Sandeep’s Lemon Pepper Chicken will make a perfect weeknight dinner that you can whip up for the whole family to enjoy. It’s fast, takes minimal effort and still tastes delicious!
For the Raita, combine the cucumber, carrot and onion in a small bowl and add the lemon juice, sugar and a pinch of salt. Set aside for 10 minutes.
Add the yoghurt and coriander and mix until evenly combined. Transfer to a small serving dish and set aside in the fridge.
For the Lemon Rice, bring 1 ½ litres water to the boil.
Add the washed rice, 2 sprigs curry leaves and a generous pinch of salt. Cook the rice until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain the excess water from the saucepan.
Cover the saucepan with a folded wet tea towel then cover with the lid on. Place saucepan onto a very low heat, taking care not to burn the tea towel, and allow to cook for a further 5-7 minutes.
Transfer the rice to a shallow baking tray. Remove the stem from the curry leaves and stir the curry leaves through the rice. Place into the freezer until cold but not frozen.
Heat a medium frypan over medium heat. Add the cumin, mustard seeds and the curry leaves from 1 sprig and cook until fragrant. Add the oil and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the onions and ginger and cook until the onions are soft, stirring occasionally.
Add asafoetida and turmeric and stir through. Add the lemon zest and juice and chillies.
Add the rice and stir until evenly mixed. Add the curry leaves from 1 sprig and stir through. Add the sugar and salt, to taste.
Remove from the heat and transfer to a serving dish. Sprinkle with coriander and set aside.
For the Lemon Pepper Chicken, remove the breast fillets from the spatchcocks and set aside. Remove the Marylands, de-bone and set aside. Chop the bones and the carcass into small pieces.
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add the chopped bones, season with salt and cook over high heat until browned. Drain 3 tablespoons of oil and rendered chicken fat from the saucepan into a medium frypan and set aside for cooking the spatchcock.
Add 3 cups water to the saucepan with the bones and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and allow the chicken stock to simmer gently.
Place the frypan of rendered chicken fat over medium high heat. Add the spatchcock portions, season with salt and cook until golden on both sides, about 2 minutes. Remove from the pan.
Reduce the heat to low and add the cumin, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and curry leaves to the pan and toast until fragrant.
Add the onion, garlic and ginger and cook until soft. Add the pepper and coriander and stir until fragrant then add the lemon juice and the zest.
Return the chicken to the pan and cook for a further 2-3 minutes, turning the chicken in the pan until coated in the spices and sauce in the pan appears split. Add 2 cups of the hot chicken stock, sugar and salt, to taste.
Simmer until the chicken is cooked through and liquid in the pan has reduced and is sticky. Season with salt to taste then remove from the heat. Transfer to a large serving bowl or plate.
To serve, line a large serving board with a banana leaf. Add the bowls of Lemon Pepper Chicken, Lemon Rice and Raita.