“Perfect” Roast Chicken: Spicy and Succulent!

Few things in life are more satisfying than roast chicken. And when your bird is slathered and soaked in a spicy marinade of smoked paprika, cumin, wine, and fresh herbs, it is unbeatable. It’s simple, elegant, and utterly satisfying.

This Spicy Roast Chicken recipe adapted from Leite’s Culinaria is hands down, the most flavorful, winning bird recipe in our home. Roast chicken recipes tend to lean on the bland side, especially for spice lovers like my family. This roast chicken recipe relies on smoked paprika, cumin, and herbs for an unbelievably moist and bold flavor.

I believe the key here is marination. Indian meat recipes be it kababs or curries are typically soaked with yogurt and spices for at least 24 hours, as a result, our meats are highly aromatic and flavorful. This recipe calls for marinating it for 5-8 hours, still I let the bird soak up for 24 hours which in my humble opinion adds to the depth of flavors. Either ways, it is Perfect….


Spiced Roast Chicken

Since I am do have a small but blooming herb garden, I take any chance to utilize the freshness in my recipes. I threw in couple of fresh oregano and rosemary sticks in the cavity. Since the oven is already pre-heated, throw in some diced potatoes with olive oil, garlic, and rosemary in a cookie sheet and bake alongside the chicken and voila, you have a complete meal.


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  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • One 4-pound whole chicken
  • 1 lemon, sliced half
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons smoked hot paprika
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 2 fresh stalks oregano
  • 1 fresh stalk rosemary or thyme



  • Finely chop the garlic cloves. Rinse and pat the chicken dry, inside and out. Slip a finger under the chicken skin at the edge of the cavity and run it along the breasts and thighs to gently loosen the skin.Gently rub the garlic between the chicken skin and meat, being careful not to tear the skin. Do it on both sides of the chicken.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, wine, oil, smoked paprika, cumin, black pepper, and oregano. Place the chicken in a 2-gallon resealable bag and pour the marinade on top. Turn the bird several times to coat. Seal the bag or cover the chicken and refrigerate overnight or upto 24 hours, turning occasionally.
  • Preheat the oven to 425ºF (220°C). Transfer the chicken to a large baking dish (I used Le Creuset). Squeeze the lemon juice into the cavity and throw in the halves too. Add rosemary and oregano sticks. Tie the legs with butcher twine and rub 1 tsp of kosher salt.
  • Roast the chicken on the middle rack for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 375ºF (190°C). Baste with marinade and continue to roast, basting every 20 minutes for a total of 1.5 hour. The juices should run clear and a thermometer inserted in the thigh should read 165ºF (74°C). Allow the chicken to rest for a few minutes before slicing it. Serve warm with roasted potatoes or your choice of side.


Easy and healthy, yet brimming with juicy goodness, dinner is served!!

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