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Friday, August 9, 2013

Experiment #45: Tandoori Chicken

I was in need of another chicken recipe in my regular dinner rotation and was thinking of making tandoori chicken.  I searched for recipes online and found two recipes that looked interesting.

Tandoori chicken is marinated in yogurt and spices and than traditionally cooked in a tandoor oven.  These recipes have options to either grill or bake the chicken in the oven, which is more accessible for the home cook.

The recipe is mostly based on the recipe from the Home Cooking website, with some additions for Aarti Sequiera's recipe on the Food Network.

I used boneless skinless chicken thighs for great flavor and fast easy cooking.  The Home Cooking recipe had a lot of salt in the marinade and I thought that it might be due to that fact they use a whole chicken cut up into pieces.  So, I reduced the salt in the recipe.  The marinade from the Home Cooking looked kind of pale in color, so I added smoked paprika and turmeric which was in Aarti Sequiera's recipe.

I had some lime yogurt sauce left over from last night and I thought I would enjoy it on this chicken.

Tandoori Chicken 
1/2 cup whole fat plain yogurt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (1 or 2 lemons depending how juicy your lemons are)
1 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger root
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander (I crushed whole coriander seeds in a mortar and pestle)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom (I crushed cardamom seeds in a mortar and pestle)
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
I used 2 packages of boneless skinless chicken thighs about 3 lbs.
Fresh cilantro for garnish
Slices of cucumber, red onion, tomato and lemon for garnish

Yogurt Lime Sauce:
1 cup plain yogurt, strained or greek yogurt
Zest of 1 lime
Juice of 1/2 lime

Prick the flesh of the chicken all over with a knife to allow the marinade the marinade to penetrate.  Place the chicken in a nonreactive large shallow dish.

In a nonreactive bowl (I used the pyrex measuring cup that I measured the yogurt in), combine the yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, ginger, cumin, ground coriander, cayenne pepper, cardamom, cloves, smoked paprika, turmeric, black pepper and salt. Stir until well mixed and then pour the mixture over the chicken and rub into the flesh, turning the chicken several times.  Cover and refrigerate the chicken for 8 hours or overnight.  (Remove the chicken from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before cooking.

Heat the grill to medium for 5 to 10 minutes. Make sure that grill is clean so that the chicken does not stick.

Place chicken on the grill and cook with the lid down for 10 minutes.  Flip the chicken over and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes until the chicken registers 160 F on an instant read thermometer.

Remove the chicken to a platter and allow to rest for at least 5 minutes.

Mix together yogurt, lime zest, and lime juice.

Serve with slices of cucumber, red onion, tomato, lemon, chopped cilantro and lime yogurt sauce.

Results:
The Tandoori chicken was tender and succulent and very flavorful. The color of the paprika and turmeric made the chicken look very appealing.  We enjoyed this chicken with brown rice and some warm naan bread.  I was a bit afraid that it might be too spicy for my little one, from the cayenne pepper, but he really enjoyed it.  I would definitely make this recipe again.

Need to strain your yogurt:
Check out the following link to my recipe for Lamb with Tzatziki in Flatbread
http://samanthaexperimentswithfood.blogspot.com/2013/05/grilled-lamb-with-tzatziki-in-flatbread.html

Link to original recipes:
Home Cooking Tandoori Chicken
http://homecooking.about.com/od/chickenrecipes/r/blchicken2.htm

Aarti Sequeira Tandoori Chicken Recipe
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/aarti-sequeira/tandoori-chicken-recipe/index.html

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