I have considered creating a tab on my blog that says “Chicken”. It’s my meat of choice and also happens to be really easy to make and a great medium to experiment with flavors (think about it, chicken is one of the few types of meat you can cook sweet or savory).
My last search for flavor took me to Italy but today, we’re heading to India. I used Chef Ali Mandri’s Tandoori chicken recipe (follow him, you’ll be amazed). Tandoori chicken originates from India (or Pakistan…depending on who you ask). It’s authentically made in a clay oven, called a tandoor that will make it succulent inside and crispy outside. At the heart of the recipe is yogurt, and then the honey, lemon and tandoor masala (spices), which bring it all together.
Tandoor chicken is best served with plain basmati rice or a cucumber salad. I prefer the rice with steamed veggies on the side. Also, when steaming my cup of rice, I add a tablespoon of butter and one crushed garlic clove.
I like that this is one of those recipes whose ingredients don’t require a long drive to the Indian grocery store on the other side of town. A quick Target run will cover your entire list.
Let’s get into it…
Throughout my experience with Indian food, I’ve come to learn that the hardest part of making their dishes is gathering the ingredients. Once everything is in front of you, you’ll be done in minutes.
4 chicken drum sticks
Half a teaspoon each of ginger powder, curry powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder and coriander powder.
Half a tablespoon of honey
3 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
2 heaped tablespoons plain thick yoghurt
2 tablespoons tomato paste
Salt and black pepper
A recent trick I’ve learnt about chicken is to pierce it with a fork, so the marinade will sip deep into the meat and give you a lot of flavor.
Place the drumsticks in the pan you’re going to cook them in and sprinkle some salt, black pepper, lemon juice and set aside.
Everything else is going into a blender (I mean, c’mon, Chef Ali is the real plug with these methods. Most tandoori recipes want you to add one flavor at a time).
Blend the ginger, coriander, garlic cloves, turmeric, curry, cumin, tomato paste, thick yoghurt and honey to a smooth consistency. Spread the mixture all over the chicken so it’s evenly distributed on both sides. Don’t be afraid to get in there with your fingers.
Bake in an oven on medium to high heat, about 375oF until the skin looks crispy, like in the picture. Right after getting my perfect shot, I took the pieces out the pan, placed them on another foil paper and put them back in the oven on the flip side so that side could also get a little crispy—about 20 minutes should do it.
I change the pans because if you do the flip in the pan that has the marinade, the crispy side will get soaked and I prefer my tandoori chicken crispy. I save the marinade from the previous pan, as it makes for a delicious sauce for the rice. I have to admit though, if you’re trying to impress someone with your skills, put the chicken back into the marinade after cooking both sides.
You have enough time to practice before Thanksgiving/Friendsgiving…you’re welcome!