Spicy Slow Cooker Roast Chicken  

The first cookbook I ever bought was Nigella Lawson’s Express, and although I’ve never cooked from it, it served as bedtime reading all through my senior year of college. Nigella’s writing is evocative and witty and the photographs are atmospheric and beautiful. I would climb into bed after a long day of reading through academic texts and open to a random page in the cookbook and let Nigella lull me into a peaceful sleep with her talk of decadent chocolate cakes and honeyed wings. 

When I moved to Delhi the year after, I decided that I wanted to get myself a book that actually made me want to cook, not curl up, fall asleep to dream of food. Which is how I ended up buying Jamie Oliver’s 30 Minute Meals- no lengthy descriptions to distract, just recipe after recipe after recipe. I woke up early one Saturday morning and went to a bookstore with the intent of picking up the book, coming home and cooking from it. But by the time I got home, navigating through thick, chaotic Delhi traffic, my ambitions were significantly lowered, and I decided that pasta with white sauce was as good a place as any to begin. Following instructions over the phone that sounded strange to a novice cook (whisk the flour and butter till it gets a nutty fragrance?), I made my first bowl of pasta (that wasn’t mac n cheese from a box). I proudly garnished it with a chilli, took a million photos, propped myself on the kitchen counter to dig in. I’d forgotten the salt in the sauce, and the pasta was undercooked but I thought it was pretty amazing anyway. It was a really beautiful January day - there was that soft winter sunlight streaming in through the backdoor, and for a few minutes all was well in the world. And then I had to clean up so that brought me back to reality. 

I cooked from 30 Minute Meals later that week, but none of the results were particularly memorable. However, when I came home a couple of months later, mum adapted a recipe for peri-peri chicken from the book, and we’ve been making it ever since. It’s undergone a lot of changes, and at this point doesn’t bear much resemblance to the original recipe. It can’t even be called peri-peri chicken anymore because we use cayenne pepper instead. It also cannot be made in 30 minutes- in its present avatar, where we put it in the slow cooker, it takes 4 hours (though not much more work- prep the ingredients, throw everything in, let it do it’s thing for a few hours). The wait is well worth it though, the chicken becomes fall-off-the-bone tender and the flavours deepen. If you don’t have a slow cooker or as much time, you can put it in an oven instead.  

PS: Welcome to our new space! We are so excited about it. I've been working on it for a while now and it has been a tightrope walk between insanely frustrating and fun. If you find that any of the links don't work, please let us know!

Spicy Slow Cooker Roast Chicken  

(Inspired by Jamie Oliver's Peri-Peri Chicken)


1 kg chicken (10 pieces-mix of thighs and drumsticks)

For the marinade:

1 tbsp lime juice

1 tbsp olive oil

½ tsp turmeric powder

2 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp ginger paste

1 tsp garlic paste

salt to taste

For the paste:

10 dried chillies

6 fresh red chillies

1 medium-sized onion

1 tbsp tomato paste

2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp lime juice

salt to taste

To fry chicken:

2 tbsp olive oil


Mix the ingredients for the marinade and marinate the chicken in it and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours, preferably overnight.

Grind the ingredients for paste, except the lime juice which should be added only after the paste has been ground.

Fry the marinated chicken on high for 3 minutes on either side, or until brown.

Remove the chicken and add the paste to the pan and saute for  2 minutes.

Now toss the chicken back into the pan with the paste, and mix well.

Transfer to the slow cooker, and cook on low setting for 6 hours, or high for 4 hours.

Serve warm. 


If cooking in an oven, follow the steps above and transfer it to a baking dish, cover with foil and roast at 375 F for 20 minutes, remove foil and roast for another 25 minutes.