What’s cooking today: Cumin & lime potjie-roasted chicken

What’s cooking today: Cumin & lime potjie-roasted chicken
Chicken roasted in a potjie with lime, cumin, coriander and garlic. On the plancha are red, green and yellow peppers and plancha-grilled lime slices. (Photo: Tony Jackman)

Here’s a new take on my method of roasting a whole chicken in a potjie. Ring the changes with the dark bite of cumin and the zesty zing of limes, with fresh coriander, chilli and garlic to enliven it further.


1 whole chicken

4 Tbsp olive oil

1 heaped Tbsp chopped coriander stems

2 garlic cloves, chopped finely

1 Tbsp ground cumin

½ Tbsp ground coriander

1 jalapeño chilli, chopped finely

Grated zest of 2 limes

To serve: 

½ each of a green, red and yellow pepper

Olive oil

Chopped garlic

2 limes, sliced


In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, coriander stems, garlic, ground cumin, ground coriander, chilli and lime zest. Mix to a paste.

Salt the cleaned bird well inside and out.

Lift the skin from the breasts at both ends and prise away with your fingers. Using a teaspoon, spoon in half of the mixture, spreading it around by massaging the skin above it. Smear the remaining mixture all over the outside of the bird, especially on the breast skin.

Heat oil in a potjie. When hot, put the chicken in, breast side down, give the potjie a good shake, and cook it uncovered for about 15 minutes. Turn it using two smallish wooden spoons, carefully, to brown on the other side. Repeat this process until it is well browned all over. Then cover with the potjie lid and cook for about 90 minutes to two hours, keeping enough coals underneath (around the perimeter is best) and a few small coals on top to ensure regular cooking.

Serve with julienne red and yellow bell peppers stir-fried with slices of garlic, and slices of grilled lime. I used my plancha, which is a great piece of gear: a slender, flat grill pan which you can use on the stove top or on the braai grid. Its winning factor is that it conducts heat all over evenly. Garnish both dishes with coriander leaves. DM/TGIFood

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Send your recipes to [email protected] with a hi-resolution horizontal (landscape) photo.

To enquire about Tony Jackman’s book, foodSTUFF (Human & Rousseau) please email him at [email protected]


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