Spring Recipes Meat

Chicken with spices and wild garlic


When I’m in the countryside during spring, I always make sure I have a look for wild garlic. It appears in the woods in April and continues into May, first as lush green leaves and then the pretty white flowers bloom.

This recipe is a sort of tandoori chicken marinade – the garlic giving the flavour and the yoghurt tenderising the meat. I don’t have a  tandoor oven (sadly) so I tend to spatch-cock the bird so it marinades better and cooks faster.

Serves 4.



  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • pinch of saffron
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 large handfuls of wild garlic leaves, washed
  • 100ml plain yoghurt
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil


  • Lightly crush the cardamom pods and release the little black seeds inside, discard the green husky outer layer and crush the black seeds.
  • Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  • In a dry, hot pan, lightly toast the saffron and cumin seeds then crush in a pestle and mortar with the cardamom.  Add the ground turmeric and mix well.
  • In a food processor, finely chop the garlic leaves. Add the spices and yoghurt and blend well.
  • Season with salt and pepper then smear all over the meat. Cover and leave in the fridge to marinate for at least an hour.
  • Pour a little olive oil over the skin and roast for 8-10 minutes, skin side up, until just cooked through.
  • Serve sliced with rice or potatoes 


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