Sweet, tangy and spicy…the perfect oven roasted chicken for a quick weeknight dinner!
There nothing like a quick roast chicken weeknight dinner. But, just because it’s chicken it doesn’t have to be boring. This sweet and tangy Tamarind sauce is just the thing to spruce up your weeknight chicken dinner.
If you haven’t heard of tamarind and are wondering what the hell is it? it’s a pod like fruit that grows in tropical climates of Africa, India, South-East Asia and Mexico. Inside the pods are seeds surrounded by a sticky tart pulp. The pulp is usually taken out and the seeds removed from the pod shell. It is then used fresh in small quantities, or is often dried to increase its shelf life. It tastes a lot stronger and becomes a lot tarter when dried. In it’s dried form, you tend to have to soak a small lump of tamarind pulp in hot/ war water to loosen it and extract the flavor. The water is then used in curries,dishes, chutneys, soups etc. to lend a sour tangy note. The pulp is also sometimes made into a paste and diluted for ease of use as is. It tastes quite potent sour and tart, but often is mixed with sugar or date paste to balance out the tartness.
You can buy tamarind in dried or wet paste form or as a concentrate with or without sugar added in a lot of Asian store and some bigger grocery stores. But if not, you can always source it on Amazon here- https://amzn.to/2E2Ko6Y (affiliate link). And I would highly recommend getting some as it is a stellar ingredient to add some zing to a dish and is a must have if you love Indian, Thai or Middle Eastern dishes and like to recreate them at home.
For this recipe I simply made a sweet and tangy tamarind paste sauce…with a hint of Asian flavors like soy, ginger and garlic and simple scored 2 bone in skin on chicken leg quarters and brushed them with the sauce before oven roasting them along with some sweet potatoes as a vegetable side. You can use any cuts of chicken you like for this recipe and alter the quantities of honey, cayenne and tamarind paste to adjust the sweet, spicy or tartness of the sauce according to your taste. Here’s the recipe-
- 2 Bone-in, Skin-on Chicken leg quarters
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1/2 Cup Onion, finely diced
- 1/2 Tsp Ginger, grated
- 1/2 Tbsp Garlic, grated
- 1/4 Cup Tamarind Paste
- 1/4 Cup Honey
- 1/4 Cup Orange Juice
- 2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
- Zest & juice of 1 Lime
- 1/4 tsp Cayenne Powder
- Salt & Pepper, to taste
- Cilantro for garnish
- - Heat oil in a small sauce pan
- - Add the diced onion and cook until they soften and start to brown
- - Stir in the grate ginger and garlic and cook for another minute, until frgrant.
- - Add the tamarind paste, honey, orange juice, soy sauce, lemon zest and juice along with the cayenne powder and bring the sauce to a gentle boil while stirring.
- - Let the sauce reduce and thicken to a syrupy consistency then turn off the heat.
- - In the meantime score your chicken leg quarters to the bone and season well with salt and pepper to taste.
- - Preheat oven to 425F. - Brush the chicken well with the tamarind sauce on both sides, reserving some sauce for basting later.
- - Place in an oven proof dish/sheet pan and roast for 30-40 mins until cooked all the way through. Baste the chicken with extra tamarind sauce & garnish with cilantro before serving.