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Recipe: Bengali-spiced Squash with Ginger-roasted Chicken

Ingredients

1.5kg whole Yorkshire chicken
1 tbsp finely grated fresh ginger
2 tbsp olive oil
5 tbsp lemon juice

For the Bengali-spiced squash:-

2 x 450g kabocha or butternut squashes
2-3 tbsp sunflower oil
1 medium onion, cut into thin wedges
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 medium-hot red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
2.5cm fresh ginger, finely grated
8 green cardamom pods, podded, seeds lightly crushed
1 tsp sweet paprika
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
Half tsp hot chilli powder

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 220 C/fan 200C/gas 7.

Season the chicken's cavity with salt and pepper, then smear the inside with the grated ginger. Tie the legs together with string. Put the chicken into a large roasting tin, rub all over with the olive oil and season. Roast the chicken for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut the kabocha or butternut squashes into long wedges and remove the peel, seeds, and fibres from each piece. Heat the sunflower oil in a large frying pan. Add the onion wedges, garlic, chilli and ginger to the pan and cook over a low heat for 5 minutes, stirring now and then, until the onions are just tender. Add the spices and cook for a few seconds more. Add the pieces of butternut squash and toss everything together until well coated in the spicy mixture.

Lower the oven temperature to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6.

Remove the chicken from the oven and pour away the excess fat in the roasting tin. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice over the chicken. Return it to the oven and roast for another 15-20 minutes, spooning over another tablespoon or so of lemon juice every 5 minutes.

Now spoon the squash and onion wedges around the chicken and return the tin to the oven for a further 35-40 minutes, or until the juices from the thigh run clear when pierced with a skewer and the squash is tender and lightly browned around the edges.

This is delicious served with a mint raita, made from chopped fresh mint stirred into natural yoghurt.

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