East African Roast Chicken has very simple ingredients but the end result was very flavourful and delicious. The original recipe uses a whole chicken but I have used chicken legs which was de-boned but skin was left on.

Recipe from “The African and Middle Eastern Cookbook” by Josephine Bacon and Jenni Fleetwood

Serves 6; Preparation time 10 mins; Cooking time overnite+1½ hours

  • 1.8-2.0 kg chicken
  • 30 ml softened butter, plus extra for basting
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander
  • 4 tbsp thick coconut milk
  • 4 tbsp medium-dry sherry
  • 1 tsp tomato puree (paste)
  • Salt and chilli powder


  1. Remove and discard giblets from chicken, if necessary, rinse out cavity and pat skin dry.
  2. Put butter and all remaining ingredients in a bowl and mix together well to form a thick paste.
  3. East skin of chicken away from flesh and push in some of the herb and butter mixture.
  4. Rub more of the mixture over skin, legs and wings of chicken.
  5. Place chicken in a roasting pan, cover loosely with foil and marinate overnite in fridge.
  6. Preheat oven to 190C.
  7. Cover chicken with clean foil and roast for 1 hour.
  8. Then turn chicken over and baste with pan juices.
  9. Cover again with foil and roast for a further 30 mins.
  10. Remove foil and place chicken breast side up.
  11. Rub with a little extra butter and roast for a further 10-15 mins, till meat juices run clear and skin is golden brown.
  12. Serve with a rice dish or a salad.

Rubbing skin on chicken with a spicy herb butter and then marinating it overnite gives it a wonderful flavor. Baste it frequently while it cooks.

Variation: Use ground coriander instead of ground cumin or dried thyme.

My version, which worked really great:
I used 6 chicken legs, de-boned but leaving skin on. Same preparation method except baking under foil for 40 mins, baste with juices and baking without foil for a further 10 mins. Cut chicken into thick slices, put on a warm plate, spoon over with some chicken juice and serve leftover juice separately.

Rate this post if you like:
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)