Mauritius Roasted Chicken

Note: Chicken bake for 20 minutes per pound.

I love roasted chicken, we all d0! So many juicy flavors and colors into one pan, perfect for your holiday table or family & friends gatherings. I don’t say that this is a Mauritian authentic dish, this is just the way most of my family bake their roasted chicken. There are several ways of making a roasted chicken in Mauritius, some remove the skin while others don’t, also many cook into a pressure cooker while more opt for the oven but the seasonings are mostly similar. I love to create my signature dish recipe, which means more spices and additional palates, yummy! 

In Mauritius, this dish is served with veggies, gratin potatoes or french fries (if you have not roasted potatoes) or gratin pattypan squash, salad and bread. Don’t be scared by the amount of ingredients required, they are really simple and handy stuffs I am sure we all have in our kitchen jars!

Time to get your designer plates, glasses, forks & knives, flowers and candles onto the table!

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Ingredients:
For the roasted chicken:

  • 1 Whole Chicken, thawed if frozen and without giblets
  • 2 tbsp buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp ginger paste
  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika powder
  • 2 tbsp roasted chicken spices (I have used Hashnoor brand)
  • 1/2 tsp of cinnamon powder
  • 1 tsp of dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 cup softened butter (salted-because I don’t seasoned my mixture of spices)
  • Olive oil


For the veggies:

  • 1 head garlic, unpeeled and detached
  • 1 bundle of fresh thyme
  • 3 large carrots, chopped
  • 3 to 4 large potatoes, cut into large moon shape chunks
  • 2 small onions
  • 1/2 of a lemon
  • Corns, boiled and cooked (optional)
  • Brussels sprout, cooked (optional)


For the gravy:

  • 10cl of water
  • 1/2 small cup of flour
  • Fat from roasted chicken
  • Drippings from roasted chicken


Preparations for the roasted chicken:

1.Rinse the chicken and the inside cavity well with cold water and pat dry with paper towels.

2. In a small bowl, mix salt and pepper and set aside. In another bowl, mix all the wet and dry ingredients together  except the olive oil, stir until it’s all well combined. I have not added salt to my mixture of spices because I have used salted butter.

3. With a spoon, try to get under the skin of the chicken without tearing them apart. Now what I do which is not necessarily ofcourse but I still do it 🙂 is I always slit slightly the flesh under the skin (making sure I am not tearing the skin) so as to ensure the flavors enter the chicken).

4. Use the spoon to place the mixture of spices under the skin and gently rub the spices with your hands on the outside to ensure that the spices are spread well on both the inside and the outside of the bird. Make sure you have been able to get under the skin of the drumsticks and cover the outside of the drumsticks and wings well with the mixture of spices.

5. Season the inside cavity with salt and pepper, then stuff the inside cavity with onions, 3 to 4 garlic cloves, lemon and a bundle of fresh thyme. Wrap twine around the drumsticks and make sure they are both tied together and tuck the tips of the wings underneath the chicken to avoid them from burning.

6. Sprinkle salt and pepper (based as per your preferences) on both the base and top of the chicken. Cover the front of the chicken with aluminum foil. Allow to sit for 1 hour.

7. After 1hour, preheat your oven at 350F. Fill the roasted pan with the potatoes, carrots and remaining garlic. Season with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place the chicken over the veggies, make sure the top of the bird is covered with aluminum foil. Bake at 350F for 2hours.

8. Remove your chicken halfway and brush the bird with unsalted melted butter for more added flavor. Continue to bake until the internal temperature reaches 160F at the flesh part of the thigh. Remove the foil, prior to the last 20 minutes for more golden colour.

9. Allow the chicken to rest for 20-30 minutes before carving. Serve with roasted veggies, gravy and chili paste, I had corns and brussel sprouts so I had added them into the dish for more relish.

Preparations for the gravy:

1. Pour the fat into a bowl and reserve. Into the drippings left in the roasting pan, whisk flour, then add fat (quantity will depend onto the sauce) so that the mixture becomes thick and not pasty. Put the roaster on the stove, add 10cl of water and simmer on medium heat. Constantly stir until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Season with salt and pepper as per your taste.

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Tropical Shrimp Skewers

Shrimp skewers for your Summer family gatherings. I call them “Tropical Shrimp Skewers”  because they are dressed with bell peppers, onions and tropical pineapples. Incredibly succulent and appetising with every bite. So easy to make with the minimal preparations required for this recipe.

Note: For this recipe, you can also substitute with chicken

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Servings: 25-30
Ingredients:

  • 500g of clean shrimps
  • 2 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1/2 tbsp ginger paste
  • 5 tsp of smoked paprika powder
  • 2 tsp of Tandoori powder
  • 1 tsp of honey
  • 1 tbsp of lime juice
  • 1 large onion, cut into large chunks
  • 3 large bell peppers, cut into large chunks
  • 1/2 of a ripe pineapple, cut into chunks
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper

Preparations:

1. In a bowl, add the garlic and ginger paste, paprika and tandoori powder, honey and lime juice. Combine everything together with the help of a spachler. Add the shrimps, cut onions, bell peppers, pineapples and marinate together. Season with salt and pepper and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

2. Divide shrimps evenly for 25 – 30 skewers. Add the shrimps, onions, bell peppers and pineapples into a skewer.

3. Preheat a pan or grill pan with some vegetable oil. Fry or grill the skewers for 2-3 minutes on each side until shrimps are pink and slightly firm.

4. Garnish with coriander, lemon wedges, chillies or Mauritius famous “Piment cari” and serve with mint sauce.

Special Holiday season: Indian Inspired Roasted Chicken (No oven)

Holidays season are here and what’s next? Some good food, music, clothing and family gatherings. I know roasted chicken is always the holiday season’s signed dish 😀 I have not used a whole chicken for this dish because I was not expecting much guests. 

Here it is the perfect Indian roasted Chicken for your holiday table! The mainstream always go for a western roasted chicken which is equally good but if you are seeking to make a different and more spicy chicken, then this is a dish for you to add on your menu lists. 

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Servings: 5-6
Ingredients:

  • 10 pieces of either chicken breasts or legs 
  • 3 tbsp of Ginger and Garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp of Garam masala
  • 1 tbsp of Cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp of Cloves powder
  • 1 tbsp of Coriander powder
  • 1/2 tbsp of Cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp of Honey
  • 1 tbsp of Tandoori powder (optional)
  • 2 tbsp of red chilli powder (preferably Kashmiri red)
  • 1 tbsp of Paprika powder
  • 1 tbsp of soften butter (at room temperature)
  • 1 cup of Coriander, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup of Tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp of Lemon juice
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt and Pepper

Preparations:

1. In a large tray, mix all the spices together. Add the chicken pieces and blend together, make sure that the spices enter the crevices. Set aside and allow to rest for 30 minutes or 1 hour.

2. Preheat some vegetable oil in a pressure cooker. Pour the tomato puree and season with salt and pepper. Allow the tomato sauce to simmer for 2 to 3 minutes on medium heat.

3. Add the chicken pieces and some more additional roughly chopped coriander. Cook until 4 to 5 whistles on medium heat. 

4. Once the chicken pieces are cooked, place them on a non-stick grill pan for less than 1 minute on each side.

5. Set the chicken pieces in a platter and garnish with lemon wedges and onions. Serve with rice or baguettes.

Special Holiday season: Baked Prawns and Cheesy Pasta

Pasta pasta… who does not love pasta… we all do if we know how to cook different dishes with Pasta. Not many ingredients are required but if you cook pasta, you can’t just eat it without cheese. Pasta and cheese they are the ideal couple 🙂 haha….. I love baked pasta filled with a seafood blend, creamy sauce, cheese and the smell of freshly sprinkled herbs. A COMPLETE MEAL!!!!! 

I serve mine with some homemade green chillies & garlic and lemon paste. Give yours a try, it is such an easy recipe. After the Noodles, I call the Pasta a second reason to eat with a fork at home because in our little island Mauritius most of the people eat with a spoon. Hahahahahaha 

NOTE: I have not added salt in this recipe because the cheese already contains much of it and while you boil or cook your prawns and mushrooms just add your desired amount of salt. 

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Servings: 4-5 
Ingredients:

  • 1 packet of Pasta, boiled and cooked
  • 500g of Prawns, without shells and cooked
  • Mushrooms, finely chopped and cooked
  • Beans, cooked
  • 1/2 cup of Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup of Mozarella cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup of Parmeasan cheese, grated
  • 1 cup of fresh cooking cream (I use Elle & Vire brand)
  • 2 tbsp of Tomato puree
  • 1 tsp of  Garlic paste
  • 1 tsp of Paprika powder
  • Coriander and Parsley leaves, finely chopped

Preparations:

1. In a baking tray, mix the tomato puree together with the cooked pasta, prawns, mushrooms and beans. Set aside. Meanwhile preheat your oven to 180 C. 

2. In a pan, pour the fresh cooking cream , together with the papripa powder and garlic paste and simmer for 5minutes on low heat. Stove off and add the parmeasan. Mix well so that the cheese incorporates with the sauce. Cover the lid so that the cheese melts. 

3. Pour the creamy sauce onto the pasta and combine together. Sprinkle on top with cheddar and mozarella cheese and pepper. Bake for 5-8 minutes.

4. Garnish with finely chopped coriander and parsley leaves. 

Mauritius Gato Oignons “Onion fritters”

“Mauritius Gato Oignons” is an inspired fritter dish from the Indian culture, best coined in India as “Onion bhajis”. In Mauritius, this recipe is a great introduction towards Indian food but the recipe has been slightly altered here. In India, chickpeas are introduced into the batter but in Mauritius it’s not the case.

I have decided to share the Mauritius and especially me and my mother’s version of making this delicious pungent onion fritters. Best to be accompanied with a good chai “tea” and Mauritius Tomato and Chilli Chutney.

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Servings: 15

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of self-rising flour
  • 2 large onions, cut into round slices
  • 1 egg (Optional)
  • 2 tsp of yellow food coloring powder
  • a pinchful of thyme leaves
  • coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • 3 Spring onions, finely chopped
  • 15 cl of water
  • 3 tsps of salt and pepper (Quantity depends based as per your preferences)
  • Vegetable oil

Preparations:

1. In a large bowl, add the flour, egg and water. Mix well together with the help of a spatula.

2. Add yellow food coloring powder, thyme leaves, coriander, spring onions and salt. Combine everything together. Meanwhile preheat a deep bottomed pan with vegetable oil.

3. Dip each onion slice into the batter and add gently in hot oil. Continue doing this for 6-7 slices while frying for each batches. Fry till golden and crisp on medium heat for 4 minutes.

Mauritius Tomato and Chillli Chutney

A mainstream in the Mauritius culture! The best accompaniment the island people enjoy having with oily snacks, mauritius food, vegetable briani , pasta and even chinese soups. At my place it’s the ideal chutney we have when fried rice (riz frite) is cooked.

Note: You can also add coriander leaves into the chutney, it then called Chatini Cotomilli (Coriander Chutney) in Mauritius.

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Ingredients:

  • 4 tomatoes, cut into chunks with the seeds removed
  • 2 red chilli (quantity based as per your preferences)
  • 5-6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 5 cl of water
  • Salt

Preparations:

1. Blend all the ingredients, except the salt into your blender. Pour into a bowl and add salt. Mix everything well with a spoon.

Mauritius Bouillon Poisson (Fish Stew) with bredes mouroum (moringa leaves)

Mauritius Bouillon Poisson (Fish Stew), the preferred traditional seafood dish in our little tropical island. Always accompanied with rice and chatini coco (coconut chutney). Cooked in so many kitchens in Mauritius 🙂 The nostalgic moment of fishing fresh fishes from the beach with the family returns back when the smell of that delicious bouillon (stew) is spread in the kitchen.

The best medicine in a bowl. Bredes Mouroum (Moringa leaves) have many health benefits, they can cure and prevent diseases such as diabetes, heart diseases, anemia, digestive disorders, skin, respiratory and many more diseases.

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Servings: 7

Ingredients:

  • 6-7 small whole parrot fishes
  • Bunch of bredes mouroum (Moringa leaves)
  • 1.5 Litre – 2 Litre of water
  • Parsley leaves
  • 1 tsp of vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp of cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp of lime juice
  • 1 cup flour

Spices:

  • 6-8 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 2 large onions, cut into chunks
  • 4 tomatoes, cut into chunks
  • 4 large tbsp can tomato puree
  • 1 branch curry leaves (15 curry leaves)
  • 1 small bunch coriander leaves

 

Preparations:

For the fishes:

  1. Mix into a bowl the vinegar, lime juice and cinnamon powder, add the fishes into the mixture. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. In another bowl, coat into flour the fishes. Shake off any excess.
  3. Meanwhile in a frying pan, add vegetable oil and fry the fishes for around 8-10 minutes until golden brown in color.

For the spices:

  1. Blend all the ingredients into the list of spices.
  2. In a large bottomed pot, preheat 1 tbsp of vegetable oil and pour the blended spices into the pot. Let it cook on medium low- heat for 4 minutes, lid uncovered.
  3. Pour the water into the pot, combine well with the spices. Allow them to simmer for another 8 – 10 minutes, lid covered on.
  4. Add the cooked fishes into the pot and cover the lid for 5 minutes.
  5. The bredes mouroum or moringa leaves go in for 1 -2 minutes. Stove off.
  6. Garnish on top with parsley leaves. You can serve with rice and Mauritius Chatini coco (Coconut Chutney).

Mauritius Croquettes Potatoes (Potato fritters)

A typical dish popular in the Mauritius Cuisine, this recipe can also be substituted with chicken and cheese instead with potatoes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of self-rising flour
  • 2 large potatoes, finely cut into round slices
  • 1 egg (Optional)
  • 1 tbsp of onion paste
  • 1 tbsp of grated cheddar cheese (Optional)
  • 1/2 tsp of paprika powder
  • 2 tsp of yellow food coloring powder
  • a pinchful of thyme leaves
  • coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • 15 cl of water
  • 2 tsp of salt and pepper (Quantity depends based as per your preferences)
  • Vegetable oil

Preparations:

For the potatoes:

1. Add salt and pepper, 2 tsps of yellow food coloring into the potatoes.
2. Preheat a deep frying pan with vegetable oil and add the potatoes. Allow them to fry for 5 minutes.

For the Flour paste:

1. In a large bowl, add the flour, egg and water. Mix well together with the help of a spatula.

2. Add the onion paste, cheddar cheese, paprika powder, 1 tsp yellow food coloring powder, thyme leaves, coriander and salt. Combine everything together.

3. Dip each potato slice into the batter and add gently in hot oil. Continue doing this for 6-7 slices while frying for each batches. Fry till golden and crisp on medium heat for 3-4 minutes.

Yayy done 🙂 so easy. Serve with mint chutney or chilli sauce.