For the chicken:
Cut chicken down the centre of the backbone, from the cavity to the neck. Remove the backbone. Flatten the chicken out - breasts should be in the middle of the chook and wings and legs on the outside.
Place some cling film over the top of the flattened chicken and using a meat mallet or a rolling pin, bang it until it becomes evenly flat. You can get your butcher to do this for you.
Mix together tandoori paste, yoghurt and a squeeze of lemon and rub all over chicken, top and bottom.
Place the chicken on a rack in a baking tray lined with foil and bake in a hot oven for about 45 mins to 1 hour (usually 20 mins on each side) depending on size of chicken and popping it under the grill for the final 5 mins.
For the pilaf:
Boil 4 cups of water in a saucepan.
Lightly sauté onions, garlic, spices in oil for a few minutes until onion is opaque. Add pistachios.
Add rice and cook for a further minute, coating the rice with the spices.
Add a stock cube to the boiling water. Add the stock water to the rice and stir. Add a pinch of salt and cover with a lid.
Reduce heat to as low as possible and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir rice through and serve when you are ready. It doesn’t hurt to allow it to rest for a while!
For the raita:
Combine all the ingredients together in a bowl.
Cut the chicken into 4 pieces. Add an extra dollop of yoghurt on the chicken, serve with rice and raita.
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