Thursday, September 6, 2012

RECIPE - Roast Chicken with Turmeric (Frango Assado com Açafrão-da-terra)

If you only reach for the turmeric on your spice shelf when you're making an Indian recipe, or perhaps a hand-me-down-from-Grandma mustard pickle recipe, then this traditional Brazilian recipe for chicken thighs marinated in a fragrant turmeric and cinnamon paste will be an eye-opener. Turmeric's earthy aroma and taste perfectly complement the sweetness that cinnamon brings to the rub. By using more flavorful thighs rather than breasts the recipe ensures that the strong flavors of the spice mixture do not overwhelm the chicken itself.

Brazilians have been using turmeric (curcuma or açafrão-da-terra) for centuries even though it's not native to the Americas. Turning a dish an appealing golden yellow is only one of the rhizome's qualities - try this recipe to discover how its contribution to the taste of this dish ranks just as high as its color-giving properties.
RECIPE - Roast Chicken with Turmeric (Frango Assado com Açafrão-da-terra)
Serves 6

12 chicken thighs, skinned
2 Tbsp ground turmeric
1 Tbsp powdered cinnamon
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed and minced
extra-virgin olive oil
In a large mixing bowl, combine the turmeric, cinnamon, chopped onion and minced garlic, plus salt to taste. Stirring constantly, slowly add olive-oil in a thin stream, stopping as soon as you have a thick paste. Do not make the rub too liquid. Add the thighs, turning them over and over in the spice paste until they are completely coated.

Transfer the thighs to one or two large ziplock bags, squeezing out all the air to ensure that the paste adheres to the meat. Put the bags in the refrigerator and let the chicken marinate for at least 3 hours, up to 8.

Remove the chicken from the refrigerator one half hour before you want to begin to cook to bring the meat to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 350F (180C). Put the chicken in a large, non-stick baking pan, and cook in the oven for 40-50 minutes, or until the juices run clean when a thigh is pierced with the tip of a sharp paring knife.

Serve immediately, accompanied by rice or potatoes and a green salad.

Recipe translated and adapted from Globo Rural Picadinho.


  1. I like this chicken roast with turmeric! Have tried it last night and it was awesome. Will definitely cook this again for my relative when they visit us. :)

  2. Are these bone-in or boneless thighs?

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