Kuku wa Kuchoma Kwa Tanuri (Chicken Roasted in Oven)

I absolutely love roast chicken especially when it comes out super moist, tender and just melting in your mouth. This kuku wa kuchoma kwa tanuri promises to deliver just that! Take my word for it. The skin is crispy while the meat underneath is full of flavour. I served this dish with my flakey layered soft chapatis, and, if you ask me, this was the perfect accompaniment!

The roasting time depends largely on the size of your chicken. Mine was about 1.3 kg and it took 1 hour and 30 minutes for the juices to run clear. Some people also check to see if the legs wiggle easily as a measure of their chicken being cooked through. Some use the meat thermometer (165F / 73C), however, since I haven’t had the pleasure of ever having used one I can’t really comment on that. I am so used to cooking the old fashioned way by sight, smell and touch. But, that is not to say that I will never use a thermometer ever, one day I will get round to it.

It is important to ensure that your chicken is thoroughly cleaned and patted dry before you start preparing it. Seasoning is also very important because bland chicken is just eurrgghhh!! No one wants that I’m sure. That is why I make sure that I salt the cavity inside the chicken.

I ensure that my kuku choma comes out soft and juicy mainly by following these two tips;

  • Setting my tanuri (oven) at a moderate heat of 200C so that it can cook slowly
  • Putting butter under the skin.

What else should you do to ensure success in kuku wa kuchoma kwa tanuri?

  • For crispy skin I drizzle some vegetable oil on top.
  • Tuck the chicken wings underneath the bird to ensure that that they don’t burn before it’s completely cooked.

Everyone loves chicken that is bursting with flavour all the way through. To achieve this I stuff the cavity of my tanuri kuku choma with onions, lemons and bay leaves. This assures me that at the end of it all the meat will be perfumed and infused with all the aromas and flavours.

For a double whammy of awesomeness I mix my room temperature butter with fresh herbs for maximum flavour.

5 from 1 vote
Kuku wa Kuchoma Kwa Tanuri (Chicken Roasted in Oven)
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
1 hr 30 mins
Total Time
1 hr 40 mins

This tanuri (oven) roast chicken comes out super moist, tender and just melting in your mouth. The roasting time depends largely on the size of your chicken.

Course: Main Course
Serves: 4 people
Author: Agnes Kalyonge - Jikoni Magic Admin
  • 1.3 kg Chicken
  • 30 g Unsalted butter
  • 3 Garlic cloves - finely minced
  • 3 " Ginger - finely minced
  • Salt to taste
  • Red chili powder to taste
  • 1 Tbs Curry powder
  • 1 tsp Turmeric powder
  • Bunch of dhania (coriander) leaves - roughly chopped
  • 3 Medium sized potatoes - cut into 1/4 wedges
  • 1 Tbs Sunflower oil - any neutral flavoured oil will do
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 2 Medium sized onions - divide one into quarters and the other one into rings
  • 1/2 Lemon - divided into two quarters
  1. Pre heat oven to 200C.

  2. Start by mixing the salt, chilli powder, butter and curry powder together until everything is well incorporated then add the dhania, ginger and garlic to this mixture and continue mixing till everything is well blended and set aside.
  3. Put your fingers under the skin of the chicken and loosen the skin gently around the breast and thighs.
  4. Salt the inside cavity of chicken according to taste.
  5. Stuff the butter mixture under the chicken skin and massage it gently to spread it through out the chicken.
  6. Apply any remaining mixture on top of the chicken skin.
  7. Stuff the cavity of the chicken with the lemon, onion wedeges and bay leaves and tie up the legs.
  8. Line baking tray with onion rings and place chicken on top.
  9. Arrange the potato wedges around the chicken, drizzle vegetable oil on them and sprinkle salt to taste.
  10. Drizzle a bit of vegetable oil on top of the chicken as well.
  11. Tuck chicken wings underneath the bird.
  12. Roast in oven for 1 hour 30 minutes or until juices run clear.
  13. If potatoes are not browned return to oven at 250C for about 10 minutes.
  14. Rest chicken for about 10 minutes while covered by foil paper.
Serving Suggestions:
  1. Some vegetables and flakey layered chapatis are the best accompaniment to this roast chicken.




  1. Looks yummy….I will definitely try it

  2. Hi, will kienyeji chicken be well cooked in 11/2 hours?

    • Depends on how mature it is and the amount of walking it used to do. Too much activity will automatically mean that it will have tougher muscles. If it’s too mature again it means that it will take forever to soften. You could help in softening it by using maziwa mala. The lactic acid in it will help in breaking down the meat proteins.


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