Easy Win — Tandoori Chicken

I don’t like cooking in a hurry. Especially if I have to concentrate on making something new. This is why dishes like this one are perfect: you prepare them in advance, stick them in the fridge, until ready to cook.  Then you go about your day — work, exercise, take your kid to a soccer practice and return when hungry.

Tandoori Chicken, ready to go

I found this recipe in a book called Cooking School: Indian, which is a part of a series.  I tried a few recipes from the book before, and so far I’ve been pretty happy with it.  This particular recipe was calling my name for a couple of reasons — stage preparation, as I already mentioned before, and the opportunity to use up the entire chicken, which in my family of white-meat supremacists  is no easy task.  This time I was practically trapped, because having purchased a whole chicken, I used the breast meat a couple of days ago for a yummy pesto dish; so the remaining parts weren’t particularly enticing, unless cooked in some very special way.

Putting together yogurt marinade for Tandoori Chicken

The final stage of this recipe requires about 20-25 minute hands-on supervision of the broiling process, so if you don’t have the time to spend next to your oven, don’t start.  The good news is — it’s the only time you’ll be spending in the kitchen (other than eating the chicken, of course).  The result is well worth it — marinating and basting make the chicken incredibly juicy, and basting it with melted butter in the very end ensures the gorgeous, slightly charred coating, which would make you drool. There I said it!

Chicken resting in yogurt marinade

If that’s not a recommendation enough, here come the big guns — my six year old, who can barely finish a drummie on a regular day, and only after taking the skin off, finished her portion this time, skin and all, asked for seconds, and then thirds (not that I gave her the thirds, but I was shocked nonetheless), all the while commenting between noisy lipsmacking “mommy, that’s some goooood chicken“…

Initial stage of broiling of the Tandoori Chicken

So here is the recipe in its entirety quoted from the book.  I imagine it will do just as nicely on a grill as it does under the broiler.  My thinking is, for a party, triple the marinade, purchase a battery of chicken drumsticks and grill away!

Tandoori Chicken

Serves 4 people

  • 4 chicken pieces, about 8oz/225g each, skinned (I kept the skin on)
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1/3 cup strained, whole-milk plain yogurt, or Greek-style yogurt
  • 3 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp chickpea flour (I skipped, because I didn’t have any)
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • [Eat Already! — I added some chopped cilantro as well]
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil for brushing
  • 3 tbsp melted butter or olive oil

Make 2-3 small incisions in each chicken piece and place in a large nonmetallic bowl. Rub in the lemon juice and salt, cover, and let marinate in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, put the yogurt in a separate bowl and add the cream and chickpea flour. Beat with a form until well blended and smooth. Add all the remaining ingredients, except the oil and melted butter, and mix thoroughly. Pour over the chicken and rub in well.  Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 4-6 hours or overnight. Return to room temperature before cooking.

Preheat the broiler to high. Line a broiler pan with foil and brush the rack with oil. Using tongs, lift the chicken pieces out of the marinade and put on the prepared rack, reserving the remaining marinade. Cook the chicken for 4 minutes, then turn over and cook for an additional 4 minutes. Baste the chicken generously with the reserved marinade and cook for an additional 2 minutes on each side.

[Eat Already! – I used a roasting pan instead, lined with foil and drizzled with oil lightly. It worked just as well]

Brush the chicken with the melted butter and cook for 5-6 minutes, or until charred in patches. Turn over and baste with the remaining marinade [Eat Already! – I think they really meant to say remaining *butter*, not marinade, which is what I did]. Cook for an additional 5-6 minutes, or until charred, tender, and the juices run clear when a skewer is inserted into the thickest part of the meat.

Transfer the chicken to a dish. Serve with salad and garnish with lemon wedges.

Looks good enough to eat, no? Tandoori Chicken

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Categories: Batch Cooking, Cravables, Dinner, Grilling, Main Courses, Quick & Simple, Traditional Nutrition, Well Worth The Effort

Author:Eat Already!

I am a cooking and writing addict born and raised in a cosmopolitan city on the Black Sea coast. Currently my interests include, but not limited to gardening, traditional nutrition, raw milk, fermentation techniques, books by Sitchin, Weston A. Price ideas, artisan bread making, anything handcraft, and many other, quite random, things. I believe in making things from scratch, in unpretentious dishes, visually un-altered food esthetics. I believe in reporting on daily cooking endeavors, not just on special occasion dishes. I believe everyone should learn how to cook at home because it's a great way to connect with your loved ones without saying too much, with your heritage without becoming an archivist, and with the world without learning languages...

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