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Black Pepper Chicken Roast

a plate of food with stew

Photo: Ajna Jai / Contributor 

Today, black pepper is a pedestrian spice commonly found on every dinner table. However, at one time during the height of the spice trade, it had a royal pedigree, was highly sought after and commanded high prices. It is what inspired Christopher Columbus, the Italian explorer, to brave treacherous water, looking for India, the land of black pepper. And until the Portuguese explorer Vasco De Gama brought red chiles to India during the 1500’s, black pepper was the main source of ‘heat’ in cooking. Whole black peppercorns will last in a pantry upwards of 10 years, however, the fresher they are, the more pungent the flavor. Fresh from a recent trip to Kerala, India, the birthplace of black peppercorns where I got to enjoy them in their tender green state all the way to dried, black pepper is often used as a central flavor. This oven roasted chicken amplifies the sweetness as well as the pungency of black peppercorns. The ginger adds a zing and touch of fragrance. Out of all the home preparations of chicken I played with over the years of cooking for my family, this one has remained a top favorite. Leftovers are wonderful in sandwiches or added to stir-fry.

Read More  |  Recipe: India1948