Curried Butter-Glazed Chicken with Cucumber Raita

From Geoff Last

2013 Mar/Apr

I created this recipe as a cross of sorts between two of my favourite Indian dishes, butter chicken and tandoori chicken. You could roast the chicken pieces in a 400°F. oven (place them on a rack in a baking dish with steep sides and roast for about 1/2 hour) but the recipe works best on the barbecue. Besides, as Canadians, it’s our patriotic duty to barbecue all year round, regardless of the weather. It’s imperative that you use the top rack of the barbecue (or indirect heat on your grill) or the butter and chicken fat will create flames and char the chicken. I often double this recipe even when cooking for four since it makes great leftovers.


  • 1 large free-range roasting chicken, cut into pieces
  • 4 oz. (1/2 c.) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 t. each ground cumin, ground coriander, ground turmeric and salt
  • 1 t. finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 t. each hot paprika and ground black pepper
  • 1/4 t. cinnamon


Pat the chicken pieces dry with paper towels. Place the butter in a small mixing bowl and add all the spices. Mix well with a fork and then rub the spiced butter vigorously into the chicken pieces with your hands, spreading the mixture as evenly as possible. Refrigerate the chicken pieces, covered, for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Light the grill and let it heat for about 1/2 hour. Remove the chicken from the fridge and allow it to come up to room temperature for about 1/2 hour. Grill the pieces until done, about 15 minutes for the wings, 20 or so for the larger pieces. A lot of the butter cooks off but enough remains to add great flavour and turn the skin wonderfully crisp and golden brown. Serve with cucumber/mint raita. Serves 4.


Cucumber Mint Raita

  • 1 c. plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 English cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped fine
  • 1/2 c. (packed) fresh mint, finely chopped
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • pinch of cumin
  • pinch of turmeric


Mix all the ingredient together in a small bowl and serve.