Roasted spiced chicken with cauliflower and fennel cream

Spice up your regular roast chicken.
Spice up your regular roast chicken. Photo: Katrina Meynink

Take your Sunday dinner or midweek roast chook to the next level.


1 organic chicken, cut into eight pieces (ask your butcher to do this for you)

butter for under the skin

salt to season

Cauliflower and fennel cream

1kg cauliflower, broken into florets

2 baby fennel bulbs, thinly sliced

2 small onions, thinly sliced

6 garlic cloves

300ml milk

300ml cream


150ml Greek-style yoghurt

½ onion, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, crushed

15g (3cm piece) ginger, peeled and finely chopped

½ tsp each ras el hanout, black lime powder*, sumac, onion powder, cayenne pepper

60ml (¼ cup) olive oil

(*if black lime powder is unavailable, add an extra ½ teaspoon sumac)


1. For the spiced yoghurt marinade, process ingredients (except oil) in a food processor until a paste forms, then stir in the oil.

2. Delicately lift the skin of the chicken pieces, being careful not to tear, and push small pieces of butter between the skin and meat. Place chicken in a non-reactive container, rub all over with marinade and refrigerate overnight for flavours to develop. 

3. For the cauliflower and fennel cream, combine all ingredients in a large saucepan, bring to a simmer and cook until cauliflower and fennel are tender (12 to 15 minutes). Using a hand-held blender or food processor, blend mixture until smooth and season to taste. Set aside.

4. Preheat oven to 200C. Heat a large cast-iron oven-proof frying pan over high heat, add 2 tablespoons oil, then season chicken to taste and cook skin-side down until golden (3 to 4 minutes). Turn, then transfer to oven and roast until cooked through. 

5. To serve, smear cauliflower and fennel cream on the base of each plate. Place over chicken pieces on top and squeeze over lemon juice.