Turmeric Roasted Chicken

There is a favorite word in the house. Lola the Cavoodle will run from wherever she’s hanging out if someone says “chicken”. For a dog with multiple food allergies she paradoxically is able to eat chicken. Which is pretty surprising as lots of poodle mixes seem to have a problem with chicken meat allergies. There’s usually a small tub of shredded chicken breast in the fridge and so she often dashes to the kitchen when she hears the fridge door opening.

Yes, chicken is my favoritest thing EVER!

I haven’t roasted chicken for a really long time. I think kid#1 is a red meat kind of person and he got a bit sick of the standard chicken recipes that helper D was serving up. Yes I have 2 diametrically opposite kids. Kid#1 is easily bored and gets irritated when recipes are repeated too often. Kid#2 however can go on for months eating exactly the same thing. Truth is I think kid#1 takes after me in this regard and kid#2 is super simple in her food preferences, much like my husband. I think I do give dear hubs a hard time every Sunday when he has to organize lunch – I never want to go to the same place too often and get irritated when he keeps wanting to go to the club for lunch.

Anyway Sunday dinner is the one meal I consistently cook in the week and this is the time I think up new stuff to do. Thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic where it seems like travel is curtailed for the long haul, I’ve been compensating by cooking in themes. So tonight was Indonesian food night – turmeric roast chicken, seafood Mee Goreng (fried noodles) and Sup Buntut (oxtail soup). I will post the Seafood Mee Goreng recipe another day as it was so good. But then this turmeric chicken was really good too!

I’d been thinking about the turmeric chicken for a bit. There’s a kind of turmeric fried chicken that’s popular in Indonesia and Malaysia and I love the turmeric and fried curry leaves – the aroma of the chicken is out of this world! But I don’t really like deep frying and so I wanted to replicate these flavors into roast chicken instead.

Turmeric is a very distinctive spice in South East Asian cooking. There’s some research that supports turmeric as an anti-inflammatory agent, but I’m pretty sure it’s in our food culture here because of its flavor and not its putative health benefits. I love the bright yellow colour and I often put it in cauliflower rice or in curries. It does leave a stain on the skin however and when marinating the chicken I did use a pair of gloves as I didn’t fancy getting a pair of yellow hands.

This is a super simple recipe and other than the marinating there is minimal work to do other than just popping the chicken into the oven. The meat was delicate and tender and the skin had a wonderful moreish flavor. Lola did get some little bites of chicken breast (no skin for her because I wasn’t sure what all those spices would do to her). There were thumbs up all round for this new roast chicken recipe, and if Lola had functional thumbs she would have lifted them up too!

Turmeric Roast Chicken

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1 whole chicken (about 1 kg)
  • 1.5 tbsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp sea salt flakes
  • 3 sprigs of curry leaves


  1. Clean the chicken well and cut off the chicken feet and neck.
  2. Dry the chicken well. Mix the turmeric, coriander, ginger powder, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, salt and pepper together. Rub the spices all over the chicken and in the cavity.
  3. Tuck the curry leaves into the cavity and truss the legs with kitchen twine. Marinate overnight.
  4. Heat the oven to 230 deg C.
  5. Sprinkle the salt flakes over the chicken. Place the chicken into an oiled cast iron pan.
  6. 6, Roast the chicken for 50-60 minutes. Serve hot with a side of salad.


3 thoughts on “Turmeric Roasted Chicken

  1. Oh I definitely want to try this! I don’t have curry leaves – do you have any suggestions for substitutions? Thanks! Basil leaves maybe?

    1. Actually I was thinking you can either omit the curry leaves or consider putting some whole shallots into the cavity. But I think adding onions or shallots may need a longer roast time.

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