Topkapi Tales: Possibly a Mediterranean Roast Chicken legs recipe

roast chicken

I know that calling something a ‘Mediterranean roast chicken’ is as banal as calling something an ‘Indian fish curry’.

This dish was very simple to cook. Rather tasty and I suspect healthy too. The condiments used were largely Mediterranean or Arabic. I thought I should share it.

We eat so much chicken at home that one has developed a certain degree of confidence about cooking it. Ideally pork is what I would like to play around with. To get to know better. I’d rather experiment and create with pork rather than chicken though. One can’t because of health reasons. Perhaps I should do that whenever I feel like and then tweet for people to be guinea pigs and come and finish the pork.

But I digress. Here’s the roast chicken recipe:


  • Cut some slices of onion and place it on a baking dish. On top of that put slices of potatoes (optional plus doesn’t cook in time) and cover those with chopped vegetables. I used chopped sweet corn, carrots, button mushrooms, tomatoes and olive. You can use whatever.
  • So you have a bed with three layers. The veggies are to be eaten with the chicken and would be flavoured in the juices of chicken,
  • Place 2 chicken legs on the vegetable bed (leg and thighs joined). Slit the surface of the chicken so that the flavours go in
  • Rub on the spices on to the chicken after this. I used black pepper powder and two Turkish Arabic spices…sumac & zatarpita. A friend’s brother got these from Dubai. I have seen these spices at Nature’s Basket Bandra
  • I then wrapped the chicken with fresh herbs – basil & oregano (I had all these herbs and chopped vegetables from the previous day’s soup ingredients) and salt
  • I then doused this with a liberal dose of balsamic vinegar (1/2 a tea cup) and put it in the fridge for about six hours


  • Brush the exposed side of the chicken with olive for the glaze
  • Preheat the oven for 10 min at 200 C
  • Put in the tray with chicken
  • Roast at 200 C for 35 min (no need to cover in between. the potatoes won’t cook though so just act as a stand)

The end result is that of a succulent and well flavoured chicken and the goodness soaks on to the veggies too.

Note: The programme I shot for sometime back airs on the Travel Channel US.

Street Foods International

World travelers know that eating street food is the best way to get a taste of a city's culture. From traditional, to gourmet, to adventurous, we'll explore the street eats that give unique flavor to seven cities across the globe. TV-G, CC

I did the Mumbai part of the episode. I haven’t seen it myself so hope it turns out OK…I’ll get to know once I get the DVD