Friday, September 9, 2011

Tandoori Chicken

We've been on a bit of an Indian food kick lately. Jason's parents were in town and we had the pleasure of sharing with his mom her very first ever Indian dining experience. And, let me tell ya, we did it right. We went to Taj, a locally-owned Indian restaurant. We ordered two appetizers then all strategically order a different entree and shared them--appropriately--family style. Everything was fantastic. Including the homemade mango ice cream that we only had room enough to share one teeny tiny bowl of for dessert. We never leave disappointed and that night was no different.

Having had such a satisfying Indian meal just days ago, you'd think our quota would be filled for a while, right? Wrong. I couldn't shake the taste for the delicious blend of spices that only exists in Indian food and Jay was a willing consumer so I tried my hand at Tandoori Chicken. Not the bright red version that they cook in a 900-degree oven...but a yummy riff on Tandoori Chicken that I altered a bit from a recipe I found on Mine went a little something like this...

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 large onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped into 1-inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, torn into 1/2-inch pieces
3 tablespoons melted butter, for basting

Spice Rub:
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon red chili powder
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (I used lime b/c that's what I had in the fridge)

Tandoori Sauce:
1/2 cup plain, greek yogurt
2 tablespoons whole milk or heavy cream (I used almond's creamier than regular milk)
1 tablespoons Moroccan spice blend (recipe below)

Moroccan Spice Blend :
1 tsp each cumin, ginger & salt
3/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp each cinnamon, coriander, cayenne, all spice, cloves & tumeric

Mix together and store in an air tight container.

To prepare chicken: Rinse under cold water and pat dry. Place the pieces of chicken on a large plate.

To prepare the spice rub: In a small bowl, combine the salt, chili powder and lemon (or lime) juice to make a thick paste. Rub the paste evenly over the chicken. Set the chicken aside for 15 minutes to let the flavors absorb.

To prepare the tandoori sauce: In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, milk (or heavy cream), and spice blend. Whisk until well mixed. Add chicken to a large freezer bag and pour sauce over it. Sprinkle cilantro over the chicken. Seal the bag then rub the sauce evenly over the chicken, thoroughly covering the chicken. Place in the refrigerator to marinate for 4 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Remove the chicken from the refrigerator. Add chopped onion, pepper and garlic to a roasting pan that has been lined with foil and sprayed with cooking spray. Top vegetables with the chicken. Roast for 15 minutes, then remove and baste with the melted butter and drippings from the bottom of the pan. Return the chicken back to the heat and roast for another 20 to 25 minutes, or until juices run clear when pierced with a fork.

Serve with rice. Preferably Basmati.


This was so good that I could make it tomorrow and enjoy it all over again. Yep. It's that good.

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