June 7th, 2017
From Fiery Ferments, by Kirsten K. Shockey and Christopher Shockey
For Lemon Achar
Combine the chiles, lemons, garlic, ginger, and turmeric in a large bowl. Add the toasted spices: mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and fenugreek seeds. Add the salt, lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and mix well.
Pack the mixture into a jar that is just the right size for your ferment. Pour the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the top of the mixture and screw the jar lid down tightly.
Place the jar in a sunny window to ferment for 7 to 14 days. It will taste pickle-y sour when it is ready.
Store in the refrigerator, where this ferment will keep for about 12 months.
For the Roast Chicken
Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C).
Chop 2 tablespoons of the achar and use it to coat the cavity of the chicken. Then coat the entire outside of the chicken with the grains of paradise and salt.
Heat the oil in a deep, ovenproof lidded skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Carefully place the chicken, breast down, in the skillet and brown until golden, about 10 minutes. Carefully rotate the chicken, trying not to rip the skin, and brown the other side another 10 minutes or so. When both sides are brown, transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.
Toss the carrots, garlic, and shallot into the skillet and sauté until lightly browned, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons achar. Toss to distribute, then put the chicken on top of the vegetable mixture, breast facing up.
Place the lid on the skillet or Dutch oven and transfer to the oven. Roast for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until cooked through. Check for doneness by cutting at the thigh joint and seeing the juices run clear, or use a meat thermometer — it should read 165°F (74°C) when inserted into the thickest part of a thigh.
Remove from the oven and allow to sit, uncovered, for 10 minutes before serving. Serve the chicken and vegetables with generous ladlefuls of the pan juices.