Tandoori Chicken

This is one of my husband’s favorite chicken recipes so far. He says it is ‘spicy and garlicky with hints of ginger’. Sometimes I reserve the marinade to make Tandoori Paneer or Tofu so I can taste it. The original recipe can be found here for Aarti Sequeira’s Tandoori Chicken. I made a few changes for my own convenience/time.

Ingredients

  • 5 cloves
  • 2 dried guajillo chiles
  • 2 green cardamom, husks discarded, seeds retained
  • 1 black cardamom, husk discarded, seeds retained
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup peanut or canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 -inch thumb ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 packet boneless skinless chicken breast (1.5-2 lbs pounds) (original recipe calls for thighs)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Couple of extra limes, for garnish

Directions

  1. To make the marinade, toast the cloves, whole chiles, both types of cardamom seeds, coriander seeds, fennel seeds and fenugreek seeds in a cast-iron skillet until fragrant, 3 minutes or so, shaking the pan. Then, pour the spices into a spice grinder and grind them until you get a fine powder. (I multiply the original spice recipe by four to have extra for the next time I make it – all I do next time is take 2-3 Tbsp of the spice mix and add it to the yogurt, extra spices, and keep going!)Tandoori Chicken
  2. In large bowl, whisk together the spice mixture you just made with the yogurt, oil, lime (if you plan to eat the chicken within a few hours), salt, ground cinnamon, paprika, turmeric, cayenne pepper, garlic and ginger until well combined. Taste and adjust with more salt if it needs it. Don’t add the lime if you plan to marinate overnight since it may cause the yogurt to curdle.
  3. Reserve 2/3 cup of the marinade and set aside; you’re going to make a sauce out of this reserved marinade.
  4. Cut the chicken breasts in have and prick them with a fork. Add the chicken to the marinade and toss to coat. Marinate at least 1 hour in the fridge, and at most overnight.Chicken Marinade
  5. When you’re ready to cook, use a grill pan (on medium) or a grill (high heat). Place each chicken thigh (lightly coated in marinade) on the pan (brushed with olive oil) or grill and cook for 6-7 min on each side. You can use a meat thermometer to make sure the thickest portion of meat is 160 degrees F or slice into it and make sure it isn’t pink.
  6. While the chicken is cooking, pour the reserved 2/3 cup marinade into a small saucepan, along with 1/2 cup water and the honey. Bring to a gentle boil over medium-low heat, whisking constantly. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and pour into a small bowl or gravy boat for serving.
  7. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes and then serve on a platter with a fresh squeeze of lime and a drizzle of the thickened sauce. Can be served with cous cous, naan, rice, etc. Tandoori Chicken
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