Roast Chicken with Cilantro-Mint Chutney


Step into any Indian restaurant and ask for a plate of samosas, and you'll often find them served with a small bowl of bright green chutney that leaves a fiery tingle on the tip of your tongue. The construction of this alarmingly vivid chutney is quite simple: Fresh herbs, fresh chiles, and a few spices are ground together with a bit of lime juice and water. It's much like a chimichurri, but with a more powerful punch. Green chutney is called that for a reason—it's vividly, almost alarmingly verdant in color—but frankly, I think the name does the chutney a disservice. It strips away the nuance and richness from this alluring condiment, which can be made in a thousand different ways. Some versions might contain coconut, while others star herbs like mint or employ unique combinations of spices to add flavor.Those samosa sidekicks aside, green chutney can be much more than a condiment on the edge of a plate. It is bursting with flavor and can take on many roles: toss roasted vegetables in it, or fold it into a bowl of chilled yogurt to make an herby raita. I like to stray even further away from its typical applications and use it to marinate chicken. Roast chicken, whole or separated into pieces, benefits brilliantly from chutney-based marinades. You make the chutney and reserve half as your dipping sauce, while the other half gets folded into creamy, tangy yogurt to make a flavorful marinade for the chicken. Use a serrano or a Thai chile when you want a good dose of heat in the chutney; a jalapeño will work to give you a milder burn. You can lower the spiciness further by stripping away the seeds and the rib at the center. (Or make it as hot as you like, and keep a stash of creamy yogurt on hand—a dollop or two will be just enough of a fire extinguisher for any guests who can't take the heat.)

Active Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 45 mins


  • 1 bunch fresh mint

  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro

  • 1 green jalapeño, stemmed

  • 1/4 cup chilled water

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

  • 1 tablespoon fine sea salt, divided

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 2 cups plain whole-milk yogurt

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

  • 1 (4-pound) whole chicken, separated into 2 drumsticks, 2 thighs, and 2 breasts


  1. Combine mint, cilantro, jalapeño, 1/4 cup water, lime juice, 1 teaspoon salt, and cumin in a blender; process until smooth. Place half of chutney in an airtight container, and chill until ready to serve.

  2. Whisk the remaining half of the chutney in a large bowl with the yogurt and oil. Pat the chicken pieces dry with paper towels. Using a knife, score each piece of chicken several times, about 3/4 inch deep. Sprinkle with remaining 2 teaspoons salt. Transfer the chicken to the bowl, and turn to coat evenly with yogurt mixture. Cover with a lid, and chill 2 hours.

  3. Preheat the oven to 350°Fwith rack 8 inches from heat. Place a wire rack inside a rimmed baking sheet. Place the marinated chicken pieces, skin side up, on the rack, wiping off excess marinade. Roast in preheated oven until internal temperature of breast registers 160°F, about 1 hour 10 minutes.Increase heat to broil (do not remove chicken), and broil until skin is crispy, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove chicken from oven, and let rest 10 minutes. Serve with reserved chutney.

    Roast Chicken with Cilantro-Mint Chutney
    Jen Causey
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