I keep forgetting to cook with tamarind although I always have a block in the fridge. I love the taste which is both sweet and sour. I had planned to cook this on the BBQ but the weather wasn’t good so I used the oven. I’d also wanted to use chicken Marylands but my local shop was out of stock so I butterflied a whole chicken instead. This is easy and deliciously moist.
Ingredients (for 4)
1 chicken, butterflied or 4 chicken Marylands
150g tamarind pulp cut from a block of tamarind (try and buy a block that says it’s without seeds)
3-4 cms piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
2-3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely grated
1 fresh chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped (optional)
⅓ cup runny honey
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Season the chicken well on both sides and place in an oven dish. Add a little chicken stock to the dish. Place in the oven and cook for 30 minutes. If the stock dries up in the dish add a bit more.
While the chicken is cooking prepare the sauce. Break the piece of tamarind up into smaller chunks and place them in a small bowl. Add some boiling water and leave to soak for about 10 minutes. The tamarind will absorb the water and soften. If necessary add more water and break up the tamarind with a fork. Once it feels softer tip the contents into a sieve placed over a small bowl. Using a spoon or wooden spoon push the pulp through the sieve. Discard any seeds.
Add the honey, ginger, garlic and chilli of using and stir well. Once the chicken has cooked for 30 minutes, take it out and coat the chicken with the tamarind mix. Cook for another 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked and golden.
Remove from the dish, set the chicken aside and cover to rest for 10 minutes. Just before you’re ready to serve it, heat the pan juices adding any leftover mix from the bowl, simmer for 1-2 minutes scraping any bits from around the dish. If it seems too thick add a little more chicken stock. Serve the pan juices with the chicken.
This is really good with a simple rice dish and a vegetable salad. I usually cook with brown rice because of its nutty taste and the fact that it’s a whole grain.