I had got used to things cooked with spices and yogurt in Damascus so I was interested in the few little jars of spices on Granny’s shelf, and she always had yogurt for our breakfast. There were caraway seeds that she added to cabbage and cakes, cinnamon for puddings, and cayenne pepper for cheesy things, so one day I persuaded her to try them with my favourite meal - roast chicken.
Make deep cuts in the breast and legs of the chicken and smear with the lemon juice so that it trickles down into the cuts. Leave for half an hour or so at room temperature.
Place the chicken in a buttered roasting pan and smear all over and down into the cuts with the spiced yogurt. Roast on the centre shelf of the oven for 1½-1¾ hours, covering the top lightly with a piece of foil if it is getting too brown.
© 2010 Josceline Dimbleby. All rights reserved.