tbsp chopped dill (mint or coriander is also great)
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Shopping List

Cumin and yoghurt chicken with cucumber and dill salad

Fruit and vegetables

Cooking ingredients

Dairy, eggs and chilled

Meat, fish and poultry

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