Saturday, 3 November 2012

Alphabetic Recipes Z — Zanzibar Honey Chicken Recipe

Today we have a classic Tanzanian recipe (from the Island of Zanzibar) for a traditional dish of roast chicken and sweet potatoes in a lightly-spiced yoghurt coating with a honey and lime dressing.

Today's is the twenty-ninth and final entry of my new series of Alphabetic recipes. Each day for the next month and more, I will be adding a new recipe linked to a different letter of the alphabet. As I collect recipes from all over the globe, and have lots of Welsh recipes, I am going to use a blend of the Welsh and English alphabets:

A | B | C | DE | F | Ff | G | H | I | J | K | L | Ll | M | N | O | P | Q | R | Rh | S | TU | V | W | X | Y | Z

so there will be 29 entries in total. As today is the twenty-eighth day in this series I am providing a recipe starting with the letter 'Z'. This is a traditional recipe from Tanzania for a classic dish of oven-roasted chicken and spiced sweet potatoes where the chicken is finished with a spiced yoghurt coating and served with a honey and lime dressing.

This is the last in my series of 29 alphabetic recipes. Tomorrow will be the start of a new series of historical recipes.

Zanzibar Honey Chicken Recipe

This is a traditional Tanzanian recipe (originating on the Island of Zanzibar) for a classic dish of chicken roasted on a bed of sweet potatoes that's coated in a spiced yoghurt crust and served with a honey and lime dressing.


500g (1 lb) sweet potatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
lime juice
6 garlic cloves, sliced
1 chicken (about 2 kg [2 1/2 lbs])
olive oil
salt and black pepper
300ml (1 1/4 cups) natural yoghurt
1 tsp ground green cardamom seeds
salt and black pepper to taste
juice of 3 limes
julienned zest of 3 limes
7 tbsp honey


Peel the sweet potatoes then cut in half lengthways.

Now make the marinade: In a bowl whisk together the olive oil, salt, sugar, garlic and lime juice. Add the sweet potatoes and toss to coat. Turn onto an oven-proof roasting dish.

Clean and wash the chicken then season liberally with salt and black pepper, both inside and out. Fry the bird in a little olive oil to colour then arrange on the roasting tin with the sweet potatoes. Transfer to an oven pre-heated to 190ºC (380ºF) and bake for about 100 minutes (for a 2kg [2 1/2 lb] bird), or until the bird's juices run clear when pricked with a skewer and the sweet potatoes are soft and nicely browned.

Remove from the oven, cover with foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes.

Mix together the yoghurt with the cardamom and black pepper. Pour this mixture over the chicken, return to the oven and cook for a further 10 minutes.

In the meantime, blanch the lime zest in boiling water for a few minutes. Drain and transfer to a fresh pan, add the lime juice and bring to a boil. Add the honey and heat gently until runny.

When cooked, transfer the chicken and sweet potatoes to a serving dish, pour over the honey and lime dressing and serve immediately.

The recipe presented here is based, with permission, on the Celtnet Zanzibar Honey Chicken recipe.

This recipe is brought to you in conjunction with the Celtnet Guide to Recipes Beginning with 'Z'.

For more African Recipes, see the Celtnet Recipes Blog African Recipes page.

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